What can Stem Cells do for me?
If you are struggling with chronic arthritis or a persistent tendon or ligament injury, you may be facing the prospect of surgery, perhaps even a joint replacement operation. Stem cell therapies offer the opportunity to heal and regenerate the joint structure an actually regrow damaged cartilage without having to undergo surgery. Participation in our study offers you the opportunity to overcome your pain and disability without surgery.
Is Stem Cell Therapy of Proven Benefit?
Stem cell treatments have been widely used in the field of oncology for a number of years, and are of proven benefit in many cancer treatment programs. The use of stem cells in other areas of medicine is much newer and not yet widely accepted. For orthopedic and rheumatology applications, there are many published articles demonstrating successful treatments for musculoskeletal conditions, but there have yet to be sufficiently large scale studies performed that have convinced the medical community of the benefit of cellular therapy for arthritis.
Part of the reason for this is that the best techniques to achieve success are still being evaluated.
This is why at Integrative Rheumatology of Westchester, we participate in a research protocol that is IRB approved and registered with the CDC ( Center for Disease Control) and the FDA. Our methods are strictly adhered to and validated, as developed by the Ageless Institute of Flroida.
Are Stem Cell Treatments Legal?
Yes and no. It depends upon how the cell therapies are being provided and for which medical conditions. The field of cell therapies is emerging and growing at a rapid pace and the FDA and government authorities are constantly evaluating the protocols and applications. New regulations are being issued and modified on a regular basis. Right now, in order to provide Mesenchymal Stem Cell treatments in New York State, one must be involved in a registered research study, so that the methods and procedures have been reviewed and approved by the authorities. Stem cells can only be provided for certain conditions and the handling and procurement of the cells is strictly regulated.
Are Stem Cell Therapies Safe?
Yes. There have been many published studies demonstrating the safety of properly performed MSC therapy. Since the Stem cells are autologous, meaning that they come from the patient’s own body, there is no concern for tissue rejection. The treatment is very low risk and even safer than many prescription drugs! Since the safety of allogeneic stem cells ( those originating from another donor) is not certain—we do not offer this option.
Can the Stem Cells Regenerate any Tissue?
No. there are many different types of stem cells in the body. Different cell types have different capabilities. We are using Mesenchymal Stem Cells, a type of adult stem cell that can only differentiate into certain tissue types, such as bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, and tendons.
What Makes your Stem cell Program different?
There are a number of clinics that are advertising stem cell therapies of various types, and it is important to make sure that the center is truly harvesting and isolating autologous, mesenchymal stem cells. Simple transfer of fat or blood elements does not constitute stem cell therapy. The clinic should also be enrolled in an IRB approved research protocol, so that the methods have been carefully reviewed and the facility vetted.
At Integrative Rheumatology of Westchester, we are a registered sub-investigator in an IRB and FDA approved multicenter research study. Our protocols are uniformly applied and the procedures identical to those implemented at the approximately 50 participating centers throughout the USA.