I recently read an article from ABC news concerning the interplay between the new Trump administration and stem cells. With the new Trump administration, there is much banter that Stem Cell Research will be significantly diminished or in some other way changed. This appears to be an alarming idea at face value. Stem cells promise to change the face of virtually all fields of medicine from cancer treatment to osteoporosis to the treatment of osteoarthritis. When we look at the costs of managing these diseases for just these three diseases alone, the numbers can be staggering. The savings to our government could help subsidize health care for everyone and still have money left over to help rebuild our infrastructure. Much of the discussion about the change in the direction of stem cell research comes from a group of physicians who have a vested interest in embryonic stem cell research. I would like to make some comments on these concepts from a non-political but scientific point of view.
There are two types of stem cell research. One field of thinking involves embryonic stem cells. The other field involves adult stem cells. These two fields have been competing for many years now. They are vastly different fields. Embryonic stem cells involve stem cells derived from embryonic tissue. Vice president-elect Pence has said that these cells hold an "empty promise." Let us look at this premise. Do embryonic stem cells hold an empty promise? Given our current technology they have promise but it is a very questionable promise. With our current knowledge, these cells are dangerous. They can cause tumors. They can grow unchecked in the body and actually attack the body and cause what is called a ‘Graft versus Host’ disease. So it looks like Vice President Elect Pence was not too far off the mark about embryonic stem cells. Right now they really do hold an empty promise. The researchers who are involved in embryonic stem cells would disagree with this assumption. We must realize that there are many alternatives to embryonic stem cells. The article mentions IPS cells. These cells hold promise, but they are still technically challenging. The IPS cells are made by altering the cell’s genetic material with either a virus or by enzymatic means. There is some evidence that these cells can encourage the development of a cancer. Also after a period of time, they seem to lose their effectiveness. They hold promise but right now they are not a panacea.
Adult stem cells hold great promise across a broad spectrum of fields. There is extensive evidence the adult stem cells are safe, effective, and readily available. Interestingly, much of the real gains that have been achieved with stem cells have come from the use of adult stem cells. The adult stem cells come from either the patient himself or they are harvested from other patients. If it comes from the patient himself, it is considered an autograft while those from another person is called an allograft. The stem cells from the patient have little if any danger. We have a source of cells that are readily available, work well, and pose little if any danger. Where the research really needs to be done is to make these cells do their job more efficiently. We know that certain growth factors and supplements will greatly enhance our results. Laser energy seem to increase cell survival and efficiency. The cell type itself may hold great promise. We are very familiar with mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells, but the real game changer may be what we call ‘V cells’. V cells are Very Small Embryonic Stem Cells. They are found in everyone. Their uniqueness is that they are pluripotent. This means that they can form almost any type of cell. This is where some research money should be spent. Our office has the distinct privilege being one of the few facilities that are utilizing these cells.
One other stem cell aspect for the new administration is the ‘Regrow Act’ which has been stalled in a Senate committee since this spring. There have been some scientific groups that have opposed the Regrow Act. "The REGROW Act, S. 2689, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reduce barriers to medical innovation and accelerate the development of new regenerative medicine treatments, which have the potential to restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells and tissues." Major scientific groups have issued statements opposing the act. Their opposition may be based on monetary gain. Some of these groups like the flow of federal funds to their labs. Some companies want to figure out how a huge financial gain can come their way from Stem Cell Therapy. The bottom line is that these groups may not have the general public's best interest at heart. This act makes it easier for smaller companies to put forth their technologies without bankrupting the company. I do not necessarily agree with all provisions of the Regrow Act, but I feel it is a giant step in the right direction. With safety as an overriding concern, we need to speed along promising treatments and not let them wallow in some lab where some facilities are slowing down research to keep the federal funds flowing to their facilities. Hopefully, with the new administration, there will be a new approach to the Regrow Act and a consensus can be found between the politicians, academic groups and clinical groups. Everyone's ultimate goal should be to make treatments available to the populous in an efficient, safe and acceptable manner and put everyone's special interest aside.
Thanks, Dr. P
Stanford researchers studying the effect of stem cells injected directly into the brains of stroke patients said Thursday that they were "stunned" by the extent to which the experimental treatment restored motor function in some of the patients. The results, published in the journal Stroke, could have implications for our understanding of an array of disorders including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and Alzheimer's if confirmed in larger-scale testing. The work involved patients who had passed the critical six-month mark when recoveries generally plateau and there are rarely further improvements.
Each participant in the study had suffered a stroke beneath the brain's outermost layer and had significant impairments in moving their arms and-or legs. The one-time therapy involved surgeons drilling a hole into the study participants' skulls and injecting stem cells in several locations around the area damaged by the stroke. These stem cells were harvested from the bone marrow of adult donors. They suffered minimal adverse effects such as temporary headaches, nausea and vomiting.
"Their recovery was not just a minimal recovery like someone who couldn't move a thumb now being able to wiggle it. It was much more meaningful. One 71-year-old wheelchair-bound patient was walking again," said Steinberg, the study's lead author and chair of neurosurgery at Stanford who personally performed most of the surgeries.
Steinberg said that the study does not support the idea that the injected stem cells become neurons, as has been previously thought. Instead, it suggests that they seem to trigger some kind of biochemical process that enhances the brain's ability to repair itself.
"Patients improved by several standard measures, and their improvement was not only statistically significant, but clinically meaningful," Steinberg said. "Their ability to move around has recovered visibly. That's unprecedented. At six months out from a stroke, you don't expect to see any further recovery."
What is it?
The A-2 Stem Cell program is the only Anti-Aging program which utilizes recently discovered Adult Pluripotent Stem Cells (APSCs) to provide a safe and effective way to counter the effects of aging. APSCs are thought to be similar to embryonic Stem Cells due to their ability to form any new cell in the body. However, rather than in embryos, these Stem Cells are actually found in adults. APSCs are typically inactive as they circulate through our body. They only become active during a severe health crisis, such as lack of oxygen or loss of body temperature. However, our cutting edge, proprietary technology has enabled us to isolate and activate these Stem Cells in our laboratory and give them back to you in the active form. Once given back to you, these powerful Stem Cells will then home in on areas of inflammation and degeneration and go to work to repair and regenerate the tissue, maintaining health and youth.
While the Adult Pluripotent Stem Cells form the core of the A-2 Stem Cell program, our biodata monitoring and analysis process allows us to customize the program for each individual patient and follow their progress throughout the program. The initial step in the program relies on analyzing certain age related ‘biomarkers’ from blood and hair samples. This process is repeated at specific intervals so we can monitor and fine tune the program for each patient. Our interactive assessment program also allows us to gather direct patient data through targeted Anti-Aging Biodata Questionnaires. In addition to the biomarker analysis, this data allows us to generate a ‘Biological Age Score’, which we follow over time.
The A-2 program also relies on entirely unique line of supplements to provide nutrients for the Adult Pluripotent Stem Cells as a way to maximize their regenerative potential. For this purpose, a customized Cytokine formulation is generated for each patient. Cytokines are proteins which support Stem Cells and allow them to hone in on the area of need. They also play a vital role in general health, disease prevention, and disease management. The Cytokine formulation is based on the biomarker analysis and adjusted for changes in Cytokine levels based on the blood and hair samples. As an additional anti-aging intervention, two cutting edge supplements complement the Cytokine formulation. They are based on the known anti-aging properties of curcumin and telomerase. Curcumin is known for its anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It has also been shown to maintain cognitive function. The discovery of Telomerase was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009. Telomerase counteracts the age-related shortening of our DNA.
As an added value, the A-2 program also offers anti-aging intravenous infusions, containing Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD). These infusions will replenish minerals and vitamins, while at the same time providing specific anti-aging enzymes. These infusions serve to give the program members the nutrition required to provide the ideal environment for the Stem Cells to flourish.
A laser watch sounds like it might be something that Apple computers just introduced. Well this is one thing that Apple had nothing to do with. Also, this is not a watch that was developed by "Q" of James Bond fame. No, this is an honest to goodness laser watch which is designed to enhance your health. Actually this is not a watch in the sense that it tells time. Instead, it is a watch that may have the potential of turning back time as far as aging is concerned. At the Institute of Regenerative Medicine we are making this watch one of the building blocks of our anti-aging program. Beyond its anti-aging effect, it can also significantly contribute to general well- being.
I have written a number of articles concerning the use of lasers in the field of Regenerative Medicine. Laser light has some very beneficial effects on the body. Our relationship to plants is very compelling. Our mitochondria are similar to chloroplasts in the plant. They both have the ability to convert light energy into a form that the body or the plant can utilize. This is where the laser light comes into play.
The laser watch makes use of 18 red laser diodes. Unlike the laser in James Bond this laser will not cut through metal. Its use is barely perceptible. The red laser has a wavelength of 650nm. The laser watch may have a very intriguing effect on the blood circulation in the body.
The red laser can have a very interesting effect on the red blood cells. The above diagram illustrates some of these effects. If a red blood cell is struck by the laser, it can have a direct effect on the production of ATP which is the source of cellular energy. Other effects are equally intriguing. The red laser will result in the release of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide is a very potent compound. It is known to be a growth, immune and neuro-modulator. It has a critical role in stem cell proliferation, analgesia (pain relief), vasodilation and angiogenesis. Vasodilation means the opening up of a blood vessel and angiogenesis refers to adding on to existing blood vessels. Nitric Oxide also has known anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Inflammation is the root of many problems. The other monumental aspect of Nitric Oxide is its importance in ATP production, which is the source of energy for all of our cells. There are two very important byproducts in the ATP production. These include NAD and NADH. These are two compounds that are very important in anti-aging circles. One aspect of our anti-aging program involves the use of intravenous NAD and NADH.
The laser works by delivering laser energy to the two arteries located at the wrist. These two arteries are called the radial and ulnar arteries. Because the arteries are superficial, the red laser light penetrates through the skin and vessel wall. It directly effects the circulating blood. This light wave blood therapy is called “extra corporeal photophoresis”. The laser watch also stimulates a number of acupuncture points that are found in the vicinity of the arteries.
These acupuncture points contribute to overall well-being. The watch does simultaneous laser acupuncture and blood irradiation at the same time. We can see these acupuncture points on the diagram above. Tongli Acupoint is found in traditional Chinese medicine. It is for heart meridian acupoint adjuvant therapy. Lingdao Acupoint which in traditional Chinese medicine mainly function for quiet calm heart, nerves, clean or dredge the meridians Adjuvant therapy. The Neiguan Acupoint deals with the heart and its circulation
The laser does not just stimulate the red blood cells but it can also have an affect on the white blood cells which directly affects our immune system. Many times the definition of aging is the failure of the immune system. The laser can affect the Immune System in two ways. First it can affect the Humoral Immunity System. This portion of our immune system is mediated by secreted antibodies. The second way it affects the immune system is by Cell Mediated Immunity. Cell Mediated Immunity involves various types of white blood cells. Another method by which the laser watch achieves its goals is by the use of a nasal piece as can be seen in the diagram showing the laser watch itself, the nasal piece and laser shower piece.
The nostril piece is a laser catheter that fits into the nostrils. In the nostril area the circulation is very superficial and very plentiful. Because the circulation in the nostril area is superficial the laser can easily do its job.
The laser use in the nostril and wrist arteries can also increase the formation of melatonin. We now know that conventional light therapy, especially that involved with regulating sleep rhythm involves the use of bright blue light in the morning. Bright blue light has the effect of suppressing melatonin, a hormone that encourages the body to go into sleep mode and regulate the sleep cycle (or circadian rhythm). It is well established that short-wavelength or “blue” light is the most melatonin-suppressive; this is the type of light typically emitted by devices such as televisions, computer screens, and cellphones. To produce white light, these electronic devices must emit light at short wavelengths, close to the peak sensitivity of melatonin suppression. This means that products such as tablets, smartphones, and other devices with self-luminous electronic displays are major sources for suppressing melatonin at night, thereby reducing sleep duration and disrupting sleep. However, red light as used in laser watch light therapy, appears to have the opposite effect to the blue light. It works with the melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. Related studies demonstrate correlation between its use and the presence of increased levels of melatonin in patients with sleep disorders. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that helps 'cool down' excess inflammation. In fact, melatonin is so integral to the health of your immune system that a lack of it causes your thymus gland, a key component of your immune system, to shrink in size. Melatonin's immediate precursor is the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a major player in regulating and giving a lift to your mood. And, like serotonin, melatonin plays important roles in your physical and mental health. I can attest from my own personal experience with the laser watch that it dramatically helps me overcome jet lag and fatigue.
The last component that I wish to comment on is the laser pad. This is a pad plugs into the main unit and then can apply laser energy to areas of the body that are sore or achy. This is like having your own personal physical therapist. It is well known that laser energy can ameliorate pain.
The laser watch manufacturer also makes the following claims: "To improve hemodynamic, blood fat and blood sugar metabolism through photochemical effects. By changing these hemodynamics the laser will improve the oxygen carrying capacity and the deformability of red blood cells, decreasing the blood viscosity, reducing the blood fat, lowering blood pressure and improving the blood sugar, and finally achieving the purpose of treating hypertension, hyperlipemia and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Meanwhile, it also has good curative effect on acute rhinitis, chronic rhinitis and sinusitis." I am not to go on record to officially endorse these claims but I suspect there is good validity to them based on what I read from various European studies. To me the cost of the laser watch (less than $400) is a small price to pay to enhance one's well-being. I am sure we will hear more about this.
- Dr. P
A few months ago I wrote about a revolutionary new technique that we developed at our center. We called this Artho-Lavage. Please refer to my initial blog concerning lavage. The word Artho-Lavage has both Greek and French origins. Artho is a Greek derived word which means joint. Lavage is a French derived word which means to wash or clean. So essentially we have a cleansing of the joint. I know a number of copycats physicians out there will try to do the same but good luck! They may be able to "wash" the joint out. However, they will not be able to decipher which growth factors were utilized to disable the "bad' growth factors in the joint. Even if they were to get the list of ingredients it is a proprietary blend. It is not only what they are but also very specific ratios. We will probably make this blend available to certain select doctors in the future.
The other intriguing aspect of what we have accomplished is the production of Lubricin. This happened serendipitously. We noticed that the fluid in the lavage seemed to have a property that a it had a lubricant in it. This confirmed what the patients have been saying. Not only is their pain much better but their knee feels much looser and they do not get a grinding sensation. The results were as if we injected the knee with a type of hyaluronic acid.
The results we have have obtained have been excellent. This process has worked on every patient. We find after lavage essentially every patient has relief of pain. The lavage period is usually between 5 and 10 minutes. The fluid is than removed. A few weeks ago I was helping to teach a course in Campinas, Brazil with my good friend Dr. Lana. I hold Dr. Lana in the highest esteem for his knowledge of musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. Before I left Brazil I gave Dr. Lana some of the mixture to perform the Artho-Lavage. Dr. Lana than did some interesting work. He looked at patients before the lavage and after the lavage. He studied these patients with a technique called thermograms. Thermograms look for changes in the heat pattern of the body. Typically the more inflamed the area the more intense the color. Reds and oranges will represent areas of intense inflammation. It is very similar to looking at thunder storms on weather radar. The more intense the red or yellow color the stronger the storm or in this case inflammation is.
The above picture, we see a thermogram of a knees. We can tell from these pictures that knees are very inflamed do to the preponderance of yellows and reds. This would typically be a patient who is symptomatic do to the arthritis of his knees. What was done was an Artho-Lavage. The following pictures are post lavage.
The two above pictures represent thermograms that were performed in the same knees post lavage. We have replaced the reds and yellows (representing inflammation) with blues and greens. The inflammation has been dramatically reduce. With the reduction in inflammation there is a dramatic reduction in pain. This is fairly good evidence of the effectiveness of Artho-Lavage.
By significantly reducing the inflammation we have achieved a few goals. We have made the stem cell environment (niche) much more friendly to the stem cells and hopefully have dramatically increased their survival. So far our results are extremely positive. Time will tell but we have made this part of our standard protocol. Our next goal is to achieve the same results with tendons. That seems to be just around the corner. Thanks Dr. P
Cytokine Therapy Is New Alternative to Knee Surgery
BOCA RATON, FL--(Marketwired - June 21, 2016) - Long-term member of the Boca Raton Resort and Club, Mitch Gould, CEO of Nutritional Products International (NPI) and InHealth Media, is a tennis enthusiast and competitor in many sports. He injured his knee/meniscus last November in a friendly hitting session with tennis legend Jimmy Connors, winner of 109 singles titles, at the resort. During the session Gould injured his meniscus.
Gould who is familiar with sports injuries has lifted with Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, a partner with Gould in their online venture Ronniecolemannutrition.com, suffered an umbilical hernia during a workout session prior to the session. Gould underwent surgery to correct the tear and after months of rehabilitation got back on the courts.
"I know that a tear in the knee/meniscus to a tennis player can be detrimental because it disables your ability to move around the court and I was worried I might not be able to play again," Gould said about the injury. "After the match my knee began hurting worse, deteriorating so I went to see my good friend and NPI and InHealth Media Board Member Dr. Joseph Purita."
Dr. Purita has treated several famous athletes including MLB Pitcher Bartolo Colón. His interests beyond traditional practice led him to acquire a degree in anti-aging medicine. He is a pioneer in the use of Stem Cell, Cytokine and PRP therapy for orthopedic conditions and a world-renowned authority on anti-aging medicine and the use of nutritional supplements. He has lectured world wide on the use of supplementation in wellness, anti-aging and orthopedic capacities. Most recently Dr. Purita gave Mr. Gould's injured knee a treatment of Cytokine Therapy.
"After a series of shots, a lot of yelling and six weeks of healing I truly feel like a new man," said Gould. "The procedure is incredible. I never thought I would feel this good. Another month of physical therapy and it's time to hit the courts again."
Cytokines is a technical term for growth factors. Cytokines -- from the Greek cyto- ("cell") and kinos ("movement") -- are tiny cell-signaling protein molecules secreted by various cells. Growth factors are signaling molecules that are typically secreted at the site of repair by many different cell types including platelets, stem cells and fibroblasts. These growth factors bind to the cell membrane and start the cascade of DNA synthesis, mitosis and cell repair, essentially repairing the injury without surgery.
There are some marriages that are made in heaven and this may be one of them. Iontophoresis is a technique of introducing ionic medical compounds into the body through the skin by applying a local electrical current. The above picture is a model of how Iontophoresis works. Essentially, Iontophoresis makes like charges repeal each other and opposites attract. The patches have both a positive and negative electrode. The negative drug ions are repelled from the negatively charged electrode. The direct current moves ions from the drug electrode down deep into the area of injury. Iontophoresis has been around for some time but Regenerative Medicine may be giving it a rebirth. Typically, it has been used in sports injuries to give cortisone to an area of injury. We know all too well that cortisone (steroid) does not heal anything. However, it does occasionally have its place. The intriguing aspects of Iontophoresis is the fact that it has the ability to deliver needed substances to "where the action is".
We have done some testing and have demonstrated that the materials do indeed penetrate to the depths of the joint. This can be seen by the following X-ray pictures. The picture on the left shows an arrow pointing to an X-ray dye that has just been added to the patch. We see left photo the dye is at the skin line. In the picture on the right the dye has penetrated down to the bone after several hour hours.
So far nothing is that revolutionary. But now comes the intriguing part. We can now utilize cytokines in a method which was available to only a handful of physicians. We can deliver them right to the joint, ligament or tendon where they are needed.
Cytokines are signaling molecules that mediate a cellular response. My dear friend and colleague, Dr. JO Serrentino, founder of Cytokine Therapy, puts it nicely: "Cytokines tell cells where to go and what to do. Often in a disease state there is an imbalance at the cellular level. Cytokines can help promote healing and repair, addressing the root cause". This technology is now available and it is called CT BIONICS PATCH SYSTEMS. The CT stands for Cytokine Therapy. We need to realize that stem cell therapy is essentially cytokine therapy. In scientific circles we know that stem cells are biochemical factories which produce many different growth factors of which cytokines are one very important type.
Most of the conditions in the musculoskeletal field and for that matter most everything in medicine deal with an imbalance of cytokines. Imagine if we were able to add cytokines to the patches and then deliver these cytokines to the areas that they are needed in. These areas include arthritic joints, areas of tendonitis, bursitis, muscle injuries and the list goes on and on. This is where the magic starts happening. We are now able to deliver the cytokines exactly to where they are needed. We have had the privilege of actually doing this via an injectable route for some time.
I suspect that the Iontophoresis will deliver the cytokines in a more uniform fashion than a painful needle injection. We have proprietary formulas for the cytokines mixtures. These formulas will be specific to specific conditions. For instance we have protocols designed for tennis elbow, osteoarthritis of shoulders, hips, knees, and the lumbar spine. We are aware that certain bad cytokines are present in the joints and at the same time they cause swelling, pain and inflammation. These are called the master inflammatory cytokines. The main inflammatory cytokines are called Interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). Various combinations of the "good" cytokines will be used in the patches. They will essentially disable these master inflammatory cytokines. Some of these good cytokines are called Interleukin-1 antagonist, Interleukin-10, and a number of others. The combinations and ratios of the cytokines are all important! They vary from one condition to the other. They are very specific in composition and ratios.
The other important aspect of CT Bionics Patch Therapy is the proper placement of the patches. I myself was surprised by the placement of some of the patches. Their placement seems to follow the lines of the science of Kinesiology. Kinesiology is the scientific study of human or non-human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms. Applications of kinesiology to human health include biomechanics and orthopedics; strength and conditioning; sport psychology; methods of rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational therapy, and sport and exercise.
Studies of human and animal motion include measures from motion tracking systems, electrophysiology of muscle and brain activity, various methods for monitoring physiological function, and other behavioral and cognitive research techniques. Kinesiology as described above should not be confused with applied kinesiology, a controversial medical diagnostic method. Using Dr. Jo's expertise she has given us ideas based on Kinesiology where to position the patches.
As we can see the use of the patches involves a number of factors. The type of disease process determines the composition and ratio of the cytokine growth factors. The condition also determines position and the type of patch used. Some patches will be used for 4 hours while other will be used overnight. Like many things in the Regenerative Medicine Field, a marriage of technologies many times produce some remarkable results. I feel certain the CT Bionics Patch System will fill this niche. We are now able to precisely deliver factors where they are needed when they are needed. Eventually we will allow certain physicians and other health professionals the ability to use these patches. This is a technology that is too important to keep under wraps.
Sometimes I will come across a concept which I feel could be revolutionary. A few months ago I had just such a brainstorm. I borrowed concepts from two fields I am very much familiar with. This involves the field of Orthopedic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine. Unlike some people in the Regenerative Medicine field who imply that they are Orthopedists when they are really trained in another speciality, I trained and became certified in Orthopedic Surgery. This gives me a distinct advantage when looking a musculoskeletal conditions. I can see both worlds without looking through a looking glass.
I combined ideas as an Orthopedic surgeon and a Regenerative Medicine Specialist. We have known in Orthopedics that for those people with osteoarthritis an arthroscopy would give temporary relief of symptoms. This concept is well documented in the literature. However, I did not then, nor do I now think it is wise to subject someone to an invasive operative procedure for temporary relief. So this concept seems to have some merit if we can minimize the invasiveness and prolong the relief. It is well known that certain inflammatory cytokines or growth factors are responsible for the swelling and the pain associated with osteoarthritis. If we can disable these cytokines then we can eliminate many symptoms. Just washing out the knee will not really accomplish this feat. These bad growth factors are typically bound to the cell membrane receptors. These bad cytokines can only be disabled by other types of cytokines. The trick is to know which ones, what combinations, and what dosages. Cytokines are not very forgiving and the wrong combination or dosage will have little if any effect.
The other idea is that we need to help improve function by allowing the joint to move more smoothly. We know that hyaluronic acid many times can achieve this goal but this typically takes time and a number of injections. We know that hyaluronic acid works fairly well but there is another lubricating compound that works much better. This compound is called Lubricin. Lubricin is also called "superficial zone protein" (SZP). Lubricin and SZP are now collectively known as Proteoglycan 4 (PRG4). Lubricin (PRG4) seems much more efficient than hyaluronic acid. Unfortunately, Lubricin is not easy to come by. Like many great accomplishments we discovered the stimulating process by accident. We get results in almost every patient which is fairly unusual in medicine. We have treated a few patients with our proprietary lavage only, with excellent results. I do not think that Artholavage is a long term solution (but than again I do not know). I do think that it will increase our overall success. We have combined ideas from two distinct medical specialties and made one concept. I suspect it will catch on in time but it will be difficult to know the tricks that make it work.
Thanks Dr. P.
Recently an article in the journal "New Scientist" published a disturbing article about IPS cells. IPS cells are called Induced Pluripotential Stem cells. These are cells that are made from adult cells to act more like an embryonic cell or a pluripotential cell. This is typically done by the use of an enzyme or a virus that in encrypted into the cell. Many times skin cells are utilized to form IPS cells. The virus method unfortunately will sometimes activate an oncogene. An oncogene is sometimes responsible for the activation of cancer. Other potential problems with these cells deals with the stability of the DNA. Remember we are trying to make a younger type cell from an older one. We must remember that the cell may seem younger but the DNA is old. The DNA has accumulated telomere damage.
Getting back to the New Scientist article IPS cells were involved in a clinical study of blindness. The study was halted after genetic mutations were found in the cells of a second trial participant. The trial was halted by DR. Masayo Takahashi who is a prominent stem cell scientist. It was felt that one of the mutations may possibly lead to cancer.
A concern about this study was this mutation occurred in the second patient. What is concerning about this study was the fact that that IPS cell was found to have six mutations. Three of the mutations were from genes that were deleted and three were related to changes in the nucleotides. THE MUTATIONS WERE NOT DETECTED IN THE ORIGINAL CELLS. Thus intuitively it seems that the mutations were caused by the IPS process. Although, oncogenes were activated there is no guarantee that a cancer would have developed. This predicament gives us pause for thought. Perhaps IPS cells may not be the home run that many thought they might be. The potential is there but the safely is not. I suspect the problems of the oncogenes can be worked out. I still have questions about the DNA stability. For those people using regular adult stem cells the IPS failure is certainly vindicating news. Good results are being obtained in non-manipulated adult stem cells. I am not aware of any worries about a cancer form from regular adult stem cells. Perhaps those pundits who are quick to point a finger at those people using adult non-manipulated stem cells should do a bit of introspection and look at themselves in the mirror. I am not sure why this failure of the IPS cells was not discussed by those who are so critical of many aspects of the stem cell field. This is certainly a significant problem that has inherent dangers to patients. I am not to go around and state that using IPS cells is irresponsible. I will show respect for this cell and its proponents just like I would expect them to show it to me.
As I read more and more about supplements I am convinced about the wondrous properties of Curcumin or as it is sometimes called Turmeric. There is quite a bit of interest in using Curcumin in the treatment of cancer therapy. This is typically a field that I stay clear of since it is out of my area of expertise. However, if we borrow some of this research we can see how Curcumin can be useful in the treatment of various orthopedic conditions.
Curcumin is a polyphenol extracted from turmeric, which has been safely used in foods such as curries for a long time. Curcumin is a promising therapeutic food material because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative functions. It has long been used as an anti-inflammatory treatment in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Curcumin is perhaps an ideal supplement in that it has profound effects on various cytokine pathways. Remember that cytokine pathways involve the various growth factors that are found in the body. Many of these pathways are very beneficial while others are detrimental to the health of the joint. In addition to thee cytokine pathways, curcumin also targets a number of other processes that involve among other things genes that regulate cell proliferation or apoptosis (cell death). Interestingly enough the cell death usually involves cancer cells. The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin seems to be comparable with those of steroidal drugs and NSAIDs. It has also been suggested that an important mechanism of curcumin is inhibition of NF-kB activation , which is a key event in the chronic inflammatory process. This is some of the same processes that stem cells are trying to accomplish with their secretory patterns. This is typically what the mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) tries to accomplish. MSCs is an immune modulator. Another interesting fact about curcumin is the fact that is a potent inhibitor of the production of inflammatory products that are produced by cartilage cells. The fact curcumin can have such an effect on the joint makes it an ideal therapeutic agent to help in joint repair. In stem cell and PRP therapy we are always striving to improve the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix is the surrounding environment of the cells. The matrix is what the cells interact with. The less hostile the matrix the better the stem cell /PRP mixture will work. Again this is what we call immune modulation which is typically the job of the mesenchymal stem cells. There have been double blind studies (typically a double blind study is used wherever items are to be compared without influences from testers' preferences or expectations to eliminate the placebo effect) showing that curcumin is very effective in dealing with osteoarthritis. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed curcumin was significantly effective in deceasing pain and NSAID necessity with no major adverse events.
The one problem that we have with curcumin is the bioavailability. It typically is not very well absorbed. We have scoured the landscape and believe we have found two forms of curcumin which seem to have acceptable bioavailability. One of the forms is combined with liposomes. Liposomes help encapsulate the curcumin and deliver it to the areas that need it. We have found another form of cucurmin that dramatically increase the bioavailability of cucurmin by 1500%. We will start to offer this form of curcumin shortly. As I eluded to in the beginning of this blog, one interesting fact about Curcumin is that it has a profound effect on cancer stem cells. There is some very intriguing studies that show curcumin will dramatically increase the effectiveness of various cancer treatments. It has the ability to selectively kill cancer cells while leaving regular cells intact. It is many times combined with laser therapy with some intriguing results. I leave those comments to those who are more experienced than I am in those fields.