Human nature being what it is, there has been an unfortunate increase in the number stem cell therapies which are available and proclaim success for a large number of disorders. This has occurred domestically as well as internationally with hybrids which recruit the patients here in the Unites States only to ship off the cells overseas.
In response, the International Society Stem Cell Researchers (ISSCR) has created a comprehensive set of guidelines for stem cell therapy. Patients and their physicians must be aware of these guidelines. I will summarize two of the guidelines and comment how Regenexx has addressed the standard.
1) Stem cells from other people (allogenic) are more risky and require closer monitoring. Research would suggest that stem cells from a donor may carry a genetic disease transmission risk. What does this mean? Stem cells from one patient when used in another patient may transmit serious diseases. In the animal model for example when a young mouse is injected with stem cells from a mouse with known osteoporosis, the younger mouse develops osteoporosis. Regenexx acknowledges this significant risk and therefore only uses a patients own stem cells. These cells are referred to as autologous.
2)The use of animal components to grow stem cells must by replaced human components. Stem cells are commonly cultured in Fetal Calf Serum (FCS). There are multiple concerns with this practice including transmission of infectious processes such as mad cow disease. Fetal Calf Serum is not appropriate for human use. Regenexx uses a patient’s own blood to grown and expand their stem cells. Regenexx has not and never will use fetal calf serum.