Applied Stem Cell Therapy Expert, Neil Riordan, PhD, Authors “Cell Therapy for Liver Failure: A New Horizon” in Contemporary Liver Transplantation Medical Reference

DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TEXAS (PRWEB) NOVEMBER 08, 2016 (Original Press Release on PRWeb)

Picture of Neil Riordan, PhD

Neil Riordan, PhD

A new chapter by renowned applied stem cell therapy expert, Neil Riordan, PhD of the Riordan-McKenna Institute in Southlake, Texas; Medistem Labs Panama, and the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama, entitled, “Cell Therapy for Liver Failure: A New Horizon” is now available in the printed and online medical reference, “Contemporary Liver Transplantation – The Successful Liver Transplant Program”.

Contemporary Liver Transplantation provides a comprehensive review of the most crucial and provocative aspects of liver transplantation. The reference covers all disciplines involved in a multidisciplinary liver transplant team; provides a valuable resource for surgeons, hepatologists, anesthesiologists, transplant coordinators and administrators, amongst others; addresses organizational issues that are vital to the good performance of transplant programs; and offers the first 360-degree analysis of liver transplantation.

Liver failure is the seventh largest cause of death in industrialized countries. It occurs as a result of a number of acute and chronic clinical inciting factors, including drug-/alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity, viral infections, vascular injury, autoimmune disease, or genetic predisposition. The only available cure, liver transplantation, is severely limited by a lack of donors and further complicated by the adverse effects of chronic immune suppression.

In his chapter on stem cell therapy for liver failure, Dr. Riordan examines pre-clinical data and analyzes published clinical trials to identify promising sources of autologous stem cells to treat liver failure including: bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC), adipose tissue MSC (AT-MSC), and bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC) including their purified forms. In addition, he delves into allogeneic stem cells such as those harvested from umbilical cords after normal, healthy births.

“Many liver failure patients contact our clinics in Panama and Texas asking if there is anything we can do for them. Unfortunately, we have to tell them that we cannot treat liver failure. Even though some clinical trials have shown signals of efficacy, which is encouraging, I don’t think sufficient rationale exists to treat liver failure patients with the types of stem cells I’ve studied at present,” stated Dr. Riordan.

About Riordan-McKenna Institute (RMI)

RMI specializes in non-surgical treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic conditions using *amniotic tissue allograft and bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) that is harvested using the patented BioMAC bone marrow aspiration cannula. Common conditions treated include meniscal tears, ACL injuries, rotator cuff injuries, runner’s knee, tennis elbow, and joint pain due to degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

Additionally, RMI augments orthopedic surgeries with BMAC and amniotic tissue allograft to promote better post-surgical outcomes and uses amniotic membranes as part of a complete wound care treatment regimen.

BMAC contains a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells (MSC,) hematopoietic stem cells (CD34+), growth factors and other progenitor cells. Amniotic tissue allograft is composed of collagens and other structural proteins, which provide a biologic matrix that supports angiogenesis, tissue growth and new collagen during tissue regeneration and repair.

*Amniotic tissue is donated after normal healthy births.

Riordan-McKenna Institute Website:

Riordan-McKenna Institute
801 E. Southlake Blvd.
Southlake, Texas 76092

Tel: (817) 776-8155
Toll Free: (877) 899-7836
Fax: (817) 776-8154

About Stem Cell Institute Panama

Founded in 2007 on the principles of providing unbiased, scientifically sound treatment options; the Stem Cell Institute (SCI) has matured into the world’s leading adult stem cell therapy and research center. In close collaboration with universities and physicians world-wide, our comprehensive stem cell treatment protocols employ well-targeted combinations of autologous bone marrow stem cells, autologous adipose stem cells, and donor *human umbilical cord stem cells to treat: autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.

In partnership with Translational Biosciences, a subsidiary of Medistem Panama, SCI provides clinical services for ongoing clinical trials that are assessing safety and signs of efficacy for autism, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and spinal cord injury using allogeneic umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC) and hU-MSC-derived mesenchymal trophic factors (MTF). In 2017, Translation Biosciences plans to expand its clinical trial portfolio to include heart disease and cerebral palsy.
*umbilical cord tissue is donated after normal, healthy births

For more information on stem cell therapy:

Stem Cell Institute Website:
Stem Cell Institute
Via Israel & Calle 66
Plaza Pacific Office #2A
Panama City, Panama

About Medistem Panama Inc.
Since opening its doors in 2007, Medistem Panama Inc. has developed adult stem cell-based products from human umbilical cord tissue and blood, adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow. Medistem operates an 8000 sq. ft. ISO 9001-certified laboratory in the prestigious City of Knowledge. The laboratory is fully licensed by the Panamanian Ministry of Health and features 3 class 10000 clean rooms, class 100 laminar flow hoods, and class 100 incubators.

Medistem Panama Website:

About Contemporary Liver Transplantation

Edited by Cataldo Doria, Contemporary Liver Transplantation provides a comprehensive review of the most crucial and provocative aspects of liver transplantation. It represents a unique source of information and guidance for the current generation of transplant surgeons that evolved from being pure clinicians into savvy administrators knowledgeable in every regulatory aspect governing transplantation.

The book contains 35 chapters covering every single aspect of the surgical operation in the donors as well as the recipients of liver transplants. The pre-operative work-up, as well as the post-operative immunosuppression management and the treatment of recurrent diseases are addressed in detail. Single chapters are dedicated to controversial issues like transplantation in patients diagnosed with NASH, transplantation for patients diagnosed with HCC beyond Milan criteria and usage of HIV positive donors. Dedicated chapters on HCV, HCC, FHF and NASH will make this book a unique resource for any health care provider part of the multidisciplinary liver transplant team.

The book goes beyond the analysis of the formal medical and surgical aspects of liver transplantation and introduces deep knowledge on key aspects of contemporary transplant programs, such as: physical rehabilitation, palliative care, pregnancy, the multiple requirements of regulatory agencies ruling transplantation, quality measurements for transplant programs, finance and liability.

The book is organized in 9 sections focusing on each key aspect of liver transplantation. Contemporary Liver Transplantation addresses the need and the questions of the multidisciplinary group involved including surgeons, Hepatologists, anesthesiologists, infectious disease specialists, radiologists, transplant coordinators, financial specialists, epidemiologists and administrators.

Contemporary Liver Transplantation Online:

Neil Riordan PhD on stem cell expansion in stem cell therapy

Stem Cell Pioneers featured Dr. Riordan in its February installment of “Ask the Doctor”, a monthly segment that features stem cell scientists and doctors answering questions from readers about stem cell therapy.

Over the next several days, we will share these questions and Dr. Riordan’s answers with our readers.

Question: Are there some conditions such as neurological ones that respond better when the cells are greatly expanded? Is a high quantity essential for success or is that something that may be more of a selling point at some clinics? I have also seen this advertised for COPD and other conditions. It’s almost like the more cells the better, but I would like your opinion.

Dr. Riordan’s Answer: That really depends on the quality of the cells after expansion. If they are still robust, not senescent, and still have a good secretion profile, then the more the better may be useful up to a point. If you take a small pool of starter cells and expand them to exhaustion, then I don’t think you are going to have a very good product. The MSCs used in Panama are not expanded beyond passage 5—a point at which there is no senescence in the population and they have a robust cytokine secretion profile. In order to use only cells that meet our release criteria, cells from approximately one (1.2 to be exact) out of 10 donated umbilical cords are used.

Contrast that to cells from a patient’s own fat tissue that are expanded. Firstly, the starting cells may, and many times are not very robust—they secrete little or no beneficial cytokines or chemokines, and must be expanded to hilt in order to hit the cell number. Please see my answer to number 7 for more on this subject.

This brings up a slightly different, yet related topic. There has been a lot of talk at recent meetings about more defined endpoints for the cells being used, and I couldn’t agree more. There are MSCs from bone marrow, menstrual blood, fat tissue, umbilical cord (even different parts of the umbilical cord—around the blood vessels, from the Wharton’s jelly, from the subepithelium, from the cord blood itself—which are most likely contaminants from a bruised placenta rather than the blood), teeth, amniotic membrane, amniotic fluid just to name sources in the “we didn’t mess with mother nature” adult stem cell world. Add to that the infinite variables when you consider the age and physical condition of the donor, particularly when using adipose or bone marrow as a source material and we, as a field, could be saying almost anything by using the term, “mesenchymal stem cell.” I think it is time that there is standardization in the field beyond the current definition of expressing/not expressing certain surface markers and the ability to differentiate into fat, bone, and cartilage. That standardization could come from using endpoints such as “remaining proliferative capacity (the number of doublings achievable in culture from the treatment cell bank), the secretome, even if there is standardization of one or two molecules, such as HGF, or one of the prostaglandins.

In the future I believe the field will take it a step further by measuring, even by a surrogate marker, the potential effects of the cells on the target condition. In the case of autoimmunity the cells and their secretions could be tested for their capacity to modulate the immune system. In the case of inflammatory conditions, the cells and their secretions could be tested for the ability to control or block inflammation.

Panama’s First Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Clinical Trial for Rheumatoid Arthritis Approved by Comité Nacional de Bioética de la Investigación Institutional Review Board

Translational Biosciences Site Header
Panama City, Panama (PRWEB) January 14, 2014

Translational Biosciences, a subsidiary of Medistem Panama has received the county’s first clinical trial approval for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from the Comité Nacional de Bioética de la Investigación Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the patient’s immune system generates cellular and antibody responses to various components of the joint such as type I collagen. As a result of this immune response, not only does joint destruction occur, but also other secondary complications such as pulmonary fibrosis, renal damage, and even heart damage. RA affects approximately 0.5-1% of the population in the United States.

Mesenchymal stem cells harvested from donated human umbilical cords after normal, healthy births possess anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory properties that may relieve RA symptoms. Because they are immune privileged, the recipient’s immune system does not reject them. These properties make MSC interesting candidates for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.

Each patient will receive five intravenous injections of umbilical cord stem cells over the course of 5 days. They will be assessed at 3 months and 12 month primarily for safety and secondarily for indications of efficacy.

The stem cell technology being utilized in this trial was developed by Neil Riordan, PhD, founder of Medistem Panama. The stem cells will be harvested and processed at Medistem Panama’s 8000 sq. ft. laboratory in the prestigious City of Knowledge. They will be administered at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

The Principle Investigator is Jorge Paz-Rodriguez, MD. Dr. Paz-Rodriguez also serves as the Medical Director at the Stem Cell Institute.

“While this is just the first step, it is our hope that Panama’s rapid emergence as a leader in applied stem cell research will lead to safe, effective treatments for debilitating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and serve to benefit all Panamanians who suffer from it in the not-too-distant future,” said Ruben Berocal, M.D., National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT). “Oversight by the National Committee for Investigational Bioethics ensures patient safety by demanding ethical transparency and compliance with the highest levels of international standards,” he added.

For detailed information about this clinical trial visit If you are a rheumatoid arthritis patient who has not responded to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD) for at least 6 months you may qualify for this trial. Please email trials(at)translationalbiosciences(dot)com for more information about how to apply.

About Translational Biosciences

A subsidiary of Medistem Panama Inc., Translational Biosciences was founded solely to conduct clinical trials using adult stem cells and adult stem cell-derived products.

Translational Biosciences Web Site:

Email: trials(at)translationalbiosciences(dot)com

About Medistem Panama Inc.

Since opening its doors in 2007, Medistem Panama Inc. has developed adult stem cell-based products from human umbilical cord tissue and blood, adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow. Medistem operates an 8000 sq. ft. ISO 9001-certified laboratory in the prestigious City of Knowledge. The laboratory is fully licensed by the Panamanian Ministry of Health and features 3 class 10000 clean rooms, class 100 laminar flow hoods, and class 100 incubators.

Medistem Panama Inc.
Ciudad del Saber, Edif. 221 / Clayton
Panama, Rep. of Panama

Phone: +507 306-2601
Fax: +507 306-2601

About Stem Cell Institute Panama

Founded in 2007 on the principles of providing unbiased, scientifically-sound treatment options, the Stem Cell Institute has matured into the world’s leading adult stem cell therapy and research center. In close collaboration with universities and physicians world-wide, our comprehensive stem cell treatment protocols employ well-targeted combinations of autologous bone marrow stem cells, autologous adipose stem cells, and donor human umbilical cord stem cells to treat: multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. To-date, the Institute has treated over 2000 patients.

For more information on stem cell therapy:

Stem Cell Institute Website:

Stem Cell Institute
Via Israel & Calle 66
Plaza Pacific Office #2A
Panama City, Panama

Phone: +1 800 980-STEM (7836) (USA Toll-free) +1 954 636-3390 (from outside USA)
Fax: +1 866 775-3951 (USA Toll-free) +1 775 887-1194 (from outside USA)

Cutting edge: Surgeon uses stem cell surgery on stem cell researcher Neil Riordan PhD

Wise County Messenger
By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A middle-aged man named Neil got his knee “scoped” in a Decatur operating room recently.

That’s not unusual. Wise Regional Health System’s OR is a busy place, and arthroscopic knee surgery is a common procedure.

But this particular knee had an interesting twist.

Wade McKenna MD and Neil Riordan PhD in OR

IN THE OR – Dr. Wade McKenna performs stem cell surgery on stem cell researcher Neil Riordan PhD.

The physician doing the surgery, Dr. Wade McKenna, met his patient when they shared a podium at a medical conference in February. The patient, Neil Riordan, has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and is one of the leading stem cell researchers in the world.

Riordan’s surgery, a fairly routine cleanout, ended with the insertion of a concentrate of his own stem cells back into the knee, to promote healing, foster cartilage regeneration, and reduce inflammation and the possibility of infection.

It’s a procedure Dr. McKenna has done more than 1,500 times, right here in Decatur, for a variety of fractures, cartilage and tendon injuries. Last year he operated on patients from four countries.

“It’s been mostly in the last three years, and really, the bulk of those in the last year,” he said. “It’s not like I have a newspaper ad that says ‘Stem Cell Surgeon.’ It’s just, you do a patient whose doctor calls you, and that doctor has a family member that he calls you about. Almost all these patients know someone I’ve already taken care of.”

He cited a doctor in Oklahoma who flew his wife down for knee surgery, and a radiologist who reviewed before and after MRIs of one of his procedures and saw actual cartilage growth.

“He calls me on the phone and says, “How did you do that? I’ve never seen condromilatia going the other direction. I’ve only seen it get worse.’” McKenna said. “He ends up sending his father-in-law, who’s from Canada, down to have the surgery. And that guy from Canada goes back and tells… so that’s how it’s happened.”

The surgeries are mostly routine – but the addition of bone marrow-derived stem cells afterward is a game-changer.

“Stem cells change the environment for healing in the joint,” Dr. McKenna said. “It’s like finding the light switch in a dark room. It looks like stem cells are the sentinel cells, the messenger cell – the light switch.

“It makes a substantial difference,” he added.

The journey that brought Neil Riordan to an operating table in Decatur started in Florida.

In February, at the International Stem Cell Society Conference in Fort Lauderdale, he spoke about research he’s doing in Panama that involves taking stem cells from a patient’s own fat, drying them, multiplying them and re-injecting them into the patient to promote healing.

McKenna spoke later about the technique he’s using. His method caught the researcher’s interest in part because it’s one of the few stem cell applications that’s legal in the U.S.

After he presented his results – broken clavicles to ankles to shoulders to arthritic knees – Riordan was interested enough to invite McKenna to dinner.

“He said he wanted to talk to me about some of the clinical experience I’ve had,” McKenna said. “He had not, to that point, been exposed to anyone who had that much experience with bone marrow-derived stem cells.”

Since then, they’ve gotten together several times – Riordan lives in Dallas and has a lab in Farmer’s Branch – and have “gone through a lot of research together,” McKenna said.

And somewhere in there, Riordan decided he might be a candidate for McKenna’s procedure.


“Neil saw all these films I’d taken and thought, ‘I’m ignoring a bunch of loose stuff floating around in my knee.’” McKenna said.

“It was only a couple of weeks ago – we’d been looking at a lot of cell cultures, and spending a lot of time in the lab in Dallas, and he finally just said, ‘Examine me. Put your hand here.’”

It was quickly obvious to the experienced surgeon that his research partner needed some work.

“I thought, ‘What are you doing?’” McKenna said. “He’s got locking, catching, giving way. I tell people all the time, you can ignore pain and swelling, but you can’t ignore mechanical symptoms. If something’s getting caught in your knee, it makes pretty intuitive sense to take that out, and your knee will feel better.”

To that point, Riordan’s focus had been simply on the application of stem cells – not combining it with surgery to clean out the joint and improve its mechanical function. Visiting with the surgeon, it made sense to combine the procedures.

Riordan himself explained it in an interview prior to his surgery.

“I still have stem cells in my bone marrow,” he said. “He’s going to pull some of those out and put them in the knee, the place where they’re needed.”

Riordan said the idea is to help the knee heal like it would have when he was much younger.

“When you’re young, you have a whole bunch of stem cells,” he said. “All we’re doing is just putting more of them in the right place at the right time to help people get over stuff. That’s what it boils down to.”

Riordan’s torn ACL, meniscus damage, adhesions and other knee problems were the result of an injury in 2002 where his knee swelled up, then “kind of” got better, McKenna said.

In surgery, to the constant beeping of the heart monitor and the ree-ree-ree of the pedal-operated instrument shaving off debris and vacuuming it out, the surgeon narrated while he operated.

“Just getting all the junk out of your knee, while it doesn’t give you a new knee, it certainly turns back the hands of time a little bit,” McKenna said. “He was just walking around, doing everything on this without seeking treatment.”

Fluid circulated through the knee and everyone watched the instruments on multiple big-screen television monitors in the OR.

“It didn’t make a lot of sense to start squirting stem cells into his knee until you clean it out a little bit,” McKenna said. “Even with the greatest stem cells in the world, if you just squirt it into that crummy knee with all that loose junk – none of that was going away.

“At least now, you see the difference in the joint. This has a chance of healing.”

After trimming for over an hour, removing frayed cartilage, bone spurs and adhesions, McKenna was ready to inject the bone-marrow aspirate that had been spinning just a few feet away.


Prior to going into the knee, McKenna harvested bone marrow from Riordan’s left hip-bone and delivered it to a technician who put it into a specially-designed centrifuge.

Using the patient’s own stem cells makes the surgery legal in the U.S. Concentrating the bone marrow with a centrifuge makes it much more effective, based on the results McKenna has observed.

“A lot of doctors, when I say we’re doing bone marrow draws, they say there’s no stem cells in an adult,” he said. “That’s just not true. We’ve done the cell counts. I get over a million cells out of this harvest.”

He said the injection of stem cells accomplishes the same thing as microfracture – cracking the joint surface to bring bone marrow to the surface. It just does it better.

“In my mind, it’s not a big leap of faith to think that if a couple of drops of bone marrow from a worn-out knee help it heal, what would the equivalent of 110 ccs of spun-down, concentrated bone marrow with only the best parts do?

“That’s how we invented this surgery. No one had ever done microfracture surgery with bone marrow spread, and we did that in Decatur about five years ago.”

McKenna said the bone marrow from the ileac crest – the hip-bone – has more stem cells and growth factors than what’s in the knee – or on the market.

“There’s a patch that has about 60,000 donor stem cells and you can use that to help tendons heal,” he said. “But would you rather have 60,000 donor stem cells from someone else, that only have a viability of about 75 to 80 percent, or would you rather have 1 to 2 or 3 million of your own stem cells, with a viability of over 90 percent, that were taken at the time?

“They haven’t been freeze-dried, they haven’t been processed, they’re not from someone else – they’re yours. It’s a no brainer.”

“And the stem cells are delivered in a ‘slurry’ of concentrated growth factor,” he said.

“Now we’re on the right track, because the trophic factors are how you heal anyway. It’s how tendon heals, muscle heals, it’s how the body grows cartilage, grows tissue. It’s what stimulates growth and healing.

“We’re not doing anything abnormal,” he added. “This is the body’s normal physiology and reaction to disease. All we’re doing is adding a little gas to the engine.”


Riordan, who has written more than 60 articles and chapters in two textbooks, speaks all over the world about stem cell therapy.

His research in Panama focuses on amniotic stem cells, taken from the “afterbirth” – the umbilical cord and amniotic sac – which would normally be disposed of after a baby is born.

“The amniotic membrane is actually what covers the baby in the womb, and that is what we use,” Riordan said. “There are 120-200 million stem cells inside of an amniotic membrane. They help in healing, decrease inflammation, decreasing adhesion formations, which is a real problem in surgery, particularly spine surgery. They promote and stimulate regeneration.”

Riordan’s clinic, Medistem Panama, is in an area just outside of Panama City called the City of Knowledge. Several major universities and research labs have located facilities there because of tax incentives and relaxed regulation.

Both stressed that the research in Panama uses amniotic tissue – not fetal tissue. Most stem-cell researchers reject the use of fetal tissue both for ethical reasons and because they’re simply not needed.

“The big political uproar about stem cell research is misguided,” he said. “Nobody is using fetal tissue. The only tissue that’s used is either the patient’s own tissue, or, better, amniotic tissue. That amniotic membrane is a very rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. That’s where a lot of Neil’s research is now.”

Riordan believes the FDA’s regulation of stem cells is misguided.

Speaking at a conference last July in Arizona, he said the FDA needs to view stem cells as what they are – human tissue – not a drug. He pointed out that hearts, lungs, kidneys, corneas, skin and other organs are transplanted in the U.S. every day, all without FDA approval.

“The drugs that suppress your immune system so you can receive that heart and survive – those are FDA approved, but the transplant isn’t,” he said. “It’s a procedure. It’s exempt.”

“I think ultimately these (stem cells) should be exempt as well, and should fall under the practice of medicine. That’s my opinion.”

For now, McKenna’s groundbreaking use of stem cells continues to pile up impressive results, providing clinical backup for the research done by people like Riordan.

And every day, it becomes more obvious that the use of stem cells holds the potential for healing across the entire spectrum of human suffering.

“Now, it’s not only about keeping your cartilage from wearing out, it’s about, ‘Can we grow cartilage and help you heal the joint?’” McKenna said. “The answer to that right now is yes-ish. In the not-too-distant future, the answer is yes.”

“It’s an exciting field,” Riordan said.

VIDEO – The Science of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine – Arnold Caplan PhD (Part 6)

In part 6, Prof. Caplan discusses Trophic properties of mesenchymal stem cells; MSCs for heart disease; MSCs homing to heart injury site and also to skin incision site; MSCs limit left ventricular thinning following infarction; Trophic properties of MSCs: anti-apoptotic, anti-fibrotic, anti-scarring, angiogenic, mitotic; phase 1 data for allogeneic MSCs show fewer arrhythmias, prompt heart rate recovery, and improved lung function; autologous adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction for treatment of chronic heart disease; Active mesenchymal stem cell clinical trials around the world; Induction therapy with autologous MSCs in kidney transplants; MSCs can coax neural stem cells to become oligodendrocytes, curing mice with MS using allogeneic human MSCs.

VIDEO – The Science of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine – Arnold Caplan PhD (Part 5)

In part 5, Prof. Caplan discusses: Mesenchymal stem cells produce huge quantities of bio-molecules, some of which are immunosuppressive; MSCs put up a curtain of molecules around themselves that allows donor (allogeneic) MSCs to be transplanted into a recipient free from immune response; The bio-chemical mechanism of how MSCs shield themselves from host T Cells; Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell business model; Treatment of graft vs. host disease in children and adults; Treatment of Crohn’s disease with allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells.

Arnold Caplan PhD of Case Western Reserve University and Riccardo Calafiore of Perugia University in Italy tour Medistem stem cell lab in Panama

Arnold Caplan PhD, Neil Riordan PhD and Riccardo Calafiore MD at Medistem Labs Panama

Arnold Caplan PhD, Neil Riordan PhD and Riccardo Calafiore MD at Medistem Labs Panama

Professor Arnold Caplan (left) and Professor Riccardo Calafiore (right) pose with Medistem Labs Panama Founder, Neil Riordan, PhD. Dr. Riordan is also the Founder of Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Prof. Caplan and Prof. Calafiore were in Panama City with Amit Patel MD to speak at “La Medicina Del Futuro En El Presente”, an event organized by the honarable Ruben Berrocal MD, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation SENACYT (National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation) and Prof. K. S. Jagannatha Rao, Ph.D., FNASc, FABAP, FASB, FLS (Reino Unido) Director INDICASAT-AIP (Instituto de Investigaciones Cientificas y Servicios de Alta Tecnologia – Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services).

Prof. Caplan is a Professor of Biology and General Medical Sciences (oncology) at Case Western Reserve University and the Director of the Skeletal Research Center at Case Western Reserve. Prof. Caplan is widely regarded as “The father of the mesenchymal stem cell”.

Prof. Calafiore is the Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Medical School at the University of Perugia, Italy and Director of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Endocrine and Organ Transplant at the University of Perugia School of Medicine. He is also a director at ALTuCELL.

Amit Patel, MD, MS, is an associate professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering at the University of Utah

Neil Riordan PhD is Founder of Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama and the President of Medistem Panama. He is also CEO of Aidan Products.

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation - A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Daniel Leonard in Panama

This is a research paper written by Rebecca Johnston, Daniel Leonard’s sister. She recently graduated from a Physical Therapy degree program, and wrote her Capstone paper about Daniel’s stem cell therapy treatment in Panama.

Daniel is presented anonymously in the paper, but Rebecca and Daniel have given their permission for this paper to be shared. Daniel’s ASIA scores (pre and post treatment) are in the appendix of this paper.


Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia


Background and Purpose: Stem cell therapy for SCI is a potentially promising treatment with increasing interest. This case report describes the use of a particular stem cell therapy protocol for a patient with chronic spinal cord injury, and describes his subsequent therapy and outcomes.

Case Description: The patient is a 29-year-old male who is chronically injured from a cervical spinal injury, resulting in quadriplegia. The patient was treated with a combined protocol of intrathecal (IT) and intravaneous (IV) allogeneic MSC and CD34+ cells and IT autologous BMMC at 6 ½ years post-injury. The results track the patient’s physical therapy progress until 6 months following stem cell treatment.

Outcomes: Recovery of strength in upper extremity and lower extremity muscle groups was noted, along with a functional increase in grip strength, ability to ambulate with assistance, and a significant decrease in daily medications.
Discussion: This case supports further investigation into treatment of chronically injured SCI patients with stem cell therapy followed by physical therapy.

Manuscript word count: 4321

A few highlights:

“After the patient underwent the stem cell treatment and returned to outpatient physical therapy in his hometown clinic in the United States, his MMT scores were tested over the period of 5 months post-stem cell treatment…. The patient did not decrease in strength in any of the muscles tested, and experienced improvements in 6/13 upper extremity muscle groups, and 8/9 lower extremity muscle groups.”

“The patient also had an increase in grip strength. His grip strength was measured by his occupational therapist to be 5 lbs on the right and 25 lbs on the left at one month before his stem cell treatment. Six months later, his grip strength was measured to be 22 lbs on the right and 36 lbs on the left. The patient reported that this increase in grip strength led to functional improvements, such as being able to self-catheterize, which he was completely unable to do since his injury.”

“The patient was also able to ambulate for the first time in 5 years at approximately 4 months after finishing his treatment. He was able to ambulate in partial weight bearing with the harness and max assist of two for 40 yards at .5 MPH.”

The original post on Daniel Leonard’s blog can be found here.

Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease can be Cured with Cord Blood Stem Cells

Umbilical cord blood taken from a compatible sibling can cure children with Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease. The report was made by the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland and ViaCell, Inc.

Cord blood from a relative may have advantages over bone marrow transplantation and can be an effective source of stem cells for transplantation in children affected with Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia. The research was presented by Dr. Mark Walters, Director of the Blood and Marrow transplant program at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. Dr. Walters made the presentation at the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and National Institutes of Health (NIH) 35th Annual Convention.

“Patients with Sickle Cell and Thalassemia often lead debilitating lives,” said Dr. Walters. “Through continued research and transplant success, sibling umbilical cord blood has proven to be effective in curing children of these blood disorders. I expect the use of umbilical cord blood will continue to increase and as we gain more experience using cord blood stem cells in transplant medicine, I believe it could outpace the use of bone marrow in transplant medicine.”

The data presented at the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and NIH meeting showed outcomes from children treated under The Sibling Connection Program, a directed sibling transplant program implemented by ViaCord and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), the research arm of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

More than 100 children have been treated with cord blood thanks to the program. 23 children were transplanted for Thalassemia and 17 were transplanted for Sickle Cell Disease under the Sibling Connection Program. The median age of patients treated for Sickle Cell Disease was 8 years and 5 years for patients treated for Thalassemia.

Clinical advantages over bone marrow have been demonstrated in regards to sibling umbilical cord blood transplantation in young children. A reduction in the common side effect and leading cause of death in transplant medicine, graft-versus-host (GvHD), was also observed. GvHD was observed in six of the Sickle Cell Disease patients, but none of them developed chronic GvHD. As for Thalassemia, none of the patients were observed to have acute or chronic GvHD.

For patients treated for Sickle Cell Disease, the median time to platelet recovery (greater than 20,000 per microliter) and neutrophil recovery (ANC greater than 500 cells per microliter) was 36 days and 18 days respectively.

82% of the patients treated for Sickle Cell Disease survived and is disease-free. For patients treated for Thalassemia, the median time to platelet recovery (greater than 20,000 per microliter) and neutrophil recovery (ANC greater than 500 cells per microliter) was 47 days and 25 days respectively. 91% of the patients treated for Thalassemia are now disease free and 96% of the patients survived.

The Sibling Connection Program in the area of directed transplants for sibling donor umbilical cord blood was formed in 2006 by the combined efforts of CHORI and ViaCell. Units of cord blood that has been collected and processed through the program have treated over 100 children to date. This includes transplants through cord blood stored through CHORI’s Sibling Donor Cord Blood Program and cord blood collected, preserved and stored with ViaCord. If a family has a child diagnosed with a condition that can be treated with a cord blood stem cell transplant and they meet the other requirements of the program, the Sibling Connection Program provides ViaCord’s comprehensive cord blood collection, processing and five years of storage at no cost.

Resulting in the red blood cells being a sickle or crescent shape, Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder. Tissue damage is caused when the abnormally shaped cells prevent normal flow of oxygen to tissues by becoming rigid. Anemia, jaundice, frequent infections, and chest pain are among the common symptoms. No universal cure for Sickle Cell Disease currently exists.

Blood transfusions, antibiotics, intravenous fluids, pain management, and even surgery are currently used to treat complications associated with Sickle Cell Disease. Over 80,000 people in the United States have sickle cell anemia and over 2.5 million carry the trait. People of Mediterranean descent and African Americans are the two demographics that Sickle Cell Disease predominantly effects. National Sickle Cell Awareness Month is September.

Umbilical cord blood is an emerging therapeutic treatment option for patients with Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease. In 2000, the first cord blood unit was released by ViaCord to treat Sickle Cell Disease. Families who have children affected with Sickle Cell Disease make up 30% of all enrollments in the ViaCord/CHORI Sibling Connection Program.

Hemoglobin is a critical oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The decreased production of hemoglobin is what characterizes Thalassemia which is another hereditary blood disorder. A shortage of red blood cells occurs along with anemia. Lifelong red blood cell transfusions and the resulting complications come with a diagnosis that usually occurs in early childhood. Poor growth, enlarged spleen and liver, anemia, jaundice, and abnormal facial bones are some of the symptoms of the condition. However, the symptoms of Thalassemia due vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. There are approximately 1,000 people are living with Thalassemia in the U.S. and an estimated 2 million people in the United States carry the genetic trait for Thalassemia.

With proven therapeutic effect in treating over 40 diseases, umbilical cord blood is a valuable, non-controversial source of stem cells. Certain blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and other genetic disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes such as Diamond Blackfan anemia and severe aplastic anemia, and cancers such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) can be treated. To date, nearly 8,000 cord blood transplants have been performed world wide. A significantly higher survival rate has been observed when umbilical cord blood transplants from a family member, rather than from a non-relative are used.

2007-09-20T00:00:00+00:00September 20th, 2007|News, Stem Cell Research, Stem Cells, Uncategorized|