Can Stem Cell Therapy help patients with Autoimmune Diseases?
Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by Autoimmune Diseases. StemGenex Medical Group provides stem cell therapy for Autoimmune Diseases to help those with unmet clinical needs achieve optimum health and better quality of life.
Stem cell therapy for Autoimmune Diseases is being studied for efficacy in improving the complications in patients through the use of their own stem cells. These autoimmune diseases treatments may help patients who don’t respond to typical drug treatment, want to reduce their reliance on medication, or are looking to try stem cell therapy before starting drug treatment.
To learn more about becoming a patient and receiving treatment for autoimmune diseases through the use of stem cells at StemGenex Medical Group, please contact one of our patient advocates at (800) 609-7795. Below are some frequently asked questions about stem cell therapy for Autoimmune Diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions for Autoimmune Stem Cell Therapy
- What are Autoimmune Diseases?
The body’s immune system is a complex network of special cells and organs that defends the body from germs and other foreign invaders. In order for the immune system to function properly, it needs the ability to tell the difference between what's you and what's foreign. When the immune system cannot, it attacks normal cells by mistake. The result of these misguided attacks is what is known as autoimmune disease.
- What are the common types of Autoimmune Diseases?
Millions of people suffer from over eighty different types of known autoimmune diseases. Common autoimmune diseases include:
- Lupus - A disease when the body's immune system, which normally functions to protect against foreign invaders, becomes hyperactive, forming antibodies that attack normal tissues and organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, and blood.
- Multiple Sclerosis - A disease in which the immune system attacks the protective coating around the nerves. The damage affects the brain and spinal cord.
- Type I Diabetes - A disease in which your immune system attacks the cells that make insulin, a hormone needed to control blood sugar levels. As a result, your body cannot make insulin. Without insulin, too much sugar stays in your blood. Too high blood sugar can hurt the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. One of the most serious problems caused by diabetes is heart disease.
- Crohn’s Disease - Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn's (krohnz) disease and ulcerative colitis are the most common forms of IBD.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - A disease in which the immune system attacks the lining of the joints throughout the body.
- Alopecia areata - The immune system attacks hair follicles. It usually does not threaten health, but it can greatly affect the way a person looks.
- Autoimmune hepatitis - The immune system attacks and destroys the liver cells. This can lead to scarring and hardening of the liver, and possibly liver failure.
- Celiac disease - A disease in which people can't tolerate gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, and barley, and also some medicines. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products that have gluten, the immune system responds by damaging the lining of the small intestines.
- Graves' disease (overactive thyroid) - A disease that causes the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone.
- Hashimoto's disease (underactive thyroid) - A disease that causes the thyroid to not make enough thyroid hormone.
- How can stem cells be used to treat patients with Autoimmune Diseases?
Stem cells that come from your adipose (fat) tissue have distinct functional properties including immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory functional properties which have the capability of repairing and regenerating damaged tissue associated with disease and injury.
- Does StemGenex sponsor stem cell clinical studies through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?
Upholding the highest levels of ethical conduct, safety and efficacy is our primary focus. Five clinical stem cell studies for Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are registered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at www.clinicaltrials.gov/stemgenex. Each clinical study is reviewed and approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure proper oversight and protocols are being followed.
- What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and have the ability to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate tissues in the body. When a disease or injury strikes, stem cells respond to specific signals and set about to facilitate the healing process by differentiating into specialized cells required for the body’s repair.
- What are the different types of stem cells?
There are four known types of stem cells which include:
- Adult Stem Cells
- Embryonic Stem Cells
- Fetal Stem Cells
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.
- What type of stem cells does StemGenex Medical Group use for stem cell treatment?
StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult adipose-derived stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.
- When do we use the body's stem cells?
We tap into our body’s stem cell reserve daily to repair and replace damaged or diseased tissue. When the body’s reserve is limited and as it becomes depleted, the regenerative power of our body decreases and we succumb to disease and injury.
- What are the sources of stem cells from one's own body?
Three sources of stem cells from a patient’s body are used clinically which include adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow and peripheral blood.
- What is an adipose stem cell therapy procedure?
Performed by Board Certified Physicians, dormant stem cells are extracted from the patient’s adipose tissue (fat) through a minimally invasive mini-liposuction procedure with little to no downtime.
During the liposuction procedure, a small area (typically the abdomen) is numbed with an anesthetic and patients receive mild to moderate sedation. Next, the extracted dormant stem cells are isolated from the fat and activated, and then comfortably infused back into the patient intravenously (IV) and via other directly targeted methods of administration. The out-patient procedure takes approximately four to five hours.
- How are the stem cells administered back into Autoimmune Disease patients through StemGenex?
StemGenex Medical Group provides multiple administration methods for patients with Autoimmune Diseases to best target the disease related conditions and symptoms which include:
- Intravenously (IV) – directed into the vein
- Intra Nasal – administration to access a highly vascular pathway of the nose to encourage stem cells to travel past the blood brain barrier
- Directly targeted methods of administration – injected directly into the site that needs repair, i.e., muscles and tendons
- How long will it take to see results?
Since each condition and patient are unique, there is no guarantee of what results will be achieved or how quickly they may be observed. According to patient feedback, some patients report results in one to three months, however, it may take as long as six to nine months. Individuals interested in stem cell therapy are urged to consult with their physician before choosing investigational autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapy as a treatment option.
- Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy at StemGenex Medical Group?
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate. Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.
- How long does it take to schedule an appointment?
StemGenex Medical Group team members are here to help assist and guide you through the patient process.
- In order to determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate.
- Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.
- Once approved, your Patient Advocate will assist you with scheduling your appointment for stem cell treatment.
- The process of scheduling an appointment typically takes one to three weeks from the time of the initial contact to the date of your first appointment.
- Do I have to live in California to receive stem cell therapy through StemGenex Medical Group?
Patients travel to StemGenex Medical Group located in Del Mar, California located in San Diego County for stem cell treatment from all over the United States, Canada and around the globe. Treatment will consist of one visit lasting a total of three days. The therapy is minimally invasive and there is little to no down time. Majority of patients fly home the day after treatment.
- Are there any known side-effects to the procedure?
The side effects of the mini-liposuction procedure are minimal and may include but are not limited to: minor swelling, bruising and redness at the procedure site, minor fever, headache, or nausea. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours and are experienced mostly by people with sensitivity to mild anesthesia. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.
The side effects of adipose-derived stem cell therapy are minimal and may include but are not limited to: infection, minor bleeding at the treatment sites and localized pain. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.
- Are there any moral or religious issues with regards to adipose stem cell transplant?
StemGenex Medical Group provides adult stem cell treatment with mesenchymal stem cells which come from the person receiving treatment. Embryonic stem cells are typically associated with ethical and political controversies.
- Is adult adipose stem cell therapy FDA approved?
The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing – Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products was held in September 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Currently, stem cell treatment is not FDA approved.
In March 2016, bipartisan legislation, the REGROW Act was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.
- Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?
Stem cell treatment is not covered by health insurance at this time. The cost for standard preoperative labs are included. Additional specific labs may be requested at the patient’s expense.
- What are common symptoms of people suffering from Autoimmune Diseases?
With over 80 different types of Autoimmune Diseases and hundreds of symptoms, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Weakness, trouble with coordination, balance, speaking, and walking
- Cold hands or feet
- Blurred vision
- Itchy skin
- Painful, stiff, swollen, and deformed joints
- Hair Loss
- Trouble swallowing