STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
What’s the latest science on autoimmune diseases and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: The latest science for autoimmune disease in adult stem cell therapy is actually quite exciting. We know from work done at Northwestern by Dr. Richard Burt if you undergo a bone marrow transplant, autologous, with your own stem cells, a lot of autoimmune diseases can be cured.
What we don’t know is how much of that is actually required. Do you really have to go to neutropenia, meaning wiping out your bone marrow? Do you have to have a full autoimmune transplant? Things of that nature. But what we do know is adult stem cells have the potential to reprogram the T-cells that are attacking the body, and they have the potential to decrease the inflammation that is really driving the diseases.
How can stem cell therapy improve autoimmune diseases?
>> DR. PENN: So, in patients with lupus, scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, the adult stem cells have the potential to decrease inflammation and reprogram the immune system so that they don’t attack the body anymore. Again, what we’re not sure of is do you really have to go all the way to wiping out the bone marrow and replacing it, or can you give IV infusions of the adult stem cells, autologous, so that you actually achieve the same benefit.
What is the treatment like for autoimmune diseases?
>> DR. PENN: For patients with autoimmune disease who come to Okyanos for treatment, we use stromal vascular fraction, the stem cells from their fat, and we infuse them back intravenously. After the liposuction, we take the lipoaspirate, put it in the Tissue Genesis Icellator system. That isolates the stem cells that were in the fat, the mesenchymal and the endothelial progenitor cells. We take that mixture of stem cells, and we infuse it back into the patient intravenously over about 30 to 45 minutes.
What about retreatment for autoimmune diseases?
>> DR. PENN: So, for those patients who get benefit, who either feel their benefit is not complete or feel like their benefit is starting to wane, we’re happy to discuss the potential for retreatment.