How do the stem cells know what type of tissue to grow into?
Based on the research in this area, local cell type, pressure, and chemical environment also help the cells to determine which type of cells will be formed.
How will my stem cells know when to stop growing?
Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells do not generally keep growing, even in culture. For example, most patients whose stem cells we grow to bigger numbers in the lab will lose their ability for continued cell growth after just a few weeks. In addition, the same body signals that would tell these cells to stop growing in healing a normal fracture or ligament tear are still present in your body.
Can an adult stem cell re-implant cause cancer?
The basic science on adult stem cells shows that if the cells are kept in culture for short periods, that there is no risk of the cells becoming cancerous. We have published the world’s largest (to date) safety and complications tracking study of adult stem cell use in patients. This study did not show any serious stem cell related complications and it did not show that any patient developed a stem cell related cancer. Finally, we maintain an extensive complications tracking database with patient contacts at specified times. We have seen no evidence of significant complications at these re-implant sites. We also work with an outside lab for quality to clear each patient’s cells before they are used in treatment as an additional safety check.
What has been the longest time period of observation that leads you to conclude there are no tumor risks?
What triggers the cessation of cell growth during regeneration? Has regeneration ever surpassed optimal growth?
Mesenchymal stem cells will stop proliferating when they physically contact each other (otherwise known in cell culture lingo as “confluence”). Culturing these cells, it becomes obvious that once they reach that point, they refuse to continue to grow (proliferate). This is because they are repair cells and when an area in need of repair is fully covered, they get the signal to stop growing. In the approximately 60 patients where we have ongoing MRI surveillance of the re-implant sites, there has been no evidence of overgrowth where the regeneration has surpassed “expected optimal growth”.
Do Mesenchymal cells stay localized to the injection site... Is there any risk of them traveling throughout the body?
MSC’s do stay local at the injection site across multiple studies. This is likely linked to the fact that they generally do not circulate in the blood stream like other adult stem cell types and are primarily found resident in the tissues they serve.
Are the procedures painful?
AZ Pain Centers developed a new advanced medical technique called Comfort Technology™ which allows even the most pain sensitive patients to get the help they need. The medications and the techniques used were designed to eliminate pain, not cause more. Most patients will tell us that the procedures are painless, but everyone’s pain tolerance is different. Some describe the procedure as simple pressure, some as being snapped by a rubber band or a slight sting and others claim no pain at all. It is our goal to make the treatment a positive, safe and effective experience to have you back in action as quickly as possible.
How long will the relief last?
Your Doctor can best answer this question at your consultation. It will depend on the condition that is being treated.
How long does the procedure take?
In most cases 15 to 30 minutes.
How do I prepare for the treatment?
The treatment has proven to be safe and easy, we encourage you to stop pain medications, including over the counter pain medications, Eight (8) hours in advance. Stop blood thinners 48 hours in advance. Please discuss this with the prescribing Doctor prior to discontinuing blood thinners to be sure it is safe for you to do so. You will want to have a light snack before the treatment. Eating before the procedure can reduce a drop in blood sugar to which some people may experience due to fear.