Q: What is regenerative medicine?A: The National Institutes of Health defines regenerative medicine as “the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves.
Regenerative medicine also empowers scientists to grow tissues and organs in the laboratory and safely implant them when the body cannot heal itself. Importantly, regenerative medicine has the potential to solve the problem of the shortage of organs available through donation compared to the number of patients that require life-saving organ transplantation.”
Q: What are some of the tools of regenerative medicine?A: The tools of regenerative medicine include tissue engineering, cellular therapies – such as stem cell treatment – and medical devices and artificial organs. Combining these approaches can amplify the natural healing process in areas of the body where it is needed most, or take over the function of a permanently damaged organ.
Q: What is a stem cell?
A: Basically, a stem cell is any cell in the human body that can replicate and differentiate. This means the cell can not only multiply, it can turn into different types of tissues. There are different types of stem cells. For example, most people are aware of the term “embryonic stem cell.” Those are cells from the embryonic stage that have yet to differentiate and, as such, they can change into any body part. Which is why they are called “pluri-potential” cells. These stem cells have been the subject of controversy because they’re taken from unborn or unwanted embryos. While they have been used in some areas of medicine, they have also been associated with occasional tumor (teratoma) formations. Nevertheless, some companies are at work isolating particular lines of embryonic stem cells for future use. Then there are “adult stem cells.” These cells are already in one’s body within various tissues and have been often derived from bone-marrow. These cells are known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal area of your body. They can differentiate into bone and cartilage, as well as other mesodermal elements like fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscle and nerve tissue. However, bone marrow stem cells are low in numbers; so when they are extracted, they are usually cultured so they can multiply for future use. Fortunately, fat is loaded with mesenchymal stem cells compared to bone marrow. And we have the technology that allows us to separate stem cells from fat. Since most people have adequate fat supplies and the number of stem cells is so great, the cells don’t need to be cultured over a period of time and can be used right away.
Q: How do adult stem cells heal?A: The miraculous thing about adult cells are that they are “progenitor” cells. That means they remain dormant – doing nothing – unless they encounter some sort of tissue injury. Then they spring into action. So let’s say you have a degenerative type problem – the stem cells gravitate to the afflicted area and stimulate the healing process. Whether these cells simply change into the type of injured tissue needed for repair or they trigger signals that induces the repair by another mechanism is still unclear. But there is no doubt based on human evidence that these are reparative cells.
Q: What diseases and problems can stem cells treat?
A:Stem cell therapy is having tremendous success in the following medical cases:
• The repairing of chronic pain, worn knees and bone on bone contact.
• The manipulation of the adipose fat derived stem cells of a healthy adult to make heart like cells, for repairing the heart tissue.
• The introduction of stem cells into the spinal cord to bypass the brain/blood barrier to treat neurological diseases like ALS,
Alzheimer’s, Autism and more.
• Stem cell therapy can start the repair of diabetes and chronic kidney diseases.
• Stem cells introduced to the eyes can cure Retinitis Pigmentosa and Macular Degeneration.
A specialist will evaluate your condition and discuss whether you are a potential candidate for stem cell therapy. If, after you’ve been recommended for treatment and decide that you would like to explore this avenue of treatment, then you can be considered for treatment. Although it is a minimally invasive procedure, you will still need to be medically examined and cleared for the procedure.
Q: Is this procedure FDA-approved?A: No. However, surgical procedures fall under the category of physician’s practice of medicine, wherein the physician and patient are free to consider their chosen course of treatment. The FDA does have guidelines about treatment and manipulation of a patient’s own tissues. At RenewU Medical, we meet these guidelines by providing same day treatment with the patient’s own cells that undergo no manipulation and are deployed during the same procedure.
Q: Does RenewU Medical use any embryonic stem cells?A: No. Although earlier stem cell research was associated with the controversial use of embryonic stem cells, the new focus is on non-embryonic adult stem cells. These are found in a person’s own blood, bone marrow, and fat, making the cells easy to obtain. Also, they are generally very healthy.
At RenewU Medical, we only use adult mesenchymal stem cells capable of forming bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, ligaments, blood vessels, and certain organs. RenewU Medical uses adipose derived stem cells for deployment since adipose fat is an abundant and reliable source.
The best quality adipose cells are derived from the enzymatic digestion of lipo-suctioned fat. Autologous stem cells from your own fat are easy to harvest safely under local anesthesia and are abundant in quantities up to 2,500 times those found in bone marrow.
The success and favorable outcomes of stem cell therapy appear to be related directly to the quantity of stem cells that are deployed. Once these adipose derived stem cells are administered to the patient, they have the potential to influence healing and repair human tissue. They also have the potential of forming new cells of mesenchymal origin, such as cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, nerve, fat, muscle, blood vessels, and certain internal organs.
There is plenty of evidence – both experimental and anecdotal – that stem cell therapy is effective in healing and regeneration. This ability makes stem cells highly useful in the treatment of degenerative conditions.