Jorge Paz MD: Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis, Sports Injury, and Autoimmune Disease || 3 of 3

Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis using adipose (fat) stem cell. Case study of 76 year-old man with osteoarthritis in his knees. Stromal vasular fraction treatment statistics including side effects collected over 800 infusions. Stem cell treatments for sports injuries and why pro sports stars are seeking treatment. Case study of a professional dancer with knee and neck problems who returned to competition after stem cell treatment in Panama.

Stem cell treatment in Panama benefits autistic Glenburn youth

Autism Stem Cell Patient Ken Kelley

As Kenny Kelley of Glenburn awaits an infusion of adult stem cells at a Panamanian city in November 2011, a Panamanian physician holds two syringes containing the cells. Autistic since birth, Kenny has undergone several such infusions since 2009.

As Kenny Kelley of Glenburn awaits an infusion of adult stem cells at a Panamanian city in November 2011, a Panamanian physician holds two syringes containing the cells. Autistic since birth, Kenny has undergone several such infusions since 2009.[/caption]

By Dale McGarrigle, Of The Weekly Staff
Bangor Daily News
Posted Sept. 14, 2012, at 12:17 p.m.

GLENBURN — Now Kenny can read.

Kenny Kelley can now also do many things that other 11-year-olds take for granted. According to his mother, Marty Kelley, that’s because injections of adult stem cells, taken from umbilical cord blood, have helped Kenny to shake off the shackles of autism, with which he was first diagnosed at age 2.

“The results from stem cells can be seen everyday in his amazing thoughts and vast imagination!!,” Marty Kelley wrote in her blog, http://www.kensjourneytorecovery.blogspot.com/. “How lucky we are for such a miracle treatment!”

Autism is a brain disorder found in children that interferes with their ability to communicate and relate to other people. Autism affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys. What causes autism has not been established.

Stem cells are the body’s internal repair system and can fix and replace damaged tissue. These unspecialized cells are a blank slate, capable of transforming into muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells. Stem cells can also renew themselves by dividing and giving rise to more stem cells.

Stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood, such as Kenny received, are the least likely to be rejected.

The stem-cell treatment is the latest effort by Marty and her husband, Donald, to find ways to improve Kenny’s life. The Kelleys also have two other children: Philip, 13, and Caroline-Grace, 6.

First was in-home treatment in a mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber, three hours a day equaling 800 hours over the course of two years, beginning when Kenny was 5 ½ to 6 years old. This was coupled with a Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which restricts the use of complex carbohydrates and eliminates refined sugar and all grains and starch from the diet.

“We saw results right away with the chamber,” Marty recalled in a recent interview. “He made slow gains, such as tracing the alphabet.”

Then the Kelleys discovered on the Internet the story of Matthew Faiella, a New York boy who has been making great strides after stem-cell treatment in Panama for his autism. They decided to follow suit.

Why take this path, when there has been little scientific research into the use of stem cells to treat autism?

“We were willing to do it as long as it’s safe, and I’ve researched this,” Marty said. “Stem cells are very natural. I’m not a scientist, but I care much more than any scientist would, and I would never do anything to hurt my baby.”

When Kenny went for his first stem-cell treatment in July 2009, at the Stem Cell Institute in Costa Rica, Marty assessed the condition of her then 8-year-old son in her blog http://www.kensjourneytorecovery.blogspot.com:

• Behavior: Screaming, aggressive, giggles/silly/inappropriate with his brother or new people, running around, destructive, uncooperative while being dressed, hitting, not potty trained (still wearing diapers).

• Speech: Vocabulary of a 4-year-old. He can talk, but it is difficult for strangers to understand him. Answers some questions, but he does not understand or like why, when, or how questions.

• Physical: A body the size of a 5-year-old boy.

Kenny has had stem-cell treatments in 2009, 2010, and May and November of 2011. The repeated treatments are required because adult stems cells will work repairing cells for a period of time, about six months, then leave the body.

“When I think I’ve seen his skills level out, we’ll go for another treatment,” explained Marty.

What are some of the changes that Kenny has undergone in the past three years? First came the ability to read and clearer speech.

“When he got back, he just picked up a book and started reading, and I could understand every word,” said Mike Hughes, Marty’s brother. “It was like a light just turned on.”

Other gains: Kenny is talking about past events for the first time, and he’s conversational now. He expresses opinions and looking ahead to the future. He was finally potty trained at age 9. He’s doing math now. He’s calmed down considerably. This summer, he went to summer camp, staying overnight for three nights, in the same cabin as Philip.

“There’s no doubt in my mind how much he’s progressing,” Marty said. “We’re working on catching up right now, and how do we best do that?”

The costly treatment, which isn’t covered by insurance, hasn’t been approved yet by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite the fact that the stem cells come from the human body, the cells are considered a new drug by the FDA and are subject to stringent research and testing that can take years.

So this leaves the Kelleys and others like them seeking stem-cell treatment, going overseas to get it.

“It’s just a matter of how much are you going to spend,” Marty said. “There’s no treatment here that was going to do this much for him.”

2012-09-14T17:33:47+00:00September 14th, 2012|Autism, News, Stem Cell Therapy|

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Stop Arthritis in its Tracks – Duke University

Researchers at Duke University announced a promising new stem cell therapy aimed at osteoarthritis prevention after a joint injury.

The probability of developing arthritis after injury (post-traumatic arthritis – PTA) greatly increases after injury. Currently, the US FDA has not approved any drugs that slow or eliminate the progression of PTA.

However, at Duke researchers are beginning to confirm mesenchmal stem cell (MSCs) therapy in arthritis treatment. The treatment is similar to that which professional athletes and others have been seeking abroad in places like Panama and Germany for the past few years.

Ref: Pro/Am Dancer is “Dancing with the Stars” Again After Stem Cell Therapy in Panama

In the study, mice sustaining fractures that commonly lead to arthritis were treated with MSCs. “The stem cells were able to prevent post-traumatic arthritis,” said Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., director of orthopaedic research at Duke and senior author of the study.

The study was published on August 10 in Cell Transplantation.

Lead author Brian Diekman, Ph.D said the scientists observed markers of inflammation and noted that the stem cells affected the joint’s inflammatory environment following injury.

“The stem cells changed the levels of certain immune factors, called cytokines, and altered the bone healing response,” stated Diekman.

The Duke team used mesenchymal stem cells isolated from bone marrow. Bone marrow stem cells are very rare; making isolation difficult and requiring that the isolated cells be cultured in the lab under low-oxygen conditions.

“We found that by placing the stem cells into low-oxygen conditions, they would grow more rapidly in culture so that we could deliver enough of them to make a difference therapeutically,” Diekman said.

A richer source of mesenchymal cells is adipose (fat) tissue. Therapeutic doses of MSCs are routinely harvested from fat tissue and do not require culturing in the lab. However, it does takes 5 five days to thoroughly test the adipose cell samples for aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria and endotoxins.

Ref: Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis

2012-08-10T17:45:51+00:00August 10th, 2012|Adult Stem Cells, News, Osteoarthritis, Stem Cell Research|

Why does fat (adipose) stem cell therapy take more than one week?

Intravenously administered adipose-derived stem cells will tend to migrate back to the fresh wound site if it is not given an adequate time to heal. Therefore, it is essential to allow about one week after the mini-liposuction before administering any stem cells intravenously. Otherwise, there is a likelihood that the treatment will not be as effective. Additionally, it takes 5 five days to thoroughly test the adipose cell samples for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as endotoxins.

In order to ensure that no patient receives an infected sample, at least 5 days must transpire before the cells can be confirmed safe and injected back into the patient.

Lastly, this 5-day waiting period enables our scientists to culture a small sample of each patient’s stem cells in the lab to observe how they are likely to proliferate once they are inside the body. If a patient’s cells show low viability, Stem Cell Institute doctors will supplement the treatment with additional cord-derived cells to compensate. The same can be done in cases of low cell yield.

Twins’ family coping with cerebral palsy

ASHLAND — Three-year-old twins with cerebral palsy are making life adventurous, challenging and bittersweet for the Hancock family.

“They’re happy kids but it definitely makes it more difficult because as a parent you want them to have every opportunity that every other child has,” said mother Carrie Hancock. “It’s hard, but we’re handling it the best we can.”

Because they were born 10 weeks premature, both children suffered developmental delays.

By the time Tessa and Dylan were 20 months old, Tessa had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a permanent disorder that affects movement and posture. At that time, parents Carrie and Jeremy were getting ready to take their daughter overseas for a stem cell transplant, a procedure that would allow Tessa to live a better, less physically restricted life.

In the midst of their planning, the family was soon faced with another obstacle. That January, Dylan also was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“What do you do? They’re your babies. You just go with it and do what you think is best,” Carrie said. “Before, we were always told that he just had developmental delays, but as much as you hated to hear it, it was almost a blessing because we were paying out of pocket for him because he hadn’t been officially diagnosed.

“That’s the silver lining I guess and now we’re able to get him the help he needs.”

The Ashland family ended up taking Tessa to Panama City, Panama, where she had her first round of stem cell treatments in 2009.

“She did really well and had a lot of improvement with her vision,” Carrie said. “Her tone in her hand had decreased and she wasn’t fisting all the time. When we went back in July, we took both the kids.”

The results were remarkable.

“As soon as we took him, he was like a whole other kid,” Carrie said of Dylan. “He was babbling and it helped him in so many different ways. He also just walked independently a couple months ago. For Tessa, it made her stronger. She was already smart and attentive.”

Today the twins attend therapy sessions at MedCentral Pediatric Therapy one day a week and preschool at Tri-County Preschool four days a week. They receive occupational, speech and physical therapy.

“A typical day for us includes them going to school a little after 8 and they’re picked up a little after 11,” Carrie said. “After we get them home and fed, Tessa goes down for a nap and then Dylan stays awake and I get alone time with him, which is nice. We work on walking and sitting up with them, but try to incorporate it into their play. We try to make it a fun time.”

The family takes the twins on outings by stroller and enjoy their play time together, but each day can be daunting.

“The biggest difference is the physical challenge of dressing and feeding. Tessa is in the process of being potty trained, but Dylan doesn’t want to yet,” Carrie said. “She can’t feed herself and we’re still changing diapers at age 3.

“Dylan’s not walking. If you ask him to pick up something, he doesn’t understand. It’s challenging.”

Recently, Dan and Stephanie Kreisher, of Ontario, held their third fundraiser for the family. Jeremy was on Dan’s 1994 state championship baseball team at Ontario High School.

The Kreishers and friends raised $1,400 for the Hancocks, along with providing them two iPads for Tessa and Dylan after learning the electronics would help their communication skills. The iPads were sponsored by Elite Excavating and Zara Construction.

“We have so much and are so fortunate that we wanted to help others,” Dan said. “Jeremy and Carrie are such positive people. They’re the happiest parents, just very admirable people.”

The feeling was mutual.

“I can’t say enough about Dan and Stephanie. The iPads are huge for us. We’re in the process of getting different communication devices to help with fine motor skills,” Carrie said. “They use them in school and it’s nice to be able to incorporate what they’re learning at home. Life isn’t easy, but we are very blessed.

“The best way to describe our family is that we’re taking the scenic route. We’re taking the back roads. We’ll get them there, but it just might take a little longer.”

2011-10-21T19:12:43+00:00October 21st, 2011|Cerebral Palsy, News, Stem Cell Therapy|

Stem Cell Institute in Panama Collaborates on New Method of Treating Diabetes-Associated Heart Disease

Zhang et al. Journal of Translational Medicine

Diabetes is associated with numerous “secondary complications” including premature heart disease, renal failure, critical limb ischemia (an advanced form of peripheral artery disease) and diabetic retinopathy. One of the common features of these secondary complications is that they are all associated with low levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells. We have previously discussed the interaction between inflammation and low levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/7/1/106. It appears that the uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood cause generation of modified proteins, which initiate low level, chronic inflammation. One of the major mechanisms by which sugar- modified proteins induce inflammation is by stimulating a molecular signaling protein called Toll like receptor (TLR)-4. Generally TLR-4 is used by the body to sense “danger”, that is, to sense pathogens, tissue injury, or various factors that may negatively affect the well-being of the host.

In a collaborative study between Stem Cell Institute Panama, Medistem, and the University of Western Ontario, Canada, it was observed that TLR-4 is associated with induction of heart cell (cardiomyocyte) death in diabetic animals. The scientists demonstrated that suppressing the gene encoding for TLR-4 resulted in prevention of heart disease. The results were published in the article Zhang et al. Prevention of hyperglycemia-induced myocardial apoptosis by gene silencing of Toll-like receptor-4. J Transl Med. 2010 Dec 15;8(1):133. TLR-4 is known to recognize bacterial endotoxin, fragments of degraded extracellular matrix, as well as the stress protein HMBG-1.

In the current experiment, mice were made diabetic by administration of the islet-specific toxin streptozotocin. Diabetic mice were treated with double stranded RNA specific to the gene encoding TLR4. It is known that when cells are treated with double stranded RNA, the gene that is similar to the double strand is silenced. This process is called “RNA interference”.

Seven days after mice became diabetic, as evidenced by hyperglycemia, the level of TLR4 gene in myocardial tissue was significantly elevated. This suggested that not only does hyperglycemia activate TLR4, which was previously known, but that expression of this pro-inflammatory marker actually is increased. Indeed it may be possible that triggers of TLR4 actually act in an autocrine manner in order to increase cell sensitivity

In order to determine whether TLR4 was associated with the cause of cardiomyocyte death, animals were administered the double stranded RNA in order to suppress levels of TLR4. When this was performed the level of cardiomyocyte death was markedly reduced. This is an important finding since usually scientists think of TLR4 as a molecule that activates inflammation through stimulation of the immune

The authors conclude by stating that new evidence is presented suggesting that TLR4 plays a critical role in cardiac apoptosis. This is the first demonstration of the prevention of cardiac apoptosis in diabetic mice through silencing of the TLR4 gene.

The research finding that TLR4 is implicated in death of cardiac cells means that agents that suppress it, such as double stranded RNA, may be useful for incorporation into stem cells in order to make the cardiac cells that are derived from the stem cells resistant to death induced by conditions of stress such as hyperglycemia.

2010-12-15T15:22:40+00:00December 15th, 2010|Diabetes, Heart Disease, News, Stem Cell Research|

Stem Cell Institute Stem Cell Clinic Publishes Successful Treatment of Heart Failure Patient

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – The Stem Cell Institute reported today publication in the peer reviewed journal, International Archives of Medicine, of a heart failure patient who underwent profound recovery after receiving adult stem cell therapy. The publication is freely available at www.intarchmed.com.

“Stem cell therapy is experimental, and although the results discussed in the paper are promising, only the conduct of double-blinded, placebo controlled trials, will allow definitive conclusions to be drawn”, said Dr. Paz Rodriguez, Medical Director of the Cellmedicine Panama clinic and coauthor of the study.

The heart failure patient described in the study received stem cell therapy on November 2007, presenting with an ejection fraction of 25-30%. At follow-ups on June 2008, August, and Oct 2009, the ejection fraction stabilized at 40%. A major improvement in quality of life was reported. Biochemical markers of heart failure decreased. No treatment associated adverse reactions were noted.

“To date our group has published results on multiple sclerosis, non-ischemic heart failure, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patients in collaboration with major American Universities including University of California San Diego, Indiana University, and University of Utah. By publishing our data in a scientific forum, we welcome discussion and interaction, which will lead to advanced patient care not only in Panama City but internationally.” Concluded Dr. Paz Rodriguez.

The Cellmedicine Institutes offer adult stem cell therapy for patients suffering from a variety of degenerative conditions. More information is available at www.cellmedicine.com.

2010-09-28T15:46:07+00:00September 28th, 2010|Heart Disease, News, Stem Cell Therapy|

Statement From The Stem Cell Institute Regarding Decision to Close Costa Rican Operations

The Stem Cell Institute announced today that it proactively and independently made the business decision in early June to close its clinic and lab in Costa Rica and centralize all operations in Panama City, Panama. This decision was made voluntarily.

This decision, which came after careful consideration, was reached in response to Costa Rica’s unpredictable and arbitrary regulatory landscape. During its time in Costa Rica the company operated in full compliance with all existing laws and regulations. Unfortunately, however, the recent lack of clarity regarding adult stem cell treatment regulation in Costa Rica proved to be too great a risk for The Stem Cell Institute to continue its work in that country.

The Stem Cell Institute maintains the highest standards of ethics, transparency and consistency. Its adult stem cell therapy treatments are conducted with the strictest adherence to legal, ethical and industry guidelines. All cells used in treatments are processed in accordance with Current Good Tissue Practices (cGTP) in a state-of-the-art laboratory that is fully licensed and certified. Our staff is comprised of highly trained doctors and other medical specialists who have dedicated years to uncovering new treatments to aid those challenged by chronic diseases for which there are inadequate standard therapies.

The company came to this decision with much regret and will dearly miss its colleagues, patients and friends in Costa Rica. In just four years, The Stem Cell Institute helped hundreds of people who are challenged with chronic diseases such as Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spinal Cord Injury.

The company’s commitment to helping patients with chronic diseases benefit from new, cutting edge adult stem cell therapies is unchanged. It has a vibrant, growing clinic in Panama City that has already served more than 150 since opening in 2007. The government of Panama has clearly-defined laws that regulate adult stem cell therapies. Moreover, Panama City is an easily accessible metropolitan city with world-class facilities and accommodations to better serve our patients. The Stem Cell Institute’s facilities in Panama are fully licensed and certified.

2010-06-07T17:01:09+00:00June 7th, 2010|News|