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Stem Cell Treatment Is Incredibly Safe – and Far Safer Than Drugs

Stem Cell Treatment Is Incredibly Safe – and Far Safer Than Drugs

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Stem cell treatment is here now, with proven efficacy and incredible safety for a vast array of disorders such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, autism, ulcerative colitis, kidney failure, diabetes (see graphic), and many more that are otherwise difficult to treat. In contrast, the conventional treatment of these disorders involves using drugs with toxic—and sometimes dangerous or even fatal—side effects and surgery, which is inherently dangerous.

Stem cells work by decreasing the body’s attacks on itself just as drugs such as Humira, Enbrel, and prednisone do, but without side effects. In addition, they help the body repair itself with growth factors—something no drug does. Unfortunately, due to very restrictive FDA regulations, stem cell treatment is not generally available in the U.S. except for small, difficult-to-access clinical trials. And while pharmacologic drugs are advertised ubiquitously throughout the media, stem cell information is suppressed. For example, since 2019, Google has banned ads for stem cell treatment.

What Type of Stem Cells Are We Talking About?
Mesenchymal stem cells are those we are referring to here and those being used in stem cell treatment. These are adult stem cells—not embryonic or fetal—so there are no ethical concerns. They generally are extracted from fat, bone marrow, or Wharton’s jelly from umbilical cords from the patient or from someone else and are then expanded in culture. However, none of these methods are legal in the U.S. Stem cell research and treatment are very common in South Korea and China, where they are promoted instead of suppressed and who therefore lead the U.S. in research by a wide margin as a result. The only legal stem cell treatment in the U.S. is bone marrow aspirate, which has proven generally ineffective except in helping bone healing. Because of this, stem cell treatment has been driven offshore, which is why we established a center in Antigua. Others exist in Panama, Mexico, the Caymans, Colombia, and elsewhere.

Medical Evidence Stem Cell Safety
Despite mesenchymal stem cell treatment not being legal in the U.S., there is a great deal of evidence of the efficacy and safety of the use of stem cells to treat many medical issues.

  • Appropriate use: Safety of any medical procedure is dependent on responsible use. A reckless surgeon can render safe surgery unsafe. Similarly, stem cells must be used with care.
  • Our Studies Prove Safety: Our non-profit 501(c)(3) research institute (www.theforem.org) has performed a number of systematic reviews of the medical literature to assess safety. This involved analyzing literally thousands of published studies looking for adverse events to describe and quantify. We have broken these down into different types of stem cell use. Here is what we found.
    • Number of serious adverse events. The number of serious adverse events in appropriately used stem cell treatment that are due to the stem cells themselves is incredibly small. Here are the studies:
      • Stem cell treatment for arthritis. There are more than 50 published series of cohorts of arthritic patients treated with mesenchymal stem cells. In these studies, including adipose, bone marrow, and umbilical cells, there was not a single serious adverse event. Our paper was published in a good medical journal in September of 2020. You may find this paper at our website, www.thepsci.com, under “Research.”
      • Compare to harmful cortisone. In contrast, an elderly patient I just saw had her hip joint completely obliterated and cartilage destroyed in under a month by a single cortisone injection. Her mild arthritis was accelerated to very severe, which will almost certainly result in joint replacement that otherwise would likely never have been necessary. Stem cells slow down arthritis; they never accelerate it.
      • Stem cells injected intravenously for any reason. This includes the vast majority of stem cell treatments performed for a multitude of disorders, such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, and many more. We reviewed thousands of papers, of which about 114 met criteria for inclusion, including thousands of injections. The only serious adverse event found was a single case report from China of a blood clot forming in an arm vein. This resolved safely and did not spread, with no harm to the patient. This paper will be submitted for publication in a few weeks; a summary may also be viewed at www.thepsci.com
      • Stem cells injected by lumbar puncture for neurologic disorders. This includes treatment for ALS, MS, stroke, and other neurologic disorders. The only serious event was a seizure and temporary nervous system inflammation, which resolved without harm to the patient. Additionally, in this case the patient had an unusually high dose that was not repeated. This paper will also be submitted in the next few weeks, but a summary is also available at www.thepsci.com.
      • Stem cells injected into other areas. We have independently reviewed the literature regarding stem cell injections into muscle, the disc spaces, the eye, the penis, the heart, and elsewhere. This research will also be published and, again, serious adverse events are almost unheard of.
    • How about tumors? Tumor or cancer initiation was not seen in any of these studies.
    • What about rejection of cells? Mesenchymal stem cells do not have the type of HLA antigens that cause rejection, as is seen in other tissue, so no clinical rejection ever occurs, even with cells from others. And no immunosuppressive drugs are needed.
    • Infections. The only reported infections have been a 1 in a thousand incidence with injection into intervertebral discs—the same incidence as occurs with any disc space injection with any substance. No infections were seen with IV, intra-thecal, or any of the other uses.
    • Our experience. We have never seen a serious adverse event in any of our stem-cell-treated patients and do not expect to going forward.
    • Compared to drugs: Listen to TV commercials while the announcer describes how many side effects, including potentially life-threatening infections—even cancer or ALS—can occur from drug use. Then compare this to the incredible safety profile for responsibly used stem cells described here.

    Stem cells are inherently safe—they are what nature has evolved to heal us with over millions of years of evolution. The incredible safety profile of stem cells is expected and, in reality, inevitable. How could stem cells—which exist in all of us to heal us—possibly be expected to be harmful? These are not random chemicals like drugs that have to be tested for years and still turn up new side effects later. In stem cell treatment, we simply take nature’s own treatment and concentrate it where it is needed. Again, proper care must be taken in preparation, handling, and administration, just as is the case with drugs and surgery. But when this proper care is performed, stem cells have been conclusively proven to be very safe overall—and far safer than drugs and surgery.

    Disorders Treated with Stem Cells Examples
    Neurologic MS, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Paralysis
    Arthritic Osteoarthritis of the Peripheral Joints and Spine, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma
    Chronic Kidney Disease
    Diabetes Diabetes Types 1 and 2
    Genitourinary ED, Peyronie’s Disease, Interstitial Nephritis
    Lung Asthma, Pulmonary Fibrosis, COPD
    Gastrointestinal Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
    Fertility Premature Ovarian Failure, Oligospermia
    Eye Retinis Pigmentosa, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy
    Heart Congestive Heart Failure, Angina

    The Prodromos Stem Cell Institute provides stem cell treatment in the beautiful Caribbean island nation of Antigua. Evaluations are carried out in Naples, Chicago, or remotely.

    For more information, please call us at 847.699.6810 or email: care@thepsci.com, and visit us at: www.thepsci.com.

    Chadwick C. Prodromos, MD, received his BA from Princeton and his MD from Johns Hopkins. He had residencies at the University of Chicago and Rush and a fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. He spent 27 years in academic medicine as assistant professor at Rush before stepping back to focus on my 501(c)(3) non-profit research foundation (www.theforem.org). Our research team performs world-leading clinical research and publishes in respected medical journals. For information about helping our research efforts with a tax-deductible foundation donation, please visit: www.theforem.org.