I am just returning from a very successful Stem Cell Workshop in Melbourne Australia. I had the good fortune to help organize the workshop. It was a day that began around 8:30 and ended a bit past 6:00 pm. The lectures were very encompassing and touched on many subjects in the stem cell arena.
I was very much intrigued by the lectures of my good friend Dr. Bill Paspalaris who just so happens to live in Melbourne. Some of the items that Dr. Bill is working upon extend beyond the cutting edge. He is doing a quite a bit of work on Exosomes. The Exosomes are basically the vehicles that transport the the cytokines (growth factors )from one cell to the other. We now know that these Exosomes are extremely important in the overall functioning of the body. There are different exosomes for different functions. Some of the Exosomes are bad since they are secreted by cancer cells. Luckily we are interested in those cytokines which are important in musculoskeletal problems. It might be that the cytokines eventually may be produced in a lab and thus we might not have perform stem cell aspiration from either bone marrow or fat. Time will tell.
Bill is also working on something also beyond the cutting edge. He has used cells from a new born and cultured them. These cells are usually very powerful in secreting growth factors. The problem becomes that they can be recognized as foreign material and thus cause an allergic reaction in the body. Dr. Bill has devised a way to encapsulate the cells so that the body does not recognize them. Basically they remain in the body as stealth cells. Here comes the interesting part. The membrane allows the cytokines to leave the cells and interact with the body. The cells can be programed to secrete certain cytokines. These might be IGF-1 or some other cytokine. Remember the cells will secrete a variety of cytokines. The membrane will also allow nutrients to enter the cells and thus keep them alive. If you think this is pie in the sky technology the US Army is looking at this technology to try to make a “super solider”. This could revolutionize the stem cell world. Dr. Bill also has some intriguing inventions which he has spoken to me about which will offer some dramatic advances in the stem cell field. I look forward to using one in the not too distant future.
I myself gave two very comprehensive lectures. The first dealt with the basics of stem cell and PRP science. This included some of the new classifications of PRPs as presented by Dr. Alan Mishra of Stanford University. Dr. Mishra proposed a classification of PRP including high and low white bold cell counts, high and low PRP counts and activated and non activated PRP. Basically the classifications go from 1A and B to 4 A and B. I have proposed a fifth classification which includes Photo activation. I will do another blog concerning these classifications.
Another intriguing aspect of my first talk centered on on the use of a relatively new type of stem cell derived from the blood. This is called a Stembios cell which can probably be classified as a V cell or Very Small Embryonic Like Stem Cell. I am not at liberty to discuss these cells to any great extent since I have signed a non- disclosure agreement with the company. However I will shortly write a blog about these cells. They are potent stem cells that are found in the blood.
The one portion of my next talk centered on the use of cytokines and science of cytokines. At least for now cytokines may be the missing factor or the X factor. We know that many times a PRP may be deficient in certain cytokines. Also we need to realize that the PRP has a half life of about one week. At the one week mark the bad cytokines start to rear their ugly head. I did discuss the various ways we are using these cytokines. We are using them as injectables, orally and as a cream. We use the cytokines to manipulate the system and make our clinical results better. I feel that this is what separates us from most clinics out there.
The second portion of my afternoon talk centered on the the use of lasers in the field of Stem Cell and PRP Therapy. I believe that the use of lasers will be the next game changer. We have known for some time now that the laser has been used with great success in the field of hair restoration. Just look up the use of a laser comb on line and we can see how lasers are starting to be utilized. The use of the laser in our clinic goes far beyond the use of a laser comb. We are utilizing lasers to stimulate acupuncture points, we are using lasers directly into the joint in an intra-articular fashion, and we will undertake an IRB study on the use of intra-venous lasers. These are all cutting edge uses of lasers for PRP and Stem Cell Therapy. Another blog will be devoted to the use of laser in Regenerative Medicine. In closing, I will mention what is getting to be one of my favorite slides. The slide says ” THE MORE YOU KNOW THE MORE YOU DON’T KNOW”. This idea came to me a few months ago when I was preparing a talk on some new material I learned about. I realized that I had leaned a good bit about some new material but for all the info I learned about this there was a plethora of new material about that subject that I did not know about it. Perhaps put another way the more I learn the more I need to learn.
Thanks Dr. P