While there have been a number of advances in pharmacological treatments for Multiple Sclerosis over the past few decades, current treatment options suffer from common problems including limited effectiveness and an assortment of troublesome side effects. Patients often report difficulty tolerating the most commonly prescribed medications, including beta interferons and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), while some of the newest pharmacological options can cause even more dire side effects. Tysabri (Natalizumab), for instance, has been linked to progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a deadly brain infection. But for patients seeking effective, less toxic treatment options, newly developed stem cell therapies may be worth investigating.
While some forms of stem cell research involving the use of fetal cells have given rise to great controversy, other research has focused on stem cells extracted from adult donors. One particularly exciting new form of therapy involves the a type of adult stem cell derived from the patients themselves. This type of cell is known as a mesenchymal stem cell, and it is found in the body’s fat and bone marrow.
Mesenchymal stem cells are particularly abundant in body fat and can be extracted from patients via a mini-liposuction procedure. The fat removed via liposuction is then separated into a component known as stromal vascular fraction (SVF). SVF is rich in both mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors and is known to have both immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
A procedure has been developed for MS patients that incorporates the removal of fat via mini-liposuction, the separation of stem cell-rich SVF from the fat cells, and the re-implantation of the SVF into the patients all in one surgical session.
This outpatient procedure is based on recent advances in stem cell research and involves the use of cutting-edge technology. Patients must be pre-screened to determine if they might be candidates for the procedure.
OC Regenerative Medicine is now able to offer the procedure on a limited basis. If you would like to find out more about the procedure, feel free to contact us through our web form or call our office at 949.247.8844.