Stem Cell Therapy: Paralyzed Whitfield Co teen takes first steps, community pitching in

Posted: May 02, 2014 4:57 PM CDT Updated: May 02, 2014 6:05 PM CDT
By Kimberly Barbour, Reporter

Hannah LockeWHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) – A North Georgia community is rallying around a teen girl recovering from a head-on car crash. She recently took her first steps since becoming paralyzed one year ago.

17-year-old Hannah Locke was riding in her family’s car last April when another car hit them head-on. She’s been confined to a wheelchair ever since, but now, a breakthrough.

Her community is trying to raise money for more treatment in hopes she’ll be able to walk on her own again someday.

Hannah is a junior at Coahulla Creek High School. Before the paralyzing accident she was a three sport athlete. Now her drive has shifted to getting out of the wheelchair she’s been in for the last year. She says it’s with her faith and community that she’s getting closer reaching that goal. Her friends are hoping to give her a boost this weekend.

It’s been a year full of challenges far beyond most teens, but Hannah Locke is only growing stronger.

She recently took her first steps since becoming paralyzed one year after a head-on crash. In just the last month, she’s re-gained some control over the lower half of her body.

“They laid me down and told me to try to kick my legs and they did it and we were all like, what just happened,” Hannah said.

Now she’s walking with a harness.

“Feeling emotion-wise, it’s exciting but feeling-wise, it’s weird to see my feet moving and not really be in complete control over them or feel them,” Hannah said.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been filled with so much joy before because I know how hard she works on a daily basis whether it’s therapy or here at home just getting out of bed, doing normal things me and you do that’s so much harder for her,” friend Jordan Greene said.

Hannah says people throughout Whitfield County have been there holding her hand through it all. They’ve held fundraisers to help pay some of her medical expenses, but this weekend they’re going bigger. They’ve organized a benefit concert featuring Christian musicians and some cast members from the show Duck Dynasty.

“People throughout the community were just like oh you need posters, we’ll print them, oh you need t-shirts we’ll do that, oh you need a gym, come use ours,” Greene said.

The money will pay for a return trip to Panama where Hannah hopes to get more stem cell injections that are helping re-connect the nerves in her legs.

Those who know her say they’ll do everything they can to get her back on her feet again. They say she’s a girl who inspires everyone she meets with her positive attitude and unwavering faith in God.

“He always finds a way to shine a light in the toughest storms,” Hannah said.

The concert is 5:30 p.m. Sunday at North Murray High School. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. They still half the seats available and will still be selling them at the door. General admission is $30 and floor preferred tickets are $60. For more info, call 800-965-9324 or email helpinghannahheal@gmail.com

Colorado MS patient returning to Panama for more stem cell therapy

By Travis Khachatoorian
Created: Mon, 05 May 2014 10:21:00 MST
Updated: Mon, 05 May 2014 11:27:10 MST

CLIFTON, Colo. – Even with all the advances in medical sciences over the years, multiple sclerosis remains mysterious in both causes and symptoms. There is no known cure for the disease, but one Clifton resident isn’t waiting on the US government anymore and is planning to fly to Panama for a stem cell therapy.

Pam Claypoole was diagnosed with MS almost a decade ago and has slowly lost the feeling in her legs and right arm. She said since the FDA currently doesn’t approve any stem cell therapies for her disease, she’s planning a second trip to Panama in hopes to improve her condition.

Claypoole said she’s made one trip to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama more than a year ago and was amazed by the effects.

“I felt it made a big difference for me right away,” said Claypoole. “My walking was better, the feeling in my feet was better, I had more energy.”

She emphasized her treatment doesn’t involve unborn fetus stem cells but rather the stem cells taken from healthy birthed babies umbilical cords.

Her family is currently planning a live auction on May 14th at the Western Slope Cattleman’s Livestock Auction in Loma. The event starts at 6 pm, and they’re hoping to collect $20,000 dollars to fund Pam’s therapy in Central America.

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Stem Cell Institute Public Seminar on Adult Stem Cell Therapy Clinical Trials in New York City May 17th, 2014

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 09, 2014

The Stem Cell Institute, located in Panama City, Panama, will present an informational umbilical cord stem cell therapy seminar on Saturday, May 17, 2014 in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Speakers include:

Neil Riordan PhD“Clinical Trials: Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Autism and Spinal Cord Injury”

Dr. Riordan is the founder of the Stem Cell Institute and Medistem Panama Inc.

Jorge Paz-Rodriguez MD“Stem Cell Therapy for Autoimmune Disease: MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus”

Dr. Paz is the Medical Director at the Stem Cell Institute. He practiced internal medicine in the United States for over a decade before joining the Stem Cell Institute in Panama.

Light snacks will be served afterwards. Our speakers and stem cell therapy patients will also be on hand to share their personal experiences and answer questions.

Admission is free but space in limited and registration is required. For venue information and to register and reserve your tickets today, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stem-cell-institute-seminar-tickets-11115112601 or call Cindy Cunningham, Patient Events Coordinator, at 1 (800) 980-7836.

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: 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 osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis using allogeneic umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC), autologous stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and hU-MSC-derived mesenchymal trophic factors (MTF). In 2014, Translation Biosciences expects to expand its clinical trial portfolio to include spinal cord injury, heart disease, autism and cerebral palsy.

To-date, SCI has treated over 2000 patients.

For more information on stem cell therapy:

Stem Cell Institute Website: http://www.cellmedicine.com

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

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

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 webSite: http://www.translationalbiosciences.com

Email: trials(at)translationalbiosciences(dot)com

Sam Harrell’s Stem Cell Journey: Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Sam Harrell sent us this homemade video documenting his progress from 2010 until now (2014). Sam was coaching football at Ennis high school in Texas when MS struck him hard, forcing him to retire. Since then, after several rounds of stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama, Sam has returned to coaching football, something he though that he would never be able to do again.

For more information about umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy for MS, please visit: http://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy-for-multiple-sclerosis-3/

Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy Clinical Trial for Multiple Sclerosis Gets Green Light

Translational Biosciences Site Header

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) April 03, 2014

Translational Biosciences, a subsidiary of Medistem Panama, has received the green light for a phase I/II clinical trial using human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSC) for multiple sclerosis from the Comité Nacional de Bioética de la Investigación (CNEI) Institutional Review Board (IRB) in Panama.

According to the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an abnormal immune-mediated T cell response attacks the myelin coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system, as well as the nerve fibers themselves. This causes nerve impulses to slow or even halt, thus producing symptoms of MS that include fatigue; bladder and bowel problems; vision problems; and difficulty walking. The Cleveland Clinic reports that MS affects more than 350,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million worldwide.

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

Each patient will receive seven intravenous injections of UC-MSC over the course of 10 days. They will be assessed at 3 months and 12 months 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. ISO-9001 certified laboratory in the prestigious City of Knowledge. They will be administered at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

From his research laboratory in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Riordan commented, “Umbilical cord tissue provides an abundant, non-controversial supply of immune modulating mesenchymal stem cells. Preclinical and clinical research has demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects of these cells. We look forward to the safety and efficacy data that will be generated by this clinical trial; the first in the western hemisphere testing the effects of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells on patients with multiple sclerosis.”

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

For detailed information about this clinical trial visit http://www.clinicaltrials.gov . If you are a multiple sclerosis patient between the ages of 18 and 55, 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: http://www.translationalbiosciences.com
Email: trials@translationalbiosciences.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: http://www.cellmedicine.com

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

Stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury – Jamie Richie discusses her improvements

Jamie Richie discussed her treatments and improvements while undergoing her third round of stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Jamie’s first round of treatment comprised 8 intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) infusions of human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC); 4 intravenous infusions of hUC-MSC; 2 intrathecal infusions of autologous (their own) bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC); 2 intravenous injections of BMMC and 19 physical therapy sessions over the course of one month. Her second round of treatments comprised half the infusions of the first.

My name is Jamie Richie. This is my third treatment here. I was diagnosed with a L-1 injury. That was back in January 1st, 2010.

What symptoms did you have before you came for treatment?

I had no movement from my L-1 level down. As far as my right leg, I couldn’t stand on it at all without a brace. If I had a brace on it I could stand and I could walk and all, with braces; and a more aggressive brace. My pain was very strong. My legs; the circulation was worse in my legs. Their color, they were very purple. I could not walk on a treadmill. I had a hard time walking on uneven ground.

What kind of improvements have you experienced since your first treatment?

I’ve improved. I’ve had like five major things after my very first treatment, which was a year ago in January. I was able to stand on my right leg without a brace and walk. My pain level dropped between a 10 down to a 6. It’s controllable. The circulation in my legs; my balance is better. I can carry things while walking with a walker. I can transfer something from one counter to the next. I can be in my kitchen, hold onto the counter and stand and get out a glass out of the cabinets. I can walk on a treadmill and I am actually able to walk three speeds higher than when I first started walking. So I’ve had great gains there. After my second treatment, I was able to walk even stronger on my right leg. I have better bladder control. I got better bladder control out of the first treatment. And I noticed that I didn’t get a whole lot until about two months after the treatment.

How has this experience changed your life?

This experience has changed my life, just one, the nerve pain. I’m more comfortable driving. I can walk barefoot on my right leg without any braces or… It’s just nice being able to walk barefoot. Being able to get onto the treadmill, that’s huge for me. I don’t have to drive to a park or a track and walk on a track. I can get on the treadmill and keep a good pace and keep better tracking of what my progress is. For my balance, being able to stand and take my clothes out of my washing machine and put them in my dryer to standing in the kitchen and being able to take a pan that has water in it and put it in the sink. I was unable to do any of that. If I were standing, would have to have help. Transferring, you know, something from one counter to the next. Walking on uneven ground is big for a life change. If someone comes to the house to pick me up, walking to the car. To be able to walk into a store, I can go to the grocery store, walk in, get into a power chair and do all my grocery shopping there. So, get back onto the walker and get back into my car. It’s given me more independence, which is very big for me.

What would you say to someone who is considering this treatment?

It’s not going to hurt you to try it. It’s going to hurt you not to try it. If I could suggest anything, I would just say as soon as you’re better from your injury where you are not in any more pain and able to get to therapy, I would go. And I would go as soon as you can. Otherwise, you’re going to sit back and go, “Gee what if I wouldn’t of? What if I had gotten?“ There are a lot of people to talk to. There are people who didn’t gain anything. I have not spoken to anybody who didn’t gain anything off a spinal cord injury. Do your homework. It’s worth it and it doesn’t hurt. I mean, it doesn’t hurt me. I can feel completely my whole back. So when I get the injections in my spine… The anesthesiologist is excellent. The doctor is excellent. I will have close to 20 injections in my back and I have had no bad experiences at all. I’ve had no negative side effects at all, none. I’ve only had positive side effects.

5 year-old autistic boy making steady gains after umbilical cord stem cell treatments

The names in this interview have been changed at the parents’ request to maintain privacy.

The following is a transcription of an interview with A.R. and S.R. regarding their son “Billy”. “Billy” was diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) just before his second birthday in February 2011. Since that time, “Billy” has received several courses of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute.

“In general, his improvements have been so great that the school is advising a repeat assessment to see if he still fits under the diagnosis of ASD.”

What kind of ASD symptoms did “Billy” have before his stem cell treatments?

His symptoms included temper tantrums that resembled seizures lasting 30 to 45 minutes at a time. He was hyperactive and sometimes unintentionally violent in his play. He had very poor eye contact. He did not answer to his name. His dietary habits were very limited.

How has “Billy” improved since his last round of treatments?

Thus far, he has had three Rx cycles at the Center: July, 2012 (age 3y-4mo), March 2013 (age 4y) and Feb 2014 (age 4y, 11 mo). Each time he showed rather sudden improvements in almost all areas of prior difficulties. After his first treatment, 90% of the tantrums disappeared within two weeks. His eye contact suddenly improved. He became much more aware of his surroundings – almost as if he just woke from a half sleep state. He started playing with his father for first time and with his twin somewhat. Transitions were much easier. Speech improved. He started greeting his therapists by name each day. We did not tell the therapists of the stem cell Rx as we wanted to get an unbiased feedback on his progress. They were rather surprised at the sudden change in his cognition and behavior. He still had some issues like not initiating play with his twin or other kids. His eye contact was much improved but not quite the same level as expected of his age group. Reciprocal conversation was also limited. After his second Rx he started to initiate play with his sib and other kids. Tantrums completely disappeared. Transition issues and general parental compliance improved. He started attending JK class in Sept 2014. He was assessed by a clinical psychologist for his post IBI evaluation in Oct 2014. Overall, he had showed considerable improvements, especially in non-verbal learning abilities as these were now on par as expected for normal kids his age (45’th percentile). However, his verbal learning abilities remained compromised (8’th percentile). His main limiting factors were his attention span and his diet remained somewhat limited. After his third Rx in Feb 2014, we have thus far noticed remarkable improvement in his diet. He is now eating sometimes even better than his normal twin. His language seems to be further along with more complex sentences. Hyperactivity and focus has also improved and we are only one month post Rx at the time of writing of this feedback. In general, his improvements have been so great that the school is advising a repeat assessment to see if he still fits under the diagnosis of ASD. We are awaiting an appointment for this some time later this year.

What kind of treatments and/or therapies did you try before coming to Panama for stem cell therapy?

Following the diagnosis, we attended parental workshops to help these types of kids with speech and other developmental issues. We began taking him daily to Ontario Early Years centers where “Billy” could be exposed to other normal kids his age group so can join in on children’s activities. His speech improved a bit with this exposure. However, he would not play with the other children. Nine months after his diagnosis, he was accepted into the Themes Valley Autism Treatment program. They started sending in IBI therapists to work with “Billy” for about 6 hours per weekday. He made a little bit further progress in language but eye contact remained extremely poor. Temper tantrums were still a major issue. Transitions remained very difficult. Diet remained very limited. He did not play with his normal (non-identical) twin or other kids.

How did you find the clinic and what made you decide upon the Stem Cell Institute?

We found the Panama clinic by researching for additional modalities of treatment. We reviewed some of the candid discussions and videos of families of former patients of the clinic. We queried the medical officers at the clinic to ensure cell samples were screened thoroughly for blood borne pathogens. We finally decided to go ahead with the treatment as “Billy” clearly would not have had a very happy life if we continued with only behavioral therapy. We also were afraid he may unintentionally harm his normal twin due to his sudden violent movements and outbursts.

Stem Cell Institute Company Logo

Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell therapy for PDD-NOS (Autism spectrum)

The Mendez family discusses their son’s progress following several rounds of stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute. They’ve requested that we not use their first names in order to maintain privacy.

“He is a different child than he was before we started the treatments, and everyone is amazed at how well he is doing. We are grateful to God for helping us to find this treatment because now we can see our son being fully recovered.”

What is your son’s diagnosis?

Our son was diagnosed with severe apraxia, developmental delay, and PDD-NOS

What symptoms did he have before coming for stem cell treatment?

At six years old, he had a very short attention spam and very little speech. He had a lot of constipation and problems with balance and coordination. We were extremely concerned.

What did you try in the US before seeking help outside the country?

We tried everything with our son. He was treated by a DAN Doctor and we did many biomedical treatments. He was doing intense speech therapy and many hours of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, but he still had very little speech and we were very frustrated with the lack of progress.

Why did you choose the Stem Cell Institute?

After doing a lot of research and talking to other parents who had success with Stem Cell treatment for their children, we decided we needed to try. We choose the Stem Cell Institute because we spoke to other parents who had great results and read about their research. We also went to their conference in Texas.

How were the doctors at the clinic?

The doctors at the clinic were very knowledgeable and professional. The clinic was impeccable.

How are your son’s symptoms now?

After our son’s stem cell treatments, he has improved tremendously. He has a great attention span and has gained a ton of speech. He is no longer constipated and the improvements keep coming. We saw huge improvements in just weeks after the stem cell treatments that we never saw with years of Biomedical treatment and speech therapy.

When did you start noticing a difference?

We say improvements just after two weeks.

How has this changed your lives?

This treatment has changed our lives significantly. Our son is able to speak in sentences and express himself. He can sit and eat at a restaurant and has absolutely no problems with attention. He is a different child than he was before we started the treatments, and everyone is amazed at how well he is doing. We are grateful to God for helping us to find this treatment because now we can see our son being fully recovered. We are very thankful to everyone at the Stem Cell Institute for the amazing job they are doing.

The Mendez Family

Neil Riordan PhD – on opening a stem cell clinic in the United States

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 for Dr. Riordan: If the FDA loosens regulations in the U.S., do you have any plans to open a clinic here?

Dr. Riordan’s Answer: Unfortunately I don’t see FDA loosening regulations any time soon so I have no plans to do anything in the U.S. using umbilical cord MSCs or even autologous SVF in the near future.

It would be great if the U.S. would follow Japan’s lead. The Japanese parliament passed legislation in November of last year that essentially allows a company to market a cell product after the product has been demonstrated to be safe. Quoting from an Athersys press release: “Recently, Japan’s parliament enacted new legislation to promote the safe and accelerated development of treatments using stem cells. The new regenerative medicine law and revised pharmaceutical affairs law define products containing stem cells as regenerative medicine products and allow for the conditional approval of such products if safety has been confirmed in clinical trials, even if their efficacy has not been fully demonstrated.”

So you can guess where everyone is running to and isn’t the U.S. Here are press releases from Mesoblast and Athersys, respectively:


http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/11/25/592037/10059311/en/New-Japanese-Regenerative-Medicine-Legislation-and-Commercial-Opportunities-for-Stem-Cell-Products.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/athersys-announces-patents-japan-stem-120000430.html

Regarding plans for the U.S., I have thankfully partnered with Dr. Wade McKenna, who is Board Certified in Orthopedic surgery and Fellowship trained in Trauma and Trauma Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. McKenna has more experience using bone marrow concentrate for orthopedic conditions that anyone I know. We are opening a regenerative orthopedic center in the Dallas area hopefully by mid-April of this year. It will be in a new building and is being built out now. The center is called the Riordan McKenna Institute. It is located in Southlake, Texas, which is between Dallas and Ft. Worth, very near DFW airport.

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.