Stem cell therapy and treatments that contain stem cells are a hot topic for discussion in the media today. There are copious amounts of information available and it may raise a lot of questions and concerns. There are many benefits from the use of treatments containing stem cells, however it is crucial to understand the many different sources these cells can be harvested from.
Common sources of stem cells that will be discussed are:
- Adipose Tissue
- Bone Marrow
- Wharton’s Jelly
Stem Cell Therapy vs. Regenerative Medicine
Stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine are used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. Regenerative medicine is the umbrella term that encompasses treatments using Wharton's Jelly derived mesenchymal stem cells and Platelet Rich Plasma. Stem cell therapy is typically linked with numerous procedures involving one’s own stem cells. While some doctor’s and practices perform stem cell therapy, our doctor’s do not. Our doctor’s use treatments using the stem cells (Regenerative Medicine) provided by an outside source that is not the individual’s own stem cells. We will explain why our doctors prefer these treatments.
Certain stem cell treatments are derived from different sources and each has their own healing performance. Even though stem cells can adapt and help facilitate repair of an injured area, if the source is compromised, the cells may not develop and heal to their full potential.
Below are the sources of stem cell used for stem cell therapy and stem cell treatments:
- Adipose tissue is the technical term for body fat. It is a popular choice for stem cell therapies because it is readily available and can be abundant in the body. In this treatment, fat cells are extracted from the client’s body and goes through a method to isolate the stem cells. The stem cells are then injected in the affected area. Adipose tissue stem cells are from adult cells and may not be as effect as younger stem cells. Also, since these are fat cells that are stored in the body, there is a potential for there to toxins within those cells and cause complications.
- Bone marrow is possibly the most well-known type of stem cell therapy. This treatment can be extremely painful and requires a hole to be drilled in the bone. After the hole is drilled, bone marrow is extracted and concentrated for stem cells that is then injected into the injured area. This stem cell therapy is invasive and the potential for complications such as infection is high.
- Wharton’s Jelly derived Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from Wharton’s Jelly. This is a gelatinous substance found in the umbilical cord of cesarean born infants. Wharton’s Jelly is collected at birth and from carefully screened, consenting mothers. This process does not harm the mother or child. Wharton’s Jelly is abundant with growth factors and Mesenchymal stem cells. These Mesenchymal stem cells are young, potent stem cells, rich in healing properties. These are what our doctors use in stem cell treatments because of their efficient healing properties.
Regenerative medicine has many other areas of personalized medicine that are natural and have little to no risk. For example, platelet rich plasma therapy is a type of regenerative medicine where the patient’s own blood is drawn and spun to separate blood cells from platelets. The platelets are then injected into the injured area, accelerating healing.
Amniotic fluid is another source that is used in regenerative medicine. This is a fluid that is found surrounding a growing fetus in the uterus. Like Wharton’s Jelly, the amniotic fluid comes from consenting mothers and does not harm the child when collected. Amniotic fluid contains collagen substrates, growth factors, lipids, carbohydrates, cytokines, polyamides, and amino acids. All of these growth factors facilitate healing.