Progenitor stem cells have been used for a variety of medical treatments to repair and regenerate acute and chronicially damaged tissues. Centers in Europe have been using stem cell therapy to treat several urologic conditions such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and renal failure. They appear to be highly effective for orthopedic uses including the regeneration of cartilage and bone. Stem cell treatments have traditionally been associated with the controversial use of embryonic cells. More recently, most centers are using bone marrow derived stem cells, which can be removed from the pelvis and then cultured to increase cell count to a therapeutic range. A recent technological breakthrough enables us to now use Adipose (fat) derived stem cells (ASC’s) Stem cells from a person’s own fat are easily available in quantities up to ten times those seen in bone marrow stem cells even after days of culturing and processing. Liposuction fat has an attractive and abundant stem cell source. These cells have the potential to repair human tissue by forming cells of mesenchymal origin, such as cartilage, bone, fat, muscle and blood vessels.
Using technology developed in Korea, these fat stem cells from liposuction are processed in a proprietary and safe fashion so that no dangerous additives or bio hazardous products are added to the patients own autologous cells. These cells are then injected back into the patient and they seek the site of cellular damage and disease. Processing and deployment of adipose derived stem cells represents a new technology that allows patients to safely receive their own autologous stem cells in extremely large quantities during the same operative session in an outpatient setting. This obviates the needs for expensive ($30,000 to $95,000) and potentially risky “stem cell tourism.”
It is important to note that at this point in time, the use of stem cells in the treatment of various specific urologic conditions is not FDA approved.
We have anecdotal and experimental evidence that stem cell therapy is effective in healing and regeneration and seeks out damaged tissues to form new blood vessels, bone, and muscle in that area. The literature and internet is full of successful testimonials but we are still awaiting definitive studies demonstrating efficacy of stem cell therapy. Such data may take five or ten years to accumulate.
In an effort to provide relief for patients suffering from certain urologic diseases that have been resistant to common modalities of treatment, we are initiating pilot studies as experimental tests of treatment effectiveness with very high numbers of adipose derived stem cells obtained by liposuction. If results are encouraging, we will design further studies to rule out the placebo effect and lay the framework for enabling patients to obtain successful stem cell treatment in a safe and cost effective manner. Patient funded enrollment is available for urologic conditions such as impotence, peyronies disease and Interstitial Cystitis.
At the California Stem Cell Treatment Center (www.stemcellrevolution.com) cell therapy can be used after radical prostatectomy to hopefully improve surgical outcomes and limit side effects of the operation. Dr. Lander can perform a mini liposuction to obtain stromal vascular fraction (SVF) which is rich in adult stem cells and growth factors. SVF has immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and therefore may be effective in healing the erection nerves and sphincter muscle after surgery.