Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions

Regenerative Medicine creates living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to 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. (Wikipedia) We use your body’s own power to help restore your health.

Traditionally, we have used various medications and hormones to limit disease and help the body repair itself. For example, hormone replacement therapy helps the immune system and thus helps us repair diseased or injured tissues. Genetic research is an evolving area where we are learning to utilize more ways of specifically dealing with gene defects causing degenerative disease. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy is another rapidly evolving and exciting area that has already shown considerable promise in treating many degenerative conditions. Cytokines and Growth Factors and/or PRP and/or Bone Marrow and Fat Derived Stem Cells are used alone and in various combinations to restore damage.

Your Regenerative Medicine Specialist reviews your clinical history and performs a physical exam. We order and review imaging studies to help assess the best treatment plan for you.. The doctor then discusses options and costs with you and makes recommendations. Together, you and the physician make the best decision based on clinical results and cost concerns.? PRP, BMAC, LAC, SVF and Cytokines/growth factors?

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is a type of regenerative medicine that uses blood samples drawn from a vein in your arm or leg. Only a small amount of blood is required. We process the sample in our lab. The resulting platelets are highly concentrated and are rich in cytokines and growth factors. These promote stem cell attraction and tissue healing and regeneration.

Various factors determine the outcome, including the extent of damage, disease and the location being treated. We prefer to treat no more than 2 areas at a time as the effectiveness can be decreased. Treating more than 1 area at a time is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. We have teamed up with scientists that have found a positive increase of stem cell release with the use of specific supplements such as cytokines. We recommend you don’t use any NSAIDs near or during the procedure. These may inhibit the inflammatory response we want for healing. We also recommend continuing your physical therapy.

There are various conditions that can affect the progress of stem cell therapy, some positively, others negatively. Patients undergoing stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma treatments are advised to minimize their intake of alcohol, as consumption tends to delay the body’s ability to release stem cells. On the other hand, some supplements can help stimulate cell output. Your Regenerative Medicine Specialist health advisor will walk you through other steps you can take to maximize the effectiveness of your therapy.

We are a team. Communication is a beneficial tool.

A stem cell is any cell that can replicate and differentiate into a specialized type of cell. This means the cell can not only multiply, but also turn into different types of tissues. There are different kinds of stem cells. You’ve probably heard the term “embryonic stem cell.” These are cells from the embryonic stage that have yet to differentiate – as such, they can change into any body part. These are then called “pluri-potent” cells. Because they are taken from embryos, there has been considerable controversy surrounding their use. Also, while they have been used in some areas of medicine – particularly, outside the United States – they have also been associated with occasional tumor  formations. There is work being conducted by several companies to isolate particular lines of embryonic stem cells for future use.

Another kind of stem cell is the “adult stem cell.” This is a stem cell that already resides in one’s body within different tissues. Recent work has successfully isolatedbone-marrow derived stem cells. These are also known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal (from bone marrow and fat) section of your body. They can develop into bone and cartilage, and probably other mesodermal elements, such as fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscle and nerve tissue. Bone marrow stem cells can be extracted and deployed.

As it turns out, fat is also loaded with mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, it has hundreds if not thousands of times more stem cells compared to bone marrow. We have tools that allow us to separate the stem cells from fat. Because most people have adequate fat supplies and the numbers of stem cells are so great, there is no need to culture the cells over a period of days. They can be used right away.

These adult stem cells are known as “progenitor” cells. This means they do nothing unless they encounter some level of tissue injury during treatment. It’s the tissue injury that turns them on. So, when a person has a degenerative problem, the stem cells find that area of need and stimulate the healing process. They either simply change into the type of injured tissue needed for repair or if they send out signals that induces the repair by some other mechanism. Suffice it to say that there are multiple animal models and a plethora of human evidence that indicate these are significant reparative cells.

This depends on the type of degenerative condition you have. A specialist evaluates you and we discuss whether you’re a potential candidate for stem cell therapy. After you’ve been recommended for treatment, had an opportunity to understand the potential risks and benefits, and decided on your own that you would like to explore this treatment, we will proceed.. It’s a minimally invasive procedure’ however,you will need to be medically cleared for the procedure.

Our Regenerative Medicine Specialists use PRP, Bone Marrow derived and adipose derived stem cells for deployment & clinical research. Early stem cell research has traditionally been associated with the controversial use of embryonic stem cells. The new focus is on non-embryonic adult mesenchymal stem cells, found in a person’s own blood, bone marrow, and fat. Most stem cell treatment centers world-wide currently use stem cells derived from bone marrow.

Clinical success and favorable outcomes indicate a direct relation to the quantity of stem cells deployed. Once these stem cells are administered back in to the patient, they have the potential to repair human tissue by forming new cells of mesenchymal origin, such as cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, nerve, fat, muscle, blood vessels, and certain internal organs. Stem cells’ ability to form cartilage and bone makes them potentially highly effective in the treatment of degenerative orthopedic conditions. Their ability to form new blood vessels and smooth muscle offers great promise towards  the treatment of Peyronie’s Disease and impotence. Stem cells are used extensively in Europe and Asia to treat these conditions.

We have scientific evidence that stem cell therapy is effective in healing and regeneration. Stem cells seek out damaged tissues in order to repair the body naturally. The literature and internet is full of successful testimonials. We hope to soon have even more definitive studies demonstrating efficacy of stem cell therapy. Such data may take five or ten years to accumulate. In an effort to provide relief for patients suffering from certain degenerative diseases that have been resistant to common modalities of treatment, we initiated pilot studies as experimental tests of treatment effectiveness with very high numbers of adipose derived stem cells obtained from fat. Adipose fat is an abundant and reliable source of stem cells.A recent technological breakthrough enables us to now use adipose (fat) derived stem cells. Autologous stem cells (also called autogenous orautogeneic,) from a person’s own fat are easy to harvest safely under local anesthesia and are abundant in quantities up to 2500 times those seen in bone marrow.

Some of the Regenerative Medicine Specialist cell harvesting and isolation techniques (SVF) are based on technology from (Asia?). This new technological breakthrough allows patients to safely receive their own autologous stem cells in extremely large quantities. Our treatments and research are patient-funded. We endeavored successfully to make it affordable. All of our sterile procedures are minimally invasive and done under local anesthesia. Patients who are looking for non-surgical alternatives to their degenerative disorders can participate in our trials by filling out our treatment application to determine if they are candidates. The Cell Surgical Network is proud to be state of the art in the new field of Regenerative Medicine.

Adult (NonEmbryonic) Mesenchymal Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to replace dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue. We use your elements from your body to heal your body. These special cells seek out areas of injury, disease and destruction where they are capable of regenerating healthy cells and enabling a person’s natural healing processes to be accelerated. As we gain a deeper understanding of their medical function and apply this knowledge, we realize their enormous therapeutic potential to help the body heal itself. Adult stem cells are used for a variety of medical treatments to repair and regenerate acute and chronically damaged tissues in humans and animals. The use of stem cells is not FDA approved for the treatment of any specific disease in the United States at this time and their use is therefore investigational. Many reputable international centers use stem cell therapy to treat various chronic degenerative conditions as diverse as severe neurologic diseases, renal failure, erectile dysfunction, degenerative orthopedic problems, and even cardiac and pulmonary diseases. And more. Adult stem cells are particularly effective at repairing cartilage in degenerated joints.

Not yet. However, the Regenerative Medicine Specialist 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 has guidelines about treatment and manipulation of a patient’s own tissues. At Regenerative Medicine Specialist we meet these guidelines by providing same-day treatment. The patient’s own cells undergo very minimal manipulation and are inserted during the same procedure.

No. Only adult mesenchymal stem cells are used. These cells are capable of forming bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, ligaments, blood vessels, and certain organs. Embryonic stem cells are associated with ethical considerations and limitations.

Many are told that they require surgery or other risky treatments for their ailments but the patient is looking for minimally invasive options. Some hear compelling testimonials about stem cells in literature and on related websites. Many have read about the results of stem cell treatments in animal models and in humans. Regenerative Medicine Specialist gives a choice to those informed patients who seek modern regenerative therapy but desire convenience, quality and affordability. Regenerative Medicine Specialist fills a need for those patients told that they must travel to other countries and pay as much as $20,000-$100,000 for stem cell treatments. (See stem cell tourism). We offer better, more comfortable options close to your home.

Stem cells are harvested and deployed during the same procedure. Our patients undergo a minimally-invasive Bone Marrow Aspiration or Liposuction type of harvesting procedure by a Board Certified Interventional Pain Management Specialist in our specialized treatment facility. The harvesting procedure generally lasts a few minutes and can be done under local anesthesia. Cells are then processed and are ready for deployment within 90 minutes or less. Only a small amount of bone marrow or fat is required.

Stem cells are harvested under sterile conditions using a special “closed system” technology. The cells never come into contact with the environment throughout the entire process from removal to deployment. Sterile techniques and antibiotics are used to prevent infection

No. Only a person’s own cells are used. These are harvested from each individual and deployed back into their own body. There is no risk of contamination or risk of introduction of mammalian (use a familiar term here other than mammalian)DNA into the treatments

These facilities obtain stem cells from bone marrow or blood in relatively small quantities and then culture(grow) the cells to create adequate quantities. Research indicates that success of treatment is directly related to the quantity of cells injected. Regenerative Medicine Specialist uses adipose derived stem cells (quick familiar explanation) that are abundant naturally at approximately 2,500 times levels found in bone marrow (the most common source of mesenchymal stem cells). Regenerative Medicine Specialist’s technology isolates adipose stem cells in vast numbers in a short time span so that prolonged culturing is unnecessary and cells can be deployed into a patient within 90 minutes of harvesting.

Regenerative Medicine Specialist is a leader in research and treatment of many diseases. All investigational data is being collected so that results will be published in peer review literature and ultimately used to promote the advancement of cellular based regenerative medicine. FDA regulations mandate that no advertising medical claims be made and that even website testimonials are prohibited.

No. Perhaps you have heard of cancer patients receiving “stem cell transplants.” These patients had ablative bone marrow therapy and need stem cells to re-populate their blood and marrow. This is different from the stem cells we deploy to treat noncancerous human diseases at Regenerative Medicine Specialist.

Adult mesenchymal stem cells are not known to cause cancer. Stories of cancer caused by stem cells,are probably related to the use of embryonic cells (Not Adult Mesenchymal Cells). These embryonic tumors known as teratomas are rare but possible occurrences when embryonic cells are used. (Chance to restore a reader’s hope and state your clinic’s policy/practice here, like: We are confident in our practice and safety.

Stem cell therapy is believed safe and to not affect dormant cancers. If a patient’s cancer was treated and responded successfully, there is no reason to withhold stem cell deployment. In most cases, stem cells should not be used in patients with known active cancer.

We know of no documented cases where serious harm has resulted. All of our patients will be entered into a database to follow and report any adverse reactions. This information is vital to the development of stem cell science. There have been a few reports of serious complications from overseas and these are always evaluated by epidemiologists.. The International Stem Cell Society registry has over 1,000 cases currently registered and only 2% of the treatments were associated with any complications, none of which were considered “serious adverse events.”

We are aware of stories showing marked improvement of a variety of conditions, but we make no claims about the intended treatment.Our aim is to make cell based medicine available to patients who are interested and to provide ongoing research data under approved Institutional Review Board (IRB) validated studies. We follow our stem cell treatment patients over their lifetimes. This enables us to accumulate significant data about the various degenerative diseases we treat. Instead of providing anecdotal or testimonial information, our goal is to categorize the various conditions and follow the patient’s progress through various objective (e.g. x-ray evidence or video displays) and subjective (e.g. patient and/or doctor surveys) criteria.

Once adequate amounts of data is accumulated, it might be appropriate to submit the information to the FDA at which point an actual claim may be substantiated and recognized by the Agency. Still, these are your own cells and not “medicines” for sale. They are only used in your own body. Most likely, no claim needs to be made; rather a statistical analysis of our findings will suffice to suggest whether treatments are truly and significantly effective. We hope to submit our patient’s data to an approved International Registry (See ICSS Stem Cell Registry) further fostering large collections of data to help identify both positive and negative trends.

Our adipose derived stem cell harvesting and isolation technique yields high numbers of vital stem cells. In reviewing data, we find treatment cell numbers correlate with treatment success. Our cells are actually in a type of “soup” called Stromal Vascular Fraction SVF which is stem cells bathed in a rich mixture of natural growth factors (Not the same as human growth factor hormone which is only one type of growth factor). Some types of orthopedic and urologic diseases appear to respond better to stem cells that are super-enriched with growth factors created by administering Platelet Rich Plasma with or without Cytokines to the patient. Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma is derived from a patient’s own blood drawn at the time of deployment.

Depending on the type of treatment required, stem cells are injected through veins, arteries, into spinal fluid, subcutaneously, or directly into joints or organs. All of these are considered minimally invasive methods of introducing the stem cells. Stem cells injected intravenously are known to “seek out and find” (see photo) areas of tissue damage. They migrate to that location, thus potentially providing regenerative healing. Intravenously injected stem cells are capable of crossing the “blood-brain barrier” to enter the central nervous system, They can be identified in the patient’s body many months after deployment. Note the yellow arrow showing the stem cells concentrated in the patient’s hand where he had a Dupytren’s contracture (a hand deformity that causes the tissue beneath the surface of the hand to thicken and contract).

Different conditions are treated in different ways. There are different degrees of success. If the goal is regeneration of joint cartilage, one may not see expected results until several months after treatment. Some patients may not experience significant improvement and others may see dramatic regeneration of damaged tissue or resolution of disease. Many of the disorders and problems that the physicians at Regenerative Medicine Specialist are treating represent innovative work and there is a lack of data. FDA regulations prevent Regenerative Medicine Specialist from making claims about expectations for success; however, if you are chosen for treatment, we explain to you that we believe stem cell therapy may be beneficial. Or in some cases that we are unsure and treatment would be considered investigational.

Stem cell therapy relies on the body’s own regenerative healing. The regenerative process may take time, particularly with orthopedic patients, who may not see results for several months. In some diseases, more immediate responses are possible.

No. Only certain medical conditions are currently treated at Regenerative Medicine Specialist. All patients must be medically stable enough to have the treatment in our facility. Some patients may be declined due to the severity of their problem. Other patients may not have conditions appropriate to treat or that may not be covered by our specialists or our protocols. A waiting list or outside referral might be applicable in such cases.

Yes. Patients with uncontrolled (is “active” or “current” better and less scary?) cancer are excluded. If you have an active infection anywhere in your body you must be treated first. Severely ill patients may require special consideration. Also, anyone with a bleeding disorder or who takes blood-thinning medication requires special evaluation.

The specialist seeing you at Regenerative Medicine Specialist makes a determination based on your history and exam, studies, and current research findings. Any complex cases may be reviewed by our advisory committee. Occasionally, we may seek opinions from thought leaders around the world.

No. Participation in any of our protocols is not mandatory. There are no incentives, financial or otherwise, to induce patients to enroll in our studies. However, Regenerative Medicine Specialist is dedicated to clinical research for the development of stem cell science. Regenerative Medicine Specialist takes an active role in cutting-edge clinical research in the new field of regenerative medicine. Research studies are explained and privacy is maintained. Formal future research studies are regulated by an Institutional Review Board which is an authorized agency that promotes validity and protection of study enrollees.

We are not currently treating autism, spinal cord injuries, and some advanced diseases (a few examples).

Patients who qualify based on information provided in the candidate application form are scheduled for a consultation with one of our panel physicians. A non-refundable fee of $300 is charged for this consultation,which includes our office evaluation (but may also include physician’s evaluation of X-Rays, records, or telephonic consultations). Regenerative Medicine Specialist applies this deposit towards the cost of the stem cell treatment procedure should the patient be selected. Insurance generally does not cover the cost of stem cell treatment in most cases since stem cell therapy is still considered experimental. The cost varies depending on the condition treated and which type of stem cell deployment is required.

Recent innovations in technology allows Regenerative Medicine Specialist to provide outpatient stem cell treatment at a fraction of the cost of that seen in many overseas clinics. The fee covers fat cell harvesting, cell preparation, and stem cell deployment — which may include the use of advanced interventional radiology and fluoroscopy techniques.

Stem cells can be cryo preserved in the form of liposuction fat for prolonged periods of time. Currently, this service is outsourced to an outside provider. Many patients inquire about banking cells while they are younger since stem cell numbers drop naturally with each decade of life. Some physicians advocate obtaining and saving cells for use later in life.

Most patients, especially those with orthopedic conditions, require only one deployment. Certain types of degenerative conditions, particularly auto-immune disease, may respond best to a series of stem cell deployments. The number and necessity of any additional treatments is decided on a case-by-case basis. Financial consideration is given in these instances.