Stem Cell Treatment in Asheville, NC
Stem cell therapy is one of the most revolutionary advances in modern medical science. Potential applications may treat damaged tissues, bones and even organs. From back pain to liver regeneration, from minor aesthetic treatments to potentially life-saving procedures – scientists across the globe agree the possibilities appear limitless.
Stem cell therapy may be able to reduce or disrupt your pain, regenerate your tissue, and revive the range of movement you feared was lost for good. Unlike surgery, which removes tissue and bone from your body, stem cell therapy harvests live cells, then injects them directly into damaged tissues stimulating your own cells to regenerate themselves.
To find out whether stem cell therapy is for you, speak to a stem cell specialist in Asheville today at (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
How Do Stem Cells Work?
The stem cells in your body are brimming with regenerative potential – they just need to be stimulated. The injured cells in your skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective joints send out signals. When released into damaged areas mesenchymal stem cells respond to those signals, migrate to the injured tissue and release proteins that nourish and stimulate your own cells to begin regenerating.
Once your practitioner injects them, the MSCs cells dock next to your cells and release growth factors, cytokines, and chemokines which then may:
- activate T-cells to secrete proteins
- open up your blood vessels and form new ones
- move cells out of your blood vessels and into the tissues surrounding them
- stimulate your cells to regenerate your tissue
- inhibit your inflammation
- regulate your immune system
Depending on your age, body type, genetics, general health, and injury severity, live nucleated cells may continue producing human growth factors for weeks, sometimes even months. As with all medical procedures, your success rate will also vary depending on all these factors.
What Conditions Can Stem Cells Treat?
Stem cells may have the potential to regenerate the cells damaged by a wide array of injuries, diseases, and aging symptoms. Some of the most common are:
- orthopedic healing
- back pain
- wound healing
- cancer treatment
- bone marrow growth
- organ growth
- musculoskeletal injury
- vaginal rejuvenation
- breast lifts
- hair restoration
- skin rejuvenation
As medical science and the understanding of stem cells advance, the number of treatments will also increase. As with any medical procedure, results of adult stem cell therapy vary from patient to patient, depending on age, genetics, environmental conditions, and other health factors.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
Although there are two sources of regenerative mesenchymal stem cells, worldwide clinical trials have honed in on the most effective and least risky source: umbilical cord cells.
Adult Bone Marrow or Fat
These stem cells are drawn from a patient's bone marrow or fat intravenously, then injected into damaged tissue, where they take on the properties of the surrounding cells and stimulate regeneration. Adult bone marrow harvested during this invasive procedure may contain up to 100,000 defective stem cells, so this option is no longer widespread.
Mesenchymal cells derived from umbilical cords and cord blood are today's leading source of viable stem cells.1 These cells are harvested from an umbilical cord shortly after a mother gives birth, tested for purity, then stored in a donor bank until they are needed.
Each umbilical cord can provide 500,000 viable mesenchymal stem cells—a huge improvement over older stem cell collection methods. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is considered most suitable because it is free from ethical complications, and easy to isolate via non-invasive methods. UCB produces large yields of MSCs and possess immunosuppressive activities.
Other advantages include:
- a non-invasive collection procedure
- lower risk of infection
- low risk of teratoma (a tumor made up of several types of tissue)
- multipotent (can develop into more than one cell type)
- low chance of provoking an unwanted immune system response
If a pregnant women decides she does not want to keep and store her unborn child's umbilical cord, her OB/GYN asks whether she would like to donate it. After signing an informed consent form, taking a blood test, and undergoing a thorough medical and social history review, a new mother becomes a donor.
After she delivers her baby, the umbilical cord blood is collected in a sterile cord blood collection pouch and sent to the lab, where it is processed within 48 hours using proprietary methods. After all lab reports have passed regulatory requirements the umbilical cord stem cells can be distributed.
What Are The Potential Side Effects of Stem Cell Therapy?
Adult stem cell therapy
Complications from transplants using your own stem cells include: bleeding and anemia, infections, inflammation of lung tissue, liver damage.
Donor stem cells may cause graft-versus-host disease – the rejection of a donor's transplant causing side effects that range from hair loss to liver damage. This disease is treated with a combination of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral drugs, as well as steroids that weaken the immune system.
Umbilical cord stem cell therapy
Mesenchymal stem cells from newborns' umbilical cords are untainted, so few side effects have been observed. These cells are always lab tested for purity before being distributed. As with any other injection procedure, however, there is a very small risk of bacterial infection NOT associated with the cells.
Are umbilical cord stem cells FDA approved?
The FDA recently confirmed there is only one registered and approved stem cell product on the market: umbilical cord blood-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells (blood forming stem cells) used for certain indications. While there is enormous promise in stem cell therapies, and thousands of ongoing experiments trying to establish efficacy, stem cell treatments do not yet meet the FDA's scientific approval standard.
Practitioners tapping into this enormous promise of stem cells for any therapeutic use must exercise their professional judgment and expertise. We urge anyone embarking on the use of stem cell therapies to consult the national health data bases to evaluate current clinical trial information, and the FDA's website on human tissue, to get its current therapy evaluations.
In 2018 the FDA's commissioner and research director reported that the agency will be incorporating some “new concepts for how small investigators and firms can seek and meet the approval standard for products through efficient expedited pathways.” You can keep up with latest developments on the FDA's website.
Contact Asheville Stem Cell Specialist Today!
Stem cell therapy represents the most exciting, cutting-edge medical treatment available. To learn how the diverse uses of stem cell treatments may help you regenerate damaged cells, tissues, and even organs speak with one of our stem cell specialists in Asheville today at (423) 482-8711 or contact Dr. Dalal Akoury online.
1. Nagamura-Inoue, Tokiko. “Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Their Advantages and Potential Clinical Utility.” World Journal of Stem Cells, vol. 6, no. 2, 2014, p. 195., doi:10.4252/wjsc.v6.i2.195.
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