Stem cell therapies breaking barriers
Technology offers groundbreaking new treatment option for chronic diseases to patients
Physicians all over the world are increasingly employing stem cell therapies for the treatment of chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, neurological disorders, asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, female and male sexual dysfunction, joint pain and autoimmune disease.
A study published last week in the FASEB Journal showed that a new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma.
Also, researchers have successfully patched up damaged hearts to treat heart failure, using the patients’ own muscle stem cells but another study published last week in journal Circulation found that the treatment could be more harmful than helpful if cardiac stem cells are involved.
In another study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, team of investigators has successfully repaired severe limb fractures in laboratory animals with an innovative technique that cues bone to regrow its own tissue. If found to be safe and effective in humans, the pioneering method of combining ultrasound, stem cell and gene therapies could eventually replace grafting as a way to mend severely broken bones.
Using new gene-editing technology, researchers have rewired mouse stem cells to fight inflammation caused by arthritis and other chronic conditions. According to the study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, such stem cells, known as SMART cells (Stem cells Modified for Autonomous Regenerative Therapy), develop into cartilage cells that produce a biologic anti-inflammatory drug that, ideally, will replace arthritic cartilage and simultaneously protect joints and other tissues from damage that occurs with chronic inflammation.
Scientists have for the first time created a special type of neuron from human stem cells that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Also, early results of a clinical trial suggest that stem cell therapy may be a promising treatment for erectile dysfunction, after the procedure was found to restore sexual function in men with the condition.
Meanwhile, the ANOVA IRM Stem Cell Centre has opened its doors in Frankfurt, Germany offering a groundbreaking new treatment option to patients worldwide.
One of the pioneers of stem cell therapy in Nigeria, Dr. David Ikudayisi, of the Glory Wellness and Regenerative Centre, with clinics in Abuja and Lagos, told The Guardian that there are several thousand clinical trials based on autologous (patient’s own) Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). He said these type of stem cells are relatively easy to obtain from a patient via bone marrow blood or fat tissue and have been shown to hold vast healing potential.
Ikudayisi is a United States (U.S.) Board Certified Internist with a strong passion for regenerative aesthetic and cosmetic medicine.
Ikudayisi said ASCT and Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPT) are under a new specialty of medicine known as regenerative medicine, which is a specialist segment of medicine that helps people to naturally regenerate and rejuvenate their bodies from the different conditions they may be suffering from without using chemicals or the orthodox medicine we are used to.
“ASCT may hold answers to many questions and problems that we doctors believed had no solutions, especially neurological disorders. Adult stem cell therapy with or without PRPT revitalizes and regenerates the body organs and systems; it also reverses and repairs many pending subclinical medical problems before they become apparent, including the diseases that are age-related,” Ikudayisi said.
He said that ASCT and PRPT are safe as shown by many published research reports and clinical trials done already. He, however, said this does not guarantee that adverse effects cannot occur if physicians that are not properly trained do the treatment.
The US-trained said ASCT has helped a lot of people all over the world to regain their lives back from debilitating ailments and Nigerians are not left behind. He said there are real people in Nigeria that were either wheelchair bound but now walking freely with occasional use of a cane or using a cane before but now walking without one; diabetes patients are able to have restoration of vision in their eyes, and some feel and look younger.
He said ASCT has helped chronic kidney disease patients in Nigeria that are on haemodialysis to either reduce the frequency of haemodialysis per week or like in a patient that was recommended to have kidney transplant a year ago is now off haemodialysis and off diabetic medications, and remain stable for the last six months.
Ikudayisi said men with erectile dysfunction are now feeling like young men again. He further explained: “I would be remiss to mention that the type of treatment protocol, the dosage of stem cells used also play a role in the efficacy of the treatment, and not everyone will respond in the same manner. Most of the patients showed improvements after the first treatment, and the few that needed second treatment went on to see great results after more treatments were done; needless to say that they were elated with the results.
“The only groups of patients that will always need more than a couple of transplantation sessions are patients with the neurological disorders. The latest researches and evidence-based studies show the number of treatment session needed to get significant clinical results can decreased by adding Exosomes to the treatment sessions.”
Ikudayisi said there are some diseases that conventional treatments have no cure for, but ASCT can reverse the symptoms of those diseases, repair, and regenerate the damaged tissues or organs involved. He explained: “In some cases, it significantly slows down the progression of the disorder. For example, it can regenerate the bony joints in arthritis, repair and strengthen partial Rotator cuff tears and avascular necrosis of the hip without surgery, revitalize the sexual organs in men and women, regenerate renal cells in kidney diseases, modulate immune system without use of medications that have very serious side effects in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Crohn’s disease, etc. Another advantage is its application in neurological disorders like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal cord injury.”
Ikudayisi said ASCT can gradually lower diabetic medications dosage and eventually may get the patients off diabetic medications. “This is evidenced by stem cells in a hyperglycemic medium differentiating into pancreatic cells; therefore leading to increased development of new blood vessels, secretion of various products of the immune system, and up-regulation of pancreatic transcription factors and vascular growth factor. This aids the pancreas to regenerate and boost its ability to produce insulin. In stroke patients, stem cells activate cells around the suffering brain tissue to catalyze rapid healing and to improve brain function, thereby restoring motor function. Until recently, it was believed that damage to the brain tissue was permanent. This is being challenged by the evidences of re-growth of brain cells and improvements of neurological function documented with the use of adult stem cells,” he said.
Ikudayisi said a procedure called P-Shot for Men uses PRPT to resolve challenges relating to erectile dysfunction by regenerating the damaged tissues. “It gives treated men the possibility of saving their relationships by increasing stamina, enjoying bigger and harder genitals, and eventually increasing the length and girth. Orgasm-Shot for Women, the regenerative medicine procedure for women’s sexual function, leads to increased ability to have orgasm, better arousal from clitoris stimulation, decreased pain during intercourse, tighter vaginal opening, increased sexual desire and natural lubrication, and increased arousal from G-spot stimulation. In addition, because of the O-Shot rejuvenation capabilities, there is help available for women suffering from urinary stress incontinence without the need for invasive surgery,” he said.
Ikudayisi said since the stem cells used are autologous, there is no risk of rejection of the stem cell transplant, but as with any procedure, there is a risk of infection, which can be very minimal or non-existent if done under the right conditions. He said adult stem cells transplantation can also be considered by people looking for alternative treatments especially in the areas of diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, female and male sexual dysfunction, joint pain, neurological disorder and autoimmune disease.
The regenerative medicine expert, however, said: “Currently, the cost of treatment varies, and it is not for everyone. However, you can’t place a price tag on life just as the saying goes that ‘Health is wealth’.”