STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
What is the latest science on Lyme disease and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: So, the news is pretty exciting with adult stem cell therapy and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a growing problem in the United States, and frankly, worldwide. It’s caused by the Borrelia bacteria getting into the body typically through a tick bite. The tick bite goes unnoted. The patient starts developing fatigue, chronic pain, joint pain, and often it’s really unrelenting to any conventional therapy.
The delivery of adult stem cells seems to activate the immune system against the Borrelia bacteria, minimizing the pain, and improving the symptoms of fatigue that the patients have. So, it’s pretty exciting.
How can stem cell therapy improve Lyme disease?
>> DR. PENN: Adult stem cell infusion in patients with Lyme disease significantly lowers their symptoms. The thought is that the infusion, like it does in autoimmune disease, minimizes the body’s attacking of its joints and other things that occur in Lyme disease, as well as offer the immune system an opportunity to attack the bacteria itself and rid the body of the cause of the disease.
What is the treatment like for Lyme disease at Okyanos?
>> DR. PENN: We treat them with their autologous stromal vascular fraction, or SVF. That is derived from their adipose tissue, or fat. The patient undergoes a liposuction. We take the lipoaspirate from the liposuction and put it in the Tissue Genesis Icellator system. One hour later we have a suspension of the cells that were present in the lipoaspirate, the stem cells. And we give those to the patient intravenously over 30 to 45 minutes.
I’ve read about other success stories with stem cell treatments and Lyme disease.
Is it the same as the stem cell therapy you’re offering?
>> DR. PENN: So, there’s multiple versions of stem cell therapy for Lyme disease that are out there. There are groups that use dead embryonic stem cell preparations and infuse that into patients with some success for Lyme disease. We’re using autologous stromal vascular fraction. Others use other stem cell types. Most importantly, the evidence or anecdotal data coming out is consistent across clinics. Patients infused with stem cell preparations do feel better with Lyme disease.
What about retreatment for Lyme disease?
>> DR. PENN: Data from multiple clinics suggests that a single infusion of adult stem cells is insufficient to cure the Lyme disease permanently, and while the patient may get benefit from a single infusion, not uncommonly the symptoms come back over time, and their thought is treatment with three to five rounds of adult stem cell therapy is the way to ultimately cure the disease.