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Thread: Installment 35 - Ask the Doctor with the International Stem Cell Institute

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Hampshire

    Default Installment 35 - Ask the Doctor with the International Stem Cell Institute

    Q &A with the International Stem Cell Institute

    Q: Many of us are dealing with young children. I am looking for a clinic that will treat my child with her own stem cells. Clinics close to home such as Mexico seem to steer clear of bone marrow extractions and adipose when it comes to kids. Marrow, especially, is so simple, what's the big deal? Is it because some of these clinics base their customer relations within the United States and worry about liability? What about your clinic?

    A: This is an excellent question and we have great empathy for parents seeking stem cell treatment for their children. In determining the best candidates for adipose-derived autologous stem cell treatment an important factor to consider is whether the patient has enough fatty tissue to harvest in order to develop a stem cell treatment of therapeutic value. For many adults this is not an issue but it may be an issue for many children. In general, we are not concerned about liability in treating patients. There are always risks to consider when undergoing any type of medical treatment; however, a stem cell treatment using a person?s own stem cells eliminates the concern for rejection. Also, this procedure requires the use of conscious sedation also known as "twilight sedation" and is administered by an anesthesiologist. Although considered very safe anesthesia is not completely risk free. Dr. Carlos Vergara and the International Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) have decided to only treat adults for the reasons mentioned above. We would very much welcome an opportunity to provide a life changing stem cell treatment for children. As we grow and our adult patients continue to have positive outcomes we will then consider opening the treatment to children.

    Q: I was thinking about all these companies wanting to get "off-the-shelf" cells approved. I think I read somewhere that HIV could hide in bone marrow for 10 years. This is not comforting. I was wondering why doctors don't use Mozobil to release stem cells from the bone marrow to treat patients with various diseases. Are there side effects of doing this?

    A: We conducted an intensive study and review of the various types of stem cell treatments and have chosen to use adipose stem cells. Bone marrow is not our specialty so we will not be able to respond to this question.

    Q: Have you treated children with autism with stem cells from adipose tissue?

    A: This September we treated our first autistic patient, a 20-year-old young man. We spoke with his mother this week and the family believes he is responding quicker when asked questions and they have begun to observe positive differences in his behavior. We are very encouraged by these initial signs and will continue to monitor his progress. Dr. Vergara is utilizing AdiStem?s patented technology. AdiStem has reported positive results of other physicians treating autistic patients.

    Q: What kind of results have your patients been experiencing and how long after treatment have they started to see improvements?

    A: Our entire medical team has been surprised by some of our initial results. There?s a long list of positive responses including pain elimination from old injuries, degenerative disc and arthritis. Commonly, patients have improvement in vision, hearing, energy, and focus. An MS patient reports more bladder control, balance improvement, energy and ability to function more independently. A stroke patient reports a 50% improvement in the quality of life and ability to walk without a cane. One of our best responses so far has been one of our greatest surprises. A 50-year-old Alzheimer?s patient whose condition was quite advanced improved significantly within a few days of returning home and he continues to improve. We released an article about Steve Discher?s response. Please go to the following link to read about Steve?s recovery.

    The response time varies from patient to patient. A few patients have observed a positive response within the first few days and some in the first few weeks.

    Q: Do you believe most improvements will be noticed in the first three months after treatment?

    A: It may require 3 to 6 months before achieving the most significant results. Patients may continue to improve beyond that time frame.

    Q: What evidence is there that obtaining stem cells from adipose tissue is more effective than obtaining cells from bone marrow? What are the risks of using adipose tissue? What risks should a potential patient be warned about?

    A: AdiStem?s research has determined that adult stem cells are present in all tissues in the human body. The major sources of adult stem cells that can be obtained from an adult are:
    • Bone marrow
    • Peripheral blood
    • Adipose tissue (Fat)

    The best source to harvest adult stem cells from one?s own body is the adipose tissue. Below is a comparison of the three sources:
    • Bone marrow - About 50,000 adult stem cells can be harvested at any one time. These mostly become blood cells.
    • Peripheral blood - About 10,000 adult stem cells can be harvested at any one time. 50% of which will become blood cells and 50% will become tissue cells.
    • Adipose tissue (Fat) - About 10 to 50 million adult stem cells can be harvested at any one time, 5% of which will become blood cells and 95% will become tissue cells. Also, adipose tissue has a larger variety of cells.

    The sheer number of adult stem cells that can be harvested at any one time from fat makes this an excellent source of adult stem cells. Bone marrow stem cells require multiple days to expand the number of stem cells to reach a therapeutic benefit. Harvesting adipose tissue is easier, painless and poses minimal risk to the patient.

    The primary risk is that it is possible the patient will have no benefit or positive response. A patient may have swelling at injection sites and with any surgery there is a risk of infection. The mini-liposuction procedure may leave some scarring; however, Dr. Vergara is a surgeon with 10 years of experience in advanced liposuction procedures. The mini-liposuction procedure is crucial step in maximizing the volume of viable adipose stem cells that can be extracted from fat.

    Q: Have there been any published studies using the AdiStem procedure on COPD patients? What effect does age have on using adipose tissues for treating COPD?

    A: There haven?t been any published studies using the AdiStem procedure for COPD patients. See the AdiStem article at the following link for detailed information:

    An older patient may not be as responsive to adipose stem cell treatment as a younger patient especially if the patient has multiple health issues.

    Q: After you have undergone training in Australia from AdiStem, does one still require sufficient experience with the procedure to be considered an expert?

    A: Dr. Vergara has received training from some of the world?s leading stem cell experts in Argentina, Malaysia, China and S. Korea. The doctor?s stem cell procedure training includes placenta tissue transplants, hematopoietic (blood) transplantation, bone marrow transplantation and adipose-derived (fat) stem cell extraction, processing and infusion. Dr. Vergara has attended advanced training provided by AdiStem and will travel anywhere in the world to remain on the leading-edge of this new field of medicine.

    Q: Why did you select the AdiStem procedure for your clinic?

    A: Of all the stem cell treatment options researched, Dr. Vergara is most confident in AdiStem?s technology and believes it offers patients an option that has the ability to positively change the state of one?s health.

    Q: With regards to IPF; it is now believed that epithelial injury triggers the reorganization of the pulmonary tissues. The damage may lead to activation of the alveolar epithelial cells, which provokes the migration, proliferation, and activation of mesenchymal cells with the formation of fibroblastic, leading to the irreversible destruction of the lung tissue. How will (theoretically) an adipose transplant assist this situation and perhaps stop the scarring and even better repair damaged tissue?

    A: We are still researching the answer to this question and hope to have a response soon.

    Q: How long does the lipo take? Does a person need to wear a surgical girdle after the procedure? Do you just use a local anesthetic? Also, how are the stem cells infused back into the patient and how long is the infusion?

    A:The time required to collect fat through the mini-liposuction procedure is approximately 45 minutes including preparation time. A surgical girdle is not required post-surgery.

    Q: What Type of Anesthesia do you use during the procedure?

    A: Local Anesthesia / Monitored Anesthesia / Conscious Sedation-This type of anesthesia involves the injection of the local anesthetic agent directly into the area where the fat will be removed. This local block provides the needed pain relief to perform the surgery. Along with this type of anesthesia, the patient will be given medication through an IV that will enable the patient to relax, feel sedate and calm during the surgery. Patients under this kind of sedation are conscious enough to communicate with the doctor and able to breathe completely on their own. An anesthesiologist remains with the patient at all times during surgery and continues to monitor the patient in recovery.

    Despite this being a low-risk procedure it is performed in a sterile operating room of the hospital involving an experienced five member surgical team.

    The adipose stem cell IV infusion is administered over a 1-2 hour period of time. Localized stem cell injections are also administered to address specific conditions or injuries.

    Q: Are you conducting any studies or clinical trials? Are you a member of ICMS?

    A: Currently we are not involved in any studies or clinical trials. The International Stem Cell Institute and Dr. Carlos Vergara have elected to participate in the ICMS certification process. We expect our process and hospital to be certified by ICMS within 6 months. We are members of ICMS.

    About the International Stem Cell Institute

    ISCI ( is an innovator in providing a pathway to Adipose-derived Adult Stem Cell Therapy and regenerative medicine to restore vibrant health and quality of life for people with degenerative diseases around the world. The company has a global reach and is dedicated to the highest medical and ethical standards.

    Rita Alexander

    Ms Rita Alexander is President & CEO of the International Stem Cell Institute. In 2007 Ms. Alexander, in response to her personal experience with stem cell treatment, founded an organization which became the International Stem Cell Institute (ISCI). She struggled with severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an incredibly debilitating autoimmune condition that totally consumed her life with extreme fatigue, intense pain, deformation of her hands and feet, and the inability to care for herself. Traditional medicine had no answers for her condition and after a 25-year battle she was losing hope.

    In desperation and unwilling to accept this reality , she traveled to Mexico where she received a series of stem cell treatments that altered the course of the disease and her life. She does not claim this treatment to have been a total cure but in February of 2010 she tested negative for RA for the first time since being diagnosed with the condition and is optimistic that she will ultimately be cured as more knowledge is gained through stem cell research and new stem cell applications.

    The full understanding of what it means to lose and regain one?s health successfully through stem cell transplantation has turned her into a global advocate for others. Realizing that there were many men and women who were in similar situations to hers, without FDA approved solutions to their diseases, Ms. Alexander became committed to creating a company that would provide easy access to stem cell treatment and provide a safe support system for those interested in accessing this leading-edge medicine. In part, the support includes one of the company?s U.S. Patient Advocates accompanying the patients to the hospital and remaining with them through-out the treatment process. Ms. Alexander?s dedication drives her to attend most of the treatment sessions so she can meet each patient personally to provide them her support and encouragement.

    Notwithstanding the extensive controversy and debate over embryonic stem cells and the opposition and red tape of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in approving adult stem cell treatment, Ms. Alexander persevered in her goal to put together teams of medical professionals who could offer the same relief she had experienced. Today she is pleased to be able to offer the current state-of-the art adipose-derived (fat) adult stem cell treatment. This treatment safely utilizes one?s own fat removed during a minor liposuction procedure following which adult stem cells contained in the fat are separated from the fat, activated and returned to the patient?s body intravenously (IV) and through localized injections.

    In building ISCI, Ms. Alexander has been able to draw on her experiences from 17 successful years in the financial securities industry, including positions such as Vice President, and Managing Director, with the Frank Russell Company, Cova Financial Services and Wells Fargo Bank. Ms. Alexander also founded a medical spa in Atlanta, Georgia the staff of which included two plastic surgeons, an anti-aging physician, and additional support personal including aestheticians, massage therapists and other staff.

    Ms. Alexander was educated in Business and Economics at Tennessee State University, and held Series 7 and Series 63 Securities Licenses

    Dr. Carlos Vergara, M.D

    Dr. Carlos Vergara, M.D is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of adipose stem cells in treating a number of serious degenerative diseases, conditions and injuries.
    He is one of the few physicians in the world with the extensive experience in the culture expansion and clinical use of adult stem cells, and his training and experience reflect the cutting edge of stem cell technology. At the hospital in Matamoros, Mexico, he incorporates a variety of revolutionary techniques that bring relief and renewed health for patients with multiple conditions. His practice is international in scope, accepting patients from around the globe.
    Dr. Vergara maintains an active clinical stem cell practice. He and his team have been treating people with musculoskeletal injuries, auto-immune conditions such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis and degenerative conditions like Parkinson?s Disease, Osteoarthritis and Alzheimer?s.

    • Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey Mexico
    • Post Graduate 2002 UVB, Universidad del Bravo
    • Universidad de las Islas Baleares, Spain 2004, Degree in Cosmetic Surgery and Masters Degree in Bariatric Medicine

    Courses and Symposiums
    • Mesotherapy and Alternative Medicine, Universidad de Cartegena, Columbia
    • Alternative Medicine and Ozone Therapy, Institute Hertor Gancedo, Argentina
    • Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine, Associacion Mexicana de Medicinia y Patologia Estetica, Mexico

    Special Training
    • PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma
    • SCGM, Growth Matrices
    • ASCT, Autologous Stem Cell Therapies

    Professional Certifications
    AdiStem Technology, Dr. Kwon, Regenerative Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
    Last edited by barbara; 12-22-2010 at 08:34 PM.
    Still Pioneering
    Had UC treatment April 5th, 2007
    Had autologous treatment March 19, 2010
    Had bone marrow and adipose stem cell treatment (autologous) June 16, 2010

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