Stemcelldoc's Weblog

May 26, 2009

Stem Cell Therapy for Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is serious life threatening condition characterized by an increase in blood pressure in the pulmonary artery or vein.  It is can result in shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting.  In severe cases,  patients have severely decreased exercise tolerance and heart failure.

Treatment options to date have included a large number of medication’s including calcium channel blockers, prostaglandins, endothelin receptor anatagonists and phosphodiesterase inhibitors.  Median survival rate in patients untreated is 2-3 years from time of diagnosis.  Unfortunately for those patients who have failed conventional therapy, there has been no  treatment options until recently.

Dr. Grekos reported significant clinical success utilizing adult stem cell therapy in treating pulmonary hypertension.  Dr. Grekos notes:  This is the first time medical science has successfully reversed the disease process in pulmonary hypertension, a previously untreatable condition with a very grim prognosis,”

Unfortunately such therapy may not be available if the FDA continues to exert its jurisdiction.  The FDA contends that a patient’s own stem cells are a biologic drug over which they have jurisdiction.  A physician based organization has been formed which established both clinical and laboratory guidelines for the safe use of adult stem cell therapy:


May 25, 2009

The Magic of Platelets

Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP) is commonly used to treat soft tissue injuries which include tendenopathy, tendonosis, acute and chronic muscle strain and ligamentous sprains.  PRP can also be utilized to treat intra-articular injuries such as articular cartilage defects, chronic synovitis and joint inflammation.

Hines Ward underwent PRP therapy prior the Superbowl.

PRP treated Superstar !

PRP treated Superstar !

There are five principle growth factors present in PRP:

  • TGF-β  Transforming Growth Factor
  • bFGF    Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • PDGF   Platelet Derived Growth Factor
  • EGF      Epidermal Growth Factor
  • VEGF   Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

Each factor will be examined in a separate blog.

The Centeno-Schultz Clinic has extensive experience utilizing PRP was well as other platelet derived therapies which include platelet lysate with a physiologic dose of steroid in the use of disc and leg pain.  Platelet growth factors are used to expand autologous stem cells at Regenexx.


May 21, 2009

Look Ma ….. No Scapel

Lumbar discs remain a major source of pain and disability.  When a disc protrudes outwardly it commonly affects one or more nerve roots with resultant leg pain.  Therapies for lumbar disc protrusions include physical therapy, traction,  anti-inflammatory agents and steroids. 

Ouchhhhh   Bulging disc compressing nerve root !

Ouchhhhh Bulging disc compressing nerve root !

If symptoms don’t improve many patients are referred to surgery.  Common surgeries include lumbar discectomies where the protruding disc is surgically trimmed.

A new therapy utilizing a patient’s own stem cells has demonstrated very exciting and promising results.  Below are the MRI’s of a patient who had debilitating lower back and leg pain despite conservative therapies.  Patient underwent the Regenexx procedure with dramatic results.


A Stransky L5-S1 Disc_Page_2

A Stransky L5-S1 Disc_Page_1

May 19, 2009

Landmark Publication

Today the American Stem Cell Therapy Association (ASCTA) announced publication of the world’s first clinical guidelines for stem cell therapy.  The guidelines will allow for safe, adult stem cell therapy utilizing a patient’s own stem cells.  The is a significant advancement beyond other guidelines.

ASCTA is a national physician group comprise of various medical and surgical specialities dedicated to bringing safe stem cell therapy to patients by establishing laboratory and clinical guidelines.

A national, patient-driven movement has been formed in response; SafeStemCellsNow.


May 13, 2009

FDA: Cheerios Are A Drug

The FDA announced yesterday that Cheerios will now be treated like a drug with the FDA monitoring the claim that the breakfast cereal can reduce one’s cholesterol.  The FDA indicated that they found serious violations of the Federal food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.  Remember, this is the same federal  agency that contends that your own stem cells are a biologic drug over which they have jurisdiction.

A patient summarized it well:

Why stop there? It can be clinically proven that food is the only cure for death by starvation, therefore grocery stores will have to become drug stores, and instead of a shopping list we’ll need to carry weekly prescriptions for bread and milk.  For that matter, we would die of thirst before hunger, so at what point does water come under the jurisdiction of the FDA? How about licensing fees for home gardens?


May 9, 2009

Adult vs Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy

Due to a number of factors including the political climate from 200-2008, adult stem cell research has made great strides in comparison to  embryonic stem cell research.    For example, the total number of research articles listed in the National Library of Medicine for adult stem cell types  exceeds 3,000 whereas Embryonic are only approximately 1,000.

 If we compare the National Library of Medicine searches for the following items:

  • Cartilage Repair: 230 articles on embryonic vs. 1,113 for just one adult stem cell line(mesenchymal stem cells)
  • Myocardial Infarction:  186 for embryonic stem cells vs.  341 for adult mesenchymal stem cells, 69 for Endothelial Progenitor Cells
  • Wound Healing: 114 for embryonic stem cells vs.  330 for mesenchymal stem cells, 565 for adult epithelial stem cells

To delve further, the first 20 references for myocardial infarction for adult stem cells are almost all devoted to actual animal models of treatment and advanced concepts such as dosing.   Almost none of the 20 references in the same search for embryonic stem cells reveal any animal testing; the focus being review articles about what might be theoretically possible. 

 The conclusion, adult stem cells are much farther along in their development with regard to real world treatments.

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