A new era of medicine.
For the investigational use of Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSC's) for clinical research and deployment.
Up until now, medicine was predominantly aimed at keeping our cells healthy and alive through diet, exercise, medications to eradicate disease, or supplements to help our cells stay healthy, but now, going forward, we have the opportunity to replace injured or dying cells with our own DNA coded stem cells. This may be a NEW era in medicine, but it really reflects perhaps the OLDEST form of intervention. Before we had any kind of medical intervention we had to rely on our body’s natural cell defense to keep us healthy. We now have the ability to unlock and harvest huge quantities of these repair cells for immediate use.
Anyone could benefit from stem cell therapy. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can differentiate (turn into other specific cells or tissue), and replicate (multiply). Stem cell therapy can influence anything from joint issues to rejuvenating skin.
Sparrow offers specialized protocols promoting regeneration of the body through the extraction of stem cells under IRB guidance. This is just one of the many components that set our clinic apart. Just a few of the conditions that have been treated are arthritis, asthma, autoimmune, cardiomyopathy, CIDP, COPD, Crohn’s disease, degenerative spine and disc disease, Lichen Sclerosis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Neuropathy, Orthopedics, Parkinson’s disease, Peyronies disease, relapsing polychondritis, Scleroderma, stroke recovery and urological conditions.
Local Anesthesia & Harvesting Fat. Patients have their fat harvested in our special sterile treatment facility under a local anesthetic. The procedure lasts approximately twenty minutes, using specially designed equipment to harvest less than 50cc of fat.
Preparation. After harvesting the fat cells, the next step is to isolate the cells. This is accomplished by separating the fat cells and stem cells. The process used by Sparrow yields extremely high numbers of stem cells.
Deployment. Depending on the type of deployment required, stem cells can be injected through veins,
arteries, into spinal fluid, subcutaneously, or directly into joints or organs. All of these are considered
minimally invasive ways of introducing the stem cells.
In the right environment, these stem cells can change (differentiate) into bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, collagen, neural tissue, blood vessels, and even some
organs. Because it is your own DNA material, there is no rejection. The whole process takes less than three hours.
Chances are you have questions.
Internation Review Board (IRB) Protocol
While there are a growing number of doctors claiming to provide stem cell treatments, we believe the most ethical approach is to do it under the umbrella of IRB approved research protocols. An IRB is an Institutional Review Board or an organization of members responsible for approving and overseeing research on humans. IRBs are approved under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Human Research Protection. As such, our patients understand the investigational nature of our activities, are provided appropriate informed consents and are followed continuously on an online database to chart their progress or any issues of concern. This will allow us to not only accumulate safety data but demonstrate the effectiveness of treatments and help us to improve treatment programs going forward.
Properties of Stem Cells
Stem cells are basically unspecialized cells that can replicate and differentiate (i.e. turn into other specialized cells). They tend to have three basic properties: 1) anti-inflammatory; 2) immune-modulatory and 3) reparative or regenerative. Most people think an embryo is the most common source for stem cells. While most stem cell studies started by using embryos, there are a number of issues and problems associated with their use. Not only are there ethical concerns, embryonic stem cells can sometimes form tumors (i.e. teratomas).
Safety - No Significant Adverse Reactions
Initial studies made SAFETY the primary objective and the clinical outcomes a secondary objective. Our safety study of over 1,500 patients has shown that there are no significant adverse events related to the deployment of SVF. Indeed, the only real issues have been some mild discomfort around the liposuction site – something we naturally expect.
Acute Vs. Chronic
As you can imagine, with “new” technologies, patients often come to you when they’ve exhausted most other traditional treatments. We’ve now had a lot of experience to understand how well cell therapy can work even though we’re continuing to gather data and look for ways of optimizing treatments. So, for example, most patients with arthritic knees will consider stem cell deployment after they’ve tried pain medication, steroids, hyaluronan injections and even arthroscopy. None of these are actually treatments that repair the problem but rather mask the pain or temporize the situation. If there’s cartilage in the knee then it can potentially signal your stem cells to repair the joint. We now understand that acute injuries probably respond better than chronic ones (although both are expected to respond) because there are more messages (cytokines) directing and instructing the stem cells into action and repair. Still, until we have enough data and publish enough articles to support these positions our concepts remain “conjecture” awaiting to be proven.
Bone Marrow vs. Fat-Derived Stem Cells
There are also a lot of stem cells naturally found in our body. Most people are aware of bone marrow derived stem cells. In recent years, bone marrow has been a source for stem cells particularly for orthopedic conditions. However, stem cell yields in bone marrow tend to be between 50,000 and 200,000 with some of the newer technology. Adipose (fat) tissue also houses vast quantities of stem cells. In fact, just 30 cc’s (2 tablespoons) of fat can yield between 10 and 30 million stem cells.
Our fat-derived stem cells have a tremendous capacity to turn into a large variety of tissues. Originally, because of their “mesenchymal” origin, we thought they could only turn into fat, cartilage, bone, muscle, connective tissue, blood vessels and nerve tissue, but now we have studies showing they’ve turned into practically every kind of cell in the body. While the “bone marrow” proponents will sing the virtues of bone marrow stem cells for cartilage repair, it turns out that fat derived cells are an even greater source for cartilage repair and production. Compared to a bone marrow harvest, it’s so simple to harvest a little fat and the yields are generally very high making fat an ideal source for stem cells.