SCIENCE OF STEM CELLS
Autologous vs. Allogeneic
What’s the difference between autologous and allogeneic stem cells?
>> DR. MARC PENN: Autologous stem cell therapy means that the patient is getting their own stem cells back. Allogeneic stem cell therapy means the patient is getting stem cells from a donor.
When are allogeneic stem cells most effective?
>> DR. PENN: Allogeneic stem cell therapy has the potential to treat patients acutely when they present with a heart attack, a stroke, some acute injury — when we don’t have time to harvest the patient’s own stem cells, we’re able to use allogeneic cells that have been stored at the hospital to treat them immediately.
When should autologous stem cells be used?
>> DR. PENN: Autologous stem cell therapy is most effective when the patients have chronic conditions like heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction; where we can schedule the patient’s treatment, bring them in and harvest their own stem cells, and use those stem cells for treatment.
This becomes particularly important in the setting of chronic conditions where repeat treatment may be necessary — like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, or heart failure — where if we’re using the patient’s own autologous stem cells we have no risk of stem cell rejection or loss of stem cell function over time as we may have with allogeneic stem cells.