Because RA causes debilitating pain and progressive damage, early and aggressive treatment is vital. Conventional rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment cannot reverse the damage done to your joints over time, however Okyanos Cell Therapy presents a unique opportunity for healing and pain relief across a spectrum of lasting benefits. Utilizing the powerful stem and regenerative cells which already exist in your body fat, stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis addresses the pain and inflammation associated with RA while encouraging the repair of damaged joints and tissue, to help you get back to a more normal life.
What is RA?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks your joints (most commonly the joints of your hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles.) RA causes painful swelling to your joints as well as destruction of the cartilage or cushioning between your bones and a weakening of the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons, all of which can make it very difficult to move.
Some patients with RA experience persistent joint damage and pain, while others alternate between flare-ups and periods of remission. This condition may also lead to microvascular dysfunction and severe cardiovascular risk as well as feelings of helplessness—thus greatly impacting your overall quality of life.
Targeting Rheumatoid Arthritis Damage at the Source
Your body fat, or adipose tissue, possesses an abundant source of adult stem cells (among other powerful, healing cells). These cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), are often referred to as small doctors for their ability to diagnose, treat and repair dysfunction in the body. MSCs are particularly effective in treating autoimmune disorders like RA because they are able not only to promote the repair of damage caused to the joints, but also to halt destructive immune system response and thus prevent future damage from continuing to occur. Clinical research has shown that MSCs can offer lasting benefit or at least some relief to patients with RA as well as addressing microvascular complications by carrying out the important jobs of:
- Improving blood flow
- Reducing inflammation
- Repairing and replacing damaged tissue
Adult stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day outpatient procedure. Though recovery can and does vary from patient to patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping “downtime” to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:
- First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount of adipose (fat) tissue.
- The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells which exist in the adipose tissue are then isolated and prepared for intravenous delivery utilizing a closed/sterile, fully automated CGMP cell processing system. For patients receiving direct injections, a closed/sterile, manually operated cell processing technology will be used to obtain a micro-fragmented, cell-rich product for injection.
- In accordance with the individualized treatment plan prepared for each patient, adult stem and regenerative cells are delivered intravenously to address the systemic factors relating to autoimmune disorders, as well as by direct injection (where appropriate) to address local symptoms. This combination of IV and direct injection is a standard technique developed by doctors at Okyanos.
To learn more about Okyanos Cell Therapy for autoimmune conditions, contact a Patient Liaison to request a free educational consultation or dial 855-OKYANOS (855-659-2667).
References Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells reduce inflammatory and T cell responses and induce regulatory T cells in vitro in rheumatoid arthritis (January 2010) in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19124525
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis/what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis.php July, 2015
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Retrieved from http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp#ra_3 July, 2015
Treatment of Experimental Arthritis by Inducing Immune Tolerance With Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (April 2009) in Arthritis and Rheumatism. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19333946
Application of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (2012) in Stem Cells International, volume 2012 article ID 394962. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2012/394962/
Fat Tissue: An Underappreciated Source of Stem Cells for Biotechnology (April, 2006) in Trends in Biotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16488036
Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Arthritic Diseases (October 10, 2008) in Arthritis Research & Therapy. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis-research.com/content/10/5/223
Clinical Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chronic Diseases (30 April 2014) in Stem Cells International. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2014/306573/
Clinical Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (30 April 2012) in Journal of Hematology and Oncology. Retrieved from http://www.jhoonline.org/content/5/1/19 Stem
Cell Technology for Bone Regeneration: Current Status and Potential Applications (February 10, 2015) in Stem Cells Cloning. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334288/
Inflammatory Suppression Rapidly Attenuates Microvascular Dysfunction in Rheumatoid Arthritis (June, 2007) in Atherosclerosis. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16806231/
C-reactive Protein: The Underlying Cause of Microvascular Dysfunction in Rheumatoid Arthritis (2008) in Rhematology. Retrieved from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/586262