This month's Ask The Doctor column is being hosted by Dr. Burton Feinerman.

As always a big round of thank yous from our community members to our hosts / contributors.

About the Doctor

Burton Feinerman, M.D. trained at the Mayo Clinic,Rochester, Minnesota.

He is a member of the:
International Society of Cellular Therapy
American Hematology Society and Transplantation
Society of Apheresis
Society of Cranial Transplants and Brain Repair
Society of Cardiac Translational Medicine
American Academy of Anti-Aging
Society of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation
American Academy of Pediatrics.

Javier Paino, M.D. neurosurgeon; trained at Mt. Sinai Hospital,N.Y.; Ph.D., George Washington School of Medicine.

STEMCELLREGENMED, INC. was formed to offer advanced creative approaches to stem cell therapies. It was felt that we needed to have skilled physicians both in the U.S.A. as well as in Mexico and Peru where we work. We are proud of opening up a high technology stem cell laboratory.

In recent past months the medical group has treated infants and children that suffered from intrauterine stroke resulting in various degree of brain damage. Early post procedure results show promising improvements from their neurological damage symptoms.

A patient with advanced signs of Parkinsonism received neuron stem cells that secrete dopamine is showing improvements in his speech, improved swallowing, energy and gait.
Several patients with diabetes II have shown dramatic changes in the control of their diabetes following infusions of pancreatic stem cells that secrete insulin.
Exciting new challanges will occur in the next few months when patients with blindness due to macular degeneration, optic nerve atrophy, retinitis pigmentosa and optic neuritis will be treated with retina stem cells and optic neurons.
We also expect to treat a young child with spinal muscular atrophy with a combination of gene and stem cell therapy.
We shall be setting up a center in Tampa, Florida focusing on treating spinal cord injuries with a whole new approach neuron stem cells mixed with some breakthrough new agents.
We have also developed a new protocol for treating autistic patients which will also start in March.
Treatment of patients with COPD and pulmonary fibrosis is also being changed to a new protocol with autologous stem cells plus other agents that will be delivered more directly into the lungs.

( perhaps you can see our resumes and photos on )

10 Questions with Dr. Feinerman

1) Recently a neurosurgeon, Dr. Venkatramana from Bangalore, India managed to put mesenchymal stem cells taken from a donor, directly into the brain of a patient suffering from Neiman Pick disease.

My question is this - is this a lot better than IV's or is the bigger challenge the ability of stem cells to become the cells they need to become to cure a disease.

In answering this question about Niemann Pick Disease one should understand that this condition is essentially an inherited genetic disease involving abnormal lipid storage in which abnormal harmful quanities of fatty substances accumulate in the spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow and brain. There are four types in which Type B there is no brain damage.

Without considering a combination of gene and stem cell to correct the enzyme defect such a treatment described above is doomed to failure. If this was a pure neurological disease the use of immortaliozed neuron stem cells with brain derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophins 3/4, nerve growth factor, glial and ciliary factor, vascular endothelial factor would be certainly the choice instead of mesenchymal factor.

However, in answering the other portion of the questions instilling stem cells directly into the central nervous system either through the spinal canal or directly into the brain is superior to intravenous administration.
If i.v. method is used one must use agents to penetrate the blood brain barrier.

2) My pulmonologist says that once you have any type of fibrosis in the lung, you cannot get normal tissue to replace it. Would you please comment?

The use of anti-fibroblast factor in high concentrations plus retinoic acid should help to reduce chronic fibroisis in the lung along with pulmonary stem cells.

3) When you do bone marrow stem cell treatments (or peripheral blood) for COPD , what type of cells do/can you isolate and grow to help repair lungs.

Isolating pulmonary stem from autologous peripheral blood or bone marrow is possible but the amount extracted is limited and has to be greatly expanded.

A new technique described by Michael West, Ph.D. takes the autologous stem cells back to close to an embryonic state which are then pluripotent.

4) We have 2 children and did not bank the cord blood. Our second child at 21 months has been diagnosed as having had a mild stroke with developmental delays with ASD lumped on top (not convinced of that one yet). We had hoped to have 3 children and are looking at banking the cord blood for this next baby.

Can we use that cord blood for a sibling? If so, what protocol would need to be followed? Additionally, if we could pick where this new baby is born to facilitate this better, what country would be best for this to happen in?

Since your second child has had a mild stroke and has developmental delays the ideal treatment would be the administration of neuron stem cells,nerve growth factor,brain derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophins,vascular endothelial growth factor will restore damaged nervous tissue in the brain; repair damaged myelin; enhance axon function.

I would do this first in our center in Lima, Peru where we have treated infants and young children before with identical problems with success.

You can give the umbilical cord blood as a booster, if necessary, approximately three to six months later, possibly in the USA.

5) What types of conditions have you treated? I understand there is a new process that allows one's own stem cells to be rapidly multiplied in a lab and then re-inserted into a patient. Do you use this treatment?

Yes. The use of autologous stem cells will become increasingly popular in the future. Besides having umbilical cord blood banks you will see the cryopreservation of their bone marrow or blood by adults to treat serious conditions or save for the future problems or to use as a form of anti-aging therapy.

6) Please explain what is involved in an autologous treatment.

Blood or bone marrow i s extracted from the patient. Specific types of stem cells may be extracted and expanded in large numbers and then administered to the patient

7) Do some diseases/conditions respond quicker to stem cell treatment?

The conditions that will respond more quickly or dramatically would be heart disease, diabetes type II, autoimmune diseases such rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Crohn's, Lupus; treating brain and spinal cord injuries shortly after they occur; treating conditions such Parkinsonism, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis at the early onset of the disease rather than waiting until late complications occur.

8) When should a person see some results or is it dependent on the type of stem cells they got and their condition and how long do the stem cells keep working after treatment?

This would depend on the disease process; the age of the patient; the length of time that the patient has had the condition.

9) How many cases of treatment by you or your group has yielded progress (improvement) of any kind?

Treatments keep improving and evolving with the progress of new research. Better methods of culturing stem cells and preserving and replicating them have been important.

The improvements that have been noteworthy have been neurological particularly Parkinsonism and spinal cord injury; diabetes II, multiple sclerosis and brain damage in infants and young children.

We are about to embark on an exciting treatment for a child for spinal muscular atrophy which will combine gene and stem cell therapy.

We also are going to start treating patients with macular degeneration, optic nerve atrophy and optic neuritis using optic nerve neurons and retina stem cells an exciting endeavor to help these blind people.

10) I have read about a new procedure in place to grow stem cells at a rapid rate in the lab to be transfused into a patient. I have also been reading quite a bit about G-CSF and its abilities to enhance stem cell treatment. What is the latest news in these areas?

G-CSF(granulocyte colony stimulating factor) injection is helpful in stimulating large numbers of stem cells to move into the peripheral circulation from the bone marrow is standard. In the laboratory it is common place to expand existing stem cells taken from any source such as bone marrow, peripheral blood or umbilical cord blood.

Burton Feinerman, M.D.

STEMCELLREGENMED, INC. was formed to offer advanced creative approaches to stem cell therapies. It was felt that we needed to have skilled physicians both in the U.S.A. as well as in Mexico and Peru where we work. We are proud of opening up a high technology stem cell laboratory.