STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
What is the latest science on diabetic ulcers and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: Diabetic ulcers exist for multiple reasons, but in diabetes, in particular, it’s due to microvascular rarefication or the loss of the small blood vessels that perfuse the tissue. This minimizes the body’s ability to heal that tissue and grow new tissue.
By delivering adult stem cells, we’re able to grow a microvasculature, and that microvasculature has been shown to improve the overall healing of those diabetic ulcers.
How can stem cell therapy actually improve diabetic ulcers?
>> DR. PENN: The goal at Okyanos for patients with diabetic ulcers is to heal that ulcer. So, we treat by injecting the base of the ulcer, as well as giving an intravenous infusion, to activate the endogenous system to try to grow that microvasculature and to help heal that ulcer.
How soon can I get treatment?
>> DR. PENN: There’s no clear point of no return for a diabetic ulcer. The sooner one is treated, the less ulcer there is to treat. So, that’s a good thing, but for those patients who have diabetic ulcers that are either not responding to conventional therapy, are expanding, or not getting any better, I think adult stem cell therapy at that point would be of interest.
What is the treatment like for diabetic ulcers at Okyanos?
>> DR. PENN: At Okyanos, we treat with autologous stromal vascular fraction. We do a liposuction. That lipoaspirate is put into the Tissue Genesis Icellator system. The stem cells that are collected from the Icellator are then injected around the base of the ulcer, as well as given intravenously to activate the body’s own stem cells to try and heal that area.
What about retreatment for diabetic ulcers?
>> DR. PENN: For patients who get benefit, who may not close their ulcer, but ultimately significantly enhance its healing, after three or four months we’re happy to discuss the potential for retreatment.