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June 10, 2019 English Blog

In 2019’s current health and beauty focused climate, people are on a quest to fight the signs of aging (or prevent it altogether) and many have begun looking for alternative ways to roll back the clock. With advancements in stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, more people are ditching standard procedures like facelifts for newer, regenerative treatments to reverse aging starting at the cellular level. Even athletes are seeing the effects of stem cell therapy to heal injuries and stimulate growth factors. But are these treatments really worth the cost? Are they effective enough to ditch your Botox? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi discusses new cell-based treatments, traditional fillers and fat transfers to tell us which might be right for you.

How do stem cells work, what is stem cell therapy and how are people using it in the cosmetics field now?

First, we should distinguish the difference between adult and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are derived from an embryo and can become all types of cells within the body. They don’t have a specific function other than to be a manufacturing plant to create other types of cells. As we develop into a child these cells become more specific, called adult stem cells or multipotent stem cells. We have many of these cells as youth, but slowly, over time, lose them as we age. Because of this, we take longer to recover from a sports injury or a wound as quickly. Several years ago, it seemed like there was no way to turn the clock back, until now. Recent research has discovered methods in which we can turn these cells back on or take them from one part of the body and place them in another. We are currently able to take blood and prepare it in a way to concentrate the platelets and white blood cells to turn these cells on for a while to reverse or slow aging or speed up the healing cascade. There are also methods of taking your fat, which was recently discovered as a storehouse for adult stem cells, like bone marrow, where we can transfer prepared fat to other parts of the body, like the face, to slow or reverse the aging of the skin and restore lost volume.

Is it possible to isolate the functionality of what you want those stem cells to do? For example, using them to repair sun damage, is it possible to isolate their functions for a specific purpose in the body?

The scientific evidence being published of late has shown we can take adult stem cells and cause them to form certain types of cells. For instance, adult stem cells from your fat can be grown into bone, cartilage, muscle and skin. This is all groundbreaking for the field of reconstructive surgery. For example, our cancer patients would get mastectomies and have their whole breast tissue removed and have implant reconstruction. They would just have a bag of skin over an implant, which would look unnatural as there’s really no fat and all you could see were the ripples and the deformities from the implant. Some surgeons really thought ahead and decided to take some fat from the patient and put fat where these ripples were to lessen the appearance of the deformity. They also noticed that by doing this, the patients recovered faster from the procedure.

In contrast, there were some doctors and scientists that thought we shouldn’t inject fat in the breasts of breast cancer patients because the stem cells in the fat could potentially enable breast cancer to develop again. It was kind of taboo to talk about this for a while. Fortunately, recent clinical studies have proven otherwise. What they also discovered is that with fat transfer on breast cancer patients with radiation damage, the damaged skin would also become soft and get better largely due to the stem cells found in fat. Just picture people who had radiated skin that looked like leather, and it healed. They realized there was a serious correlation between fat transfers and inadvertent repair and reproduction of healthy cells via innate stem cells in the fat. That’s where a lot of my interest started in this research.


June 4, 2019 English Blog
ElNorte   Reporter: Daniela de la Mora  Photography: Velia de la Cruz

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Isabella Lombardo is a 6 year old girl with cerebral palsy who lives in Australia. Until a few months ago, the little girl could not digest, move her arms or legs and it was difficult for her to communicate with her parents.

However, after a treatment with stem cells in Monterrey, his condition and quality of life improved.

Now, seven months later she returned to the city with his father to undergo his second treatment.

“When we learned that she had cerebral palsy, the doctor said she would not walk, that she would be in a wheelchair, and what she did before age 5 that would be his best moment,” says Joseph Lombardo, Isabella’s father.

“We were very worried because she could not use his hands, she could not walk,could not turn around, she could not do anything. We had to find a way to help her “.
His wife and he, he says, spent two years searching the world for a medical option for their daughter.

“We came to Monterrey for the therapy of stem cells they have, which is using my daughter’s own tissue,” he says. “We found out about studies that show that children improve when using stem cells.

“My family and I have always wanted Isabella to be as independent as possible, is everything that the human being wants. Yes, it would be fabulous if she could walk, but right now we are on the way to becoming her independent, that can communicate and move “.

The treatment was carried out by specialists from Bioss Stem Cells, a company specialized in research and development of regenerative medicine with stem cell treatments.


Guillermo Aguirre, head of clinical services of Bioss Stem Cells, explains that the treatment consists of stimulating the bone marrow for three days to obtain a greater quantity of stem cells through a daily injection in the arm.

“We do bone marrow extraction in an operating room the next day, and the patient goes to recovery. Then in the laboratory we separate the sample or the stem cells, and that cell concentrate is applied intrathecally.

“We go directly to the central nervous system and we apply the stem cells and another part intravenously,” he says.

“It’s a treatment that is not done in Australia, and Bioss Stem Cells is one of the pioneers. We serve people with autism, infantile cerebral palsy, who have
suffered a cerebral infarction or a cardiovascular accident “.

Ana Carolina Ramírez Cazares, hematologist of the medical staff of Bioss Stem Cells, says that after the first session, Isabella increased her muscular strength, achieved more extension of the movements in her extremities, already walks a couple of steps and can digest food better.

“Cerebral palsy is a condition where there is an interruption in the neuronal and motor development that conditions certain symptoms, such as the total decrease in movements and decrease in the ability to swallow.

“After a therapy with stem cells does not go back to its previous state, what wins accumulates, is not lost, and in a second therapy we hope there are still improvements,” he says.


May 23, 2019 English Blog

Nadal’s team opened up about his use of platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) during his knee rehabilitation. The treatment involves taking a small vial of a person’s blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich cells, which carry growth factors that have a regenerative effect, and reinjecting those cells into the site of the injury to speed up recovery.

Bloomberg estimates that thousands of athletes have undergone the procedure, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Troy Polamalu.

The PRP may have much wider benefits to performance. Doctors Amy Wasterlain and Jason Dragoo found that Human Growth Hormone ‘increases dramatically within the first 24 hours after PRP infiltration’. They said that their trials had shown its effects can include ‘rocketing both anabolic and catabolic growth factor release’.

“The feeling on the knee is not 100 percent perfect,” he said. “But the feeling on the knee is very good for me because the pain is not limiting my movements. That’s the most important thing. I am playing with no limitations. I am free when I am playing.


May 18, 2019 English Blog

The goal of this clinical trial was to assess the feasibility and safety of transplanting autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells into patients suffering severe embolic stroke. Major inclusion criteria included patients with cerebral embolism, age 20-75 years, National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score displaying improvement of ≤ 5 points during the first 7 days after stroke, and NIHSS score of ≥ 10 on day 7 after stroke. Bone marrow aspiration (25 or 50 mL; N = 6 patients in each case) was performed 7-10 days poststroke, and bone marrow mononuclear cells were administrated intravenously. Mean total transplanted cell numbers were 2.5 × 10(8) and 3.4 × 10(8) cells in the lower and higher dose groups, respectively. No apparent adverse effects of administering bone marrow cells were observed. Compared with the lower dose, patients receiving the higher dose of bone marrow cells displayed a trend toward improved neurologic outcomes. Compared with 1 month after treatment, patients receiving cell therapy displayed a trend toward improved cerebral blood flow and metabolic rate of oxygen consumption 6 months after treatment. In comparison with historical controls, patients receiving cell therapy had significantly better neurologic outcomes. Our results indicated that intravenous transplantation of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells is safe and feasible. Positive results and trends favoring neurologic recovery and improvement in cerebral blood flow and metabolism by cell therapy underscore the relevance of larger scale randomized controlled trials using this approach.

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May 2, 2019 English Blog

City doctors have used stem cells to save the life of a premature baby boy, who was suffering from a chronic lung disease. When all efforts failed to revive Rudransh Dubey’s lungs, who was born at 26 weeks (normal gestation period is 39 weeks), the doctors decided to try the stem cell therapy, which is in an experimental stage. They injected the baby with 40 million stem cells and gradually the lungs began to repair, and he could be weaned off the ventilator, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, and oxygen support step by step.

Rudransh was born on June 27 last year at a Malad hospital and he weighed merely 600 grams. “Premature babies like him have very tiny air sacks. Breathing for them thus becomes very difficult,” said neonatologist Dr. Nandkishore Kabra from Surya Hospital in Santacruz where Rudransh was shifted a month after his birth.

According to Dr. Kabra, the baby was put on all the possible lines of treatment like steroids, vitamins, and surfactant to develop the lungs and wean him off the ventilator support. However, his condition remained critical and he continued to require high-pressure ventilator support.

Rudransh had developed severe broncho pulmonary dysplasia. While in most cases, babies in such conditions lose their battle for life, in Rudransh’s case, the doctors and his parents decided to try the stem cell therapy as a last attempt. Third party stem cells derived from umbilical cord were sourced by Rudransh’s parents. The doctors injected about 40 million cells directly into the baby’s lungs through the intratracheal tube.

“About 10 days later, the baby’s ventilator support was going down. The lungs had begun to develop better,” Dr. Kabra said. Gradually, the baby was shifted on CPAP machine and then later on simple oxygen support with which he was discharged from the hospital on March 11. He weighed 4.6 kg at the time of discharge. “For the last few weeks, the baby has completely been off any breathing support,” he said.

Doctors said stem cells were used as a life-saving measure. “This therapy is not a standard of care. We have to exercise caution,” paediatrician Dr. Bhupendra Avasthi from Surya Hospital said.

He said the procedure was carried out free of cost. “The consent of the parents and the hospital’s ethics committee was taken, and the Declaration of Helsinki that provides guidance on medical research was followed to carry out the procedure,” Dr. Avasthi said.

Dr. Kabra said intra-pulmonary stem cell therapy in such a chronic lung disease has never been used before. “Researchers in Korea have used mesenchymal stem cells in babies as a prophylactic while researchers in Australia have used amnion stem cells intravenously in babies to see their safety. However, we have gone a step further and used stem cells in a baby as the last available therapy,” he said.

Rudransh’s parents refused to divulge the source from where they obtained the stem cells.

I kept on pushing the doctor to find an alternative. I have enormous faith in science and I know science does new things everyday,” said Pramod.


April 26, 2019 English Blog

Doctors at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital recently conducted the institution’s first stem cell transplant in a sickle cell disease patient, effectively curing her of the inherited blood disease. The successful procedure procedure offers hope and accessible treatment to those suffering from the disease in the Inland Empire and surrounding regions.

Children’s Hospital doctors had worked for nearly a year to build a program focused on helping hematology patients, specifically hemophilia and sickle cell disease.

Akshat Jain, MD, pediatric physician specializing in hematologic disorders at Children’s Hospital, said he is pleased with the outcome of the transplant and what it means for future patients suffering from sickle cell disease.

“We created a successful program so children and their families suffering from this disease don’t need to look elsewhere for treatment — it’s available to them right here in the Inland Empire,” Jain said.

The procedure was also Children’s Hospital’s first haploidentical transplant, meaning the stem cells donated — by the patient’s father — were only half a genomic match to the patient’s own stem cells. The transplant team infused the father’s cells directly into the patient after conditioning chemotherapy to replace the unhealthy blood-forming cells..

The patient, 11-year-old Valeria Vargas-Olmedo, had lived with sickle cell disease since birth. Her family began seeking treatment last year after she became incapacitated, unable to continue daily activities such as attend school, get in a car or even walk. Doctors said she had debilitating chronic pain, bone loss and bone necrosis.

“She is now disease free and can go back out into the world to do what an 11-year-old should be doing,” Jain said.

Sickle cell disease causes a shortage of red blood cells and thus an oxygen deficiency in one’s body. This can cause chronic pain and other serious complications, such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke. Without oxygen, any organ has a high likelihood of dying off.

Jain said the disease is generally found in populations like those in the Inland Empire, such as Hispanic and African American populations.

Jain said he and his team treat approximately 250 to 300 sickle cell patients in Children’s Hospital’s comprehensive sickle cell program — more patients than in some of the largest programs on the west coast.

Clara Olmedo, Valerie’s mother, said, “Firstly, we want to thank God. We also want to thank Dr. Jain and his entire transplant team. Finally, thanks to Valerie’s father — he did everything he could in order to save her life and give her health through being a donor. My daughter is much more animated now — she’s begun walking, she’s eating and gaining weight, she’s happy. Little by little she is living a normal life like before.”

The Vargas-Olmedo family wants to encourage others families who are struggling with sickle cell disease. “For the parents who see the news of this transplant and deal with this sickness, I hope they are encouraged and know that Children’s Hospital is a great hospital,” Clara Olmedo said. “There are many good doctors, professionals and excellent nurses. I encourage them to ask more questions about this procedure and our experience. They’ve helped us tremendously, and we have our trust in them.”


February 14, 2019 English Blog

Background:  The underlying pathophysiology in intellectual disability  (ID) involves  abnormalities in dendritic branching and connectivity of the neuronal network. This limits the ability of the brain to process information. Conceptually, cellular therapy through its neurorestorative and neuroregenerative properties can counteract these pathogenetic  mechanisms and improve neuronal connectivity.  This improved networking should exhibit as clinical efficacy in patients with ID.

Methods:  To assess the safety and efficacy of cellular therapy in patients with ID, we conducted an open-label proof-of- concept study from October 2011 to December 2015. Patients were divided into two groups: intervention group (n = 29) and rehabilitation group (n = 29). The intervention group underwent cellular transplantation consisting of intrathecal administration of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells and standard neurorehabilitation. The rehabilitation group underwent only standard neurorehabilitation.

The results of the symptomatic outcomes were compared between the two groups. In the intervention group analysis, the outcome measures used were the intelligence quotient (IQ) and the Wee Functional Independence Measure (Wee-FIM). To compare the pre-intervention and post-intervention results, statistical analysis was done using Wilcoxon’s matched-pairs test for Wee-FIM scores and McNemar’s test for symptomatic improvements and IQ. The effect of age and severity of the disorder were assessed for their impact on the outcome of intervention. Positron emission tomography- computed tomography (PET-CT) brain scan was used as a monitoring tool to study effects of the intervention. Adverse events were monitored for the safety of cellular therapy.

Results: On symptomatic analysis, greater improvements were seen in the intervention group as compared to the rehabilitation group. In the intervention group, the symptomatic improvements, IQ and Wee-FIM were statistically significant.  A significantly  better outcome of the intervention was found in the paediatric age group (<18 years) and patients with milder severity of ID. Repeat PET-CT scan in three patients of the intervention group showed improved metabolism in the frontal, parietal cortex, thalamus, mesial temporal structures and cerebellum. No major adverse events were witnessed.

Conclusions: Cellular transplantation with neurorehabilitation is safe and effective for the treatment of underlying brain deficits in ID.

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February 11, 2019 English Blog

Cellular therapy is an emerging therapeutic modality with a great potential for the treatment of autism. Recent findings show that the major underlying pathogenetic mechanisms of autism are hypoperfusion and immune alterations in the brain. So conceptually, cellular therapy which facilitates counteractive processes of improving perfusion by angiogenesis and balancing inflammation by immune regulation would exhibit beneficial clinical effects in patients with autism. This is an open label proof of concept study of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs) intrathecal transplantation in 32 patients with autism followed by multidisciplinary therapies. All patients were followed up for 26 months (mean 12.7). Outcome measures used were ISAA, CGI, and FIM/Wee-FIM scales. Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scan recorded objective changes. Out of 32 patients, a total of 29 (91%) patients improved on total ISAA scores and 20 patients (62%) showed decreased severity on CGI-I. The difference between pre- and postscores was statistically significant () on Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test. On CGI-II 96% of patients showed global improvement. The efficacy was measured on CGI-III efficacy index. Few adverse events including seizures in three patients were controlled with medications. The encouraging results of this leading clinical study provide future directions for application of cellular therapy in autism.

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February 4, 2019 English Blog


Management of osteoarthritis (OA) is basically symptomatic. Recently, stem cells (SC) have been used in the search for an optimum treatment. We decided to conduct a controlled clinical trial to determine if a single intra-articular injection of in vivo stimulated bone marrow SC could lead to an improvement in pain management and quality of life in patients with knee OA.


This was a prospective, open-label, phase I/II clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a single intra-articular injection of autologous stimulated bone marrow stem cells (BM-SC) in patients with knee OA. Individuals of both genders older than 30 years with confirmed diagnosis of OA who signed informed consent were included in two groups: SC group received in vivo BM stimulation with subcutaneous administration of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). SC were obtained by BM aspiration and administered in a single intra-articular injection. The control group received exclusively oral acetaminophen. Visual analogue scale and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scores were performed at 1 week, 1 month and 6 months in both groups. This trial was registered in ClinialTrials.gov NCT01485198.


A total of 61 patients were included. Socio-demographic characteristics, OA grades and initial scores were similar in both groups. The BM-SC group showed significant improvement in knee pain and quality of life during the 6-month follow-up.


The study demonstrates feasibility and supports efficacy of a completely ambulatory procedure in treatment of knee OA.

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January 28, 2019 English Blog


Quality of life (QOL) is an important factor in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment in children with cerebral palsy (CP). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM MNCs) on the QOL of children with CP.


From December 2015 to December 2016, 30 children with CP aged from 2 to 15 years received two intrathecal infusions of BM MNCs, one at baseline and the other 3 months later, at Vinmec International Hospital. The motor function and muscle tone of the patients were evaluated using the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM)-88 and Modified Ashworth Score, respectively. Their QOL was assessed at baseline and 6 months after the first BM MNC transplant using the Vietnamese version of the Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life Questionnaire for children (CP QOL-Child)-the parental proxy report, which comprises seven domains. Nineteen mothers (mean age: 32.9±4.9 years) and 11 fathers (mean age: 36.1±6.8 years) were invited to complete the CP QOL-Child assessment before and after the transplantations, Paired t-tests and multivariate regression analyses were used to evaluate the changes in QOL and GMFM scores and to identify the key factors correlated with the QOL score.


Significant changes were observed in the children’s gross motor function and muscle spasticity, as evidenced by the GMFM-88 total score, scores for each of its domains, the GMFM-66 percentile and the muscle tone (P < 0.001). Six months after the transplantations, the QOL scores of children with CP were markedly increased (P < 0.001) for all the domains, except for the domain of access to services. In the multivariate regression analysis, significant associations were found between higher age of children and higher QOL except for feeling about functioning and pain and impact of disability domains. Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level was negatively correlated with the score of pain and impact of disability domain, while the GMFM-88 scores were positively correlated with the QOL in terms of feelings about functioning and family health domain (P < 0.05).


The QOL of the children with CP was noticeably improved 6 months after BM MNC transplantation and was accompanied by improvements in gross motor function and muscle tone.


ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02574923 . Registered on October 14, 2015.

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