STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
What kinds of conditions do you treat at Okyanos?
>> DR. MARC PENN: At Okyanos, we treat a variety of conditions: Orthopedic conditions like osteoarthritis and non-healing fractures; cardiac conditions like chronic chest pain and heart failure; urologic conditions like erectile dysfunction and incontinence; autoimmune disorders like lupus, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis; neurological issues like early Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and traumatic brain injury.
Are there any conditions that you don’t treat?
>> DR. PENN: There are some specific conditions we don’t treat. We do not treat ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. There is very little evidence that adult stem cell therapy offers those patients benefit. We treat spinal cord injury or paralysis on a case-by-case basis. We’re looking for patients who are specifically committed to their physical therapy and improving because we need to commit to them because it’s going to take multiple treatments over time. And we don’t treat cancer of any kind although we will treat patients who have the consequences of organ dysfunction, erectile dysfunction for prostatectomy, perhaps heart failure from chemotherapeutics. But we do not treat cancer itself at Okyanos.
What kind of stem cells do you use and how are they harvested?
>> DR. PENN: We use stromal vascular fraction which means we have to do a liposuction. Liposuction’s done hundreds, if not thousands of times a day in the United States, mostly for cosmetic reasons. We do it to obtain the lipoaspirate, which we then put into a Tissue Genesis Icellator system, that in an automatic sterile single use system isolates the stem cells that were contained in your fat. We then take that mixture of stem cells that we get from the Icellator in about an hour’s time and we either inject the joint or the organ of injury and we then give an intravenous infusion of those stem cells at the same time.
What’s the basic criteria for deciding whether I can be treated at Okyanos?
>>DR. PENN: To be eligible to be a patient at Okyanos, you need a condition that is recognized to be treatable by adult stem cells. You need to have a sufficient body mass index so that we can get stem cells from your fat. You need to be able to lie comfortably flat to have a procedure done, and you need not to have been treated for cancer in the last six months.