Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is stem cell therapy?
Answer: Stem cell therapy is the use of adult stem cells to treat certain diseases. The stem cells are derived from the patient’s own body tissue (bone marrow, adipose tissue, dental pulp, olfactory tissue). They are progenitor cells that lead to creation of new cells and are thus called as generative cells as well.
Mesenchymal stem cells, VSELs, other progenitor cells along with growth factors rejuvenate as well regenerate the functionally/ anatomically dead cells.
Question: Where do you get the stem cells for the treatment?
Answer: We use any one of following ways:
1- Patients own Bone marrow derived MNC
2- Patients own Adipose tissue derived Stromal cells
3-Lab Grown – Cord tissue Derived cultured Mscs, these cells are Used when patient’s own cells are limited in number or in diseases where patient’s own cells cannot be use
Question: What are Bone Marrow Stem cells?
Answer: Bone marrow is a specific tissue found inside bones. Its main purpose is to produce stem cells, which give rise to the various blood cell types, especially the white blood cells, the red blood cells and the platelets. Each stem cell can further form millions of stem cells. Most stem cells are found in the bone marrow of the chest, hips, skull, upper arms and legs. If the stem cells develop into fully functional cells, they are released into the blood. A smaller number of undifferentiated stem cells are also found in the bloodstream.
Question: How these are processed/ brief about technique used by our specialized panel of our doctors?
Answer: Our Techniques are as-
Technique 1: Bone Marrow is harvested from lliac crest; approx 120 to 240 ml is harvested at one time. Fresh stem cells are isolated along with natural growth factors cells in sterile operating room. The sample is further processed to recover huge number of otherwise lost VSELS. The Final volume is brought to a 2-20 ml depending on route of administration. Growth factors are added
Technique 2: Adipose tissue Using manual technique, 40 to 200 cc of fat is removed from abdomen. The fat is gently harvested to keep cells alive, using a medical procedure (not liposuction) blood and tumescent fluid layer is removed. Wash fat with saline and add human grade enzymes separating fat from stromal cells. Dissolve fat by massaging for 10min and allow standing for 20mins. The sample is then processed in Centrifuge 1000xg to get a pellet of stromal cells.
These cells are further bio-activated with laser to potentiate their effect. Approx 40-60 ml of the bone marrow is taken into the lab for expansion. The sample is cultured for mesenchymal stem cells in Serum free Media for maximum 3 passages.
Question: How many treatments are given?
Answer: Typically, three to five treatments are given. Treatments are given over a period of 6 months to one year.
Treatment is as per different protocols varying weekly /fortnightly/monthly, depending on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation for the particular individual.
In some cases patients have to stay in India for 1- 2 months, get 3- 5 shots on weekly/fortnightly basis.
Alternatively, patient visits India monthly or once in two months to take 3-5 shots
Question: How long does a patient need to be at the clinic?
Answer: Between 3 to 8 hours, depending upon the condition of the individual patient.
Question: Can other treatments be taken at the same time?
Answer: There are not any known contraindications for other therapies during stem cell treatment. Typically, a doctor will review what other treatments and medication the patient is already taking.
Question: Are there any known side effects to the therapy?
Answer: Patients have not reported any side effects other than discomfort at the injection site and in some cases mild headaches.
Question: How long does it take to get an appointment?
Answer: Panel of our specialized doctors review the patient’s medical records. It will then take 2 to 3 days to review the records and get back to the patient. Then the patient is scheduled for the next earliest available appointment. The process of scheduling takes 2 to 3 weeks, from the time of the initial contact to the date of the first treatment.
Question: Will I be hospitalized?
Answer: No. Bone marrow /adipose collection and stem cell implantation are outpatient procedures and are done as a day care.
Question: What about the ethical issues involved with stem cell therapy?
Answer: According to several religious denominations, adult stem cells from Bone Marrow are not encumbered by any ethical or moral dilemmas. Those ethical issues, which apply to fetal and embryonic stem cells, do not apply to adult stem cells. The Catholic Church and other institutions have issued papers which actually encourage research and the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of human disease, as an ethically acceptable alternative to the use of fetal and embryonic stem cells.
Question: Is a special diet required?
Answer: Typically no. A doctor will review the patient’s condition and make recommendations if needed.
Question: Are any nutritional supplements or medication taken along with stem cell treatment?
Answer: There may be specific nutritional supplements that may enhance the potential benefits of stem cell therapy. Such prescriptions will be made on an individual basis, depending on each patient’s particular evaluation.
Question: Does drinking or smoking affect therapy?
Answer: Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can both be detrimental to new progenitor stem cells. It is highly advisable that people do not smoke or drink 2 weeks prior to and after treatment.
Question: How does one apply to become a patient?
Answer: It is simple to obtain information and to get a medical evaluation. Feel free to contact us and be assured we will be completely honest with the possibilities of your success with our treatment.
Question: Is there a risk of developing Cancer?
Answer: This is a justified concern if a therapy involves embryonic stem cells. Because embryonic stem cells actually do divide at an extremely fast rate, they have been shown to have cancer-causing potential in animals and humans. However, therapies with autologous bone marrow stem cell have no risk of developing cancer.
Question: What examinations and investigations are to be performed before the therapy?
Answer: General tests for medical fitness include complete heamogram, serum creatinine, blood sugar, ECG and Xray chest for patients aged above 40 yrs.
Specific to disease for evaluation of disease, eligibility for treatment, prognosis and monitoring progress.
Question: What amount of results/ progress can be expected from stem cell therapy?
Answer: We have seen significant benefits varying between 40-60% depending on duration of the disease, age of the patient. Unfortunately, it’s impossible beforehand to give any prognosis and forecasts about the treatment outcomes with precise accuracy as in every case the patient’s dynamics is very individual and depends on number of factors.
Question: What are the advantages of cord tissue stem cells over autologus stem cells?
Answer: Umbilical cord blood is an excellent source of hematopoietic/Mesenchymal stem cells. The success in cord blood transplantation has been demonstrated in more than 10,000 cases worldwide so far. These cases have been predominantly for hematopoietic \ mesenchymal transplantation in-patient suffering from various types of genetic disorders and in which no use of atutologous stem cells.