Dr. Weiss chooses umbilical cord blood stem cells for his patients in Orange Park and Jacksonville, FL
Adult stem cells can be acquired from the patient’s fat or bone marrow, as well as the umbilical cord blood from a healthy newborn. Learn where stem cells come from and why Dr. Weiss chooses umbilical cord blood therapy for certain medical conditions.
As we age, like any cells, our stem cells begin to die off at an alarming rate:
- By the time you’re a teenager 90% are gone
- By age 30: 96% are gone
- By age 50: 98% are gone
- By age 80: 99.5% are gone; noting the ones that live through the aging process have much less regenerative capabilities
Cells from a middle-aged person vs. newborn umbilical cord blood
A stem cell harvested from a middle-aged person, placed in a petri dish and stimulated to divide will produce about 200 to 1000 cells by the end of a month. A stem cell harvested from a newborn umbilical cord will produce over 1 billion cells in the same scenario. Not only are umbilical cord stem cells more potent because of their ability to aid regeneration, they possess the ability to secrete a much broader array of bioactive material.
- Adult fatand bone marrow-derived cells have less quantity and quality – and it requires a surgical procedure to obtain.
- Umbilical cord blood has vast quantities of stem cells as well as other reparative cells – it’s easily obtained, has a greater regenerative capacity, and does not require surgery to obtain. This is why Dr. Weiss chooses umbilical cord blood.
“Viability counts – Stemell cells help heal and are key to a successful therapy or treatment. We only use the best available cells available for our patients – and that’s Stemell. The younger the cell the broader and more potent array of bioactive material is secreted which begins the healing process of regeneration.”
– Eric Weiss, MD
Despite the advantages, 97% of clinics do not use umbilical stem cells. Of all the stem cells procedures in the U.S. only about 3% use umbilical cord stem cells, despite the overwhelming advantages.
Stem Cells – How Do They Work?
Remember, there are 4 Key Benefits to why you should consider stem cell therapy:
- Control inflammation
- Modulate the immune system
- Stimulate generation
- Reduce scarring
Stem cells secrete a multitude of bioactive molecules or growth factors. At the site of injury, they released factors tell the immune system to calm down, while at the same time, they release factors that signal the body to start regenerating healthy tissue. This process leads to less scar formation and better function. One very common misconception is that the ability of a stem cell to regenerate injured tissue is not in its ability to turn into the needed cell – but rather in its ability to stimulate the surrounding cell to regenerate. The stem cells only survive 4-8 months in the body.
Umbilical cord stem cells are immunologically privileged– meaning these cells are not seen as foreign bodies so the body does not attack the stem cells and the stem cells do not attack the body. There is no rejection or graft vs. host.In a recent meta-analysis of multiple studies using umbilical cord stem cells, treating a variety of diseases, the only adverse issue found was a transient fever. There was noevidence of cancer, immune reaction, organ system complications, toxicity, infection, or death.
Where our Stem Cells come from?
As explained in Our Lab, Dr. Weiss uses Stemell® umbilical cord tissue and cord blood stem cells because he believes they are the industry gold standard and offer the safest, and more importantly, the most viable cells of any lab and because of their proprietary technology and viability of over 90%.
How Stem Cells are administered?
Stem cells are given in various ways:
- Most stem cells are given through an IV infusion started in the hand or arm just like a saline solution during surgery. The brain is protected from harmful proteins and other foreign threats by the blood brain barrier (BBB). If the stem cells need to gain access to the brain or spinal cord, a premedication of Mannitol is givento open the barrier and allow the stem cells access to the brain and spinal cord. Not all centers use this, but Dr. Weiss believes it is beneficial.
- Sometimes stem cells are delivered intra-nasally, which allows access to the brain. In some cases, usually only spinal cord injury patient is given stem cells via injection directly into the spinal fluid that surrounds the cord.
The dosing of the stem cells is usually dependent on patient weight at 1-to-2 million cells per kilogram (2.20 lbs.). The number of cells refers to total number of cells in the cord blood and not the actual number of the Mesenchymal Stem Cell, which is thought to be the most biologically active. The number and timing of doses are not well delineated either. Many times remarkable results are seen with a single dose that appears curative, and other times it can become a drug to the FDA because it stimulates the cells to divide as a result of a series of infusions.Check with Dr. Weiss on his thoughts for your particular case.
The United States and the Rest of the World
The FDA has placed some restrictions on the use of umbilical cord blood, the stem cells. These restrictions obviously do not apply to the rest of the world. The FDA requires that the cord blood not be manipulated to a great extent. If manipulated it becomes a drug, then regulate is required like a drug. If it remains Minimally Manipulated Tissue (MMT) it will treated like any other transplant (kidney, liver, etc.) and will not be a drug and used according to the doctor’s discretion.
Clinics in China, South America, Panama, and Russia, to name a few, do not have such restrictions. These clinics have separated the Mesenchymal Stem Cells from the cord blood and have grown them in a tissue culture. Once these cells reach a certain quantity, they are removed and used in regenerative therapy. Certainly, more MSCs can be given this way, but there are other healing elements in cord blood than just the MSCs. It’s unclear if one way is better than the other; however, researchers have demonstrated healing properties both ways. Research showed that the MSC’s taken from whole cord blood (not processed) were 10 times more potent than the ones expanded in culture. Dr. Weiss believes time will tell which way is best and dosing standards will be delineated. As more information is obtained, the FDA may relax the regulations and allow processing, or the outside clinics may conform to the United States.
Pricing of Stem Cells
Pricing is based on the cell count of the cord blood. Dosages can range from 5 million to 90+ million depending on the issue and type of treatment. Please consult with Dr. Weiss on exactly how many cells will be given, and a cost can be determined.
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Treatment using umbilical cord tissue is another option. The umbilical cord contains Wharton’s jelly, a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. These give growth to many of the support tissues in the body such as bone, cartilage, fat and muscle.
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