Although stem cell research offers exciting future prospects, science has advanced beyond what is deemed as acceptable medical practice. Clinicians however are still able to offer stem cell therapy to their patients with realistic outcomes.
Since MSC’s have been identified in a variety of tissue especially adipose tissue as wll as bone marrow aspirates, it has become the cell of choice in most applications. A large number of MSC’s lie dormant in white adipose tissue. These adipose-derived MSC’s (ADMSC’s) can be harvested through a simple, minimally invasive procedure known as lipo-aspiration which is a relatively easy and painless procedure which poses minimal risk to the patient. Once harvested, the stem cells are isolated from the adipose tissue and processed for treatment within a couple of hours with minimal manipulation. The ADMSS’s are readministered on the same day in an autologous manner (patient treated with own cells). The site of readministration plays an important part in the regeneration of tissue and the desired outcomes. This is usually determined by the doctor following a lengthy consultation and familiarization with the patients’ medical history. Once administered, the stem cells posses all the necessary tools and building blocks (provided by PRP or other growth factors) to initiate the innate healing response.
The cells are drawn to sites of inflammation and mediate tissue repair in five key steps namely:
- Homes to damaged tissues and recruits other cells that are necessary for tissue growth,
- Provides an anti-inflammatory effect,
- Supports tissue remodeling over scar formation,
- Inhibits apoptosis (cell death),
- Differentiates into the required tissue. 5, 6
This treatment setting also eliminates the risk of rejection as the patient is treated with his own tissue, rendering the procedure safe and effective.