How Stem Cells Want to Be Known
First, there were cells. You first met them in a biology class. They’re micro-sized units of cytoplasm, surrounded by a semipermeable membrane, with a nucleus in the center.
Then there were stem cells. Most people have met them through media sources, not in classes. Although they’ve been defined since 1885, stem cell information showed up in mass consciousness almost 100 years later—when embryonic stem cells were discovered in mice.
In 1997, Dolly, the cloned sheep, trotted out more interest in what use of stem cells might mean for human cloning. The next year, researchers isolated human embryonic stem cells and grew them in laboratories.
Human stem cells come in two forms: embryonic and adult. The first kind come from embryos that are fertilized in vitro in a laboratory and donated for harvest (and yes, there are moral implications about this source, which is why they are not used for commercial purposes). Adult stem cells are harvested from fully developed tissue from the body of a living human—such as from bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat). These stem cells come from the same person who plans to use them for therapy.
You may have read claims that stem cell therapy can treat many ailments—from head to toe—including blindness, bone fractures, arthritis, and cancer. There are many stem cell clinics in operation across the United States, and the Food and Drug Administration has yet to regulate them.
So, what’s true about stem cell therapy, and who is qualified to give clear answers to the questions that exist about it in 2019?
Josh Lane, M.D. is the medical director of Stemulus Innovative Healthcare, located in Phoenix, AZ. Jaime Ewald, NMD, a naturopathic physician, is the chief medical director and a practicing physician at Stemulus. Together they have 20 years of experience in the fields of medicine—allopathic and naturopathic. They consider themselves pioneers in what they call “innovative” health care. Their practice at Stemulus combines holistic approaches to healing, including bioidentical hormone therapies, acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutraceuticals, prolotherapy, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, homeopathy, vitamin injections, nutrient IV therapy, and, regenerative injection techniques—using stem cells (and/or exosomes, which are particles released by a cell that cannot replicate themselves), and platelet rich plasma.
Lane says, “The goal of stem cell therapy is to improve the quality of life—not cure disease.” This may surprise people who believe that stem cell therapy could be their last resort for a cure. The fact is, a person must be a good candidate for stem cell therapy—people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat cancer would not benefit from the type of stem cell treatment offered at Stemulus.
Dr. Ewald’s experience as a certified tissue bank specialist where she recovered human bone, tissue, and organs for transplant and research. She says this work allowed her to understand “the intricacies of the human body and how it copes with illnesses and injuries.” She says that she’s seen some amazing improvements in patients who’ve had strokes and arthritis. “Stem cell therapy can regenerate healthy tissue,” she says, “and support the healing of bone fractures. It can boost the capacity of worn ligaments to function without causing pain.”
Dr. Lane admits that stem cell therapy “is still controversial,” and “it’s unfortunate that it is so expensive.” His goal for Stemulus is to “arrive at the time when stem cell therapy is used with integrity, and can be made available to all people who’d benefit from the types of improvements it offers.”
We are witnessing the advent of new types of health maintenance and medical treatment modalities, thanks to the combined wisdom and courage of pioneers like Lane and Ewald. As the Food and Drug Administration asks the questions it needs to ask about regulation of stem cell therapy, you can ask your own questions about it. The fact is, stem cell therapy (using adult cells) is available as a treatment option.
By Mary L. Holden
For up-to-date information about stem cells, see what the Mayo Clinic reports at: www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-marrow-transplant/in-depth/stem-cells/art-20048117
Stemulus Innovative Healthcare offers a quiz: “Is Stem Cell Treatment Right For Me?” Rory L. Lovern, marketing director at Stemulus, is willing to answer questions about stem cell therapy. Contact him at [email protected] or 602-293-3939.
Interview with Josh Lane, M.D. (Medical Director of Stemulus Innovative Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ) and Jaime Ewald, NMD (Chief Medical Officer at Stemulus Innovative Healthcare)
Online Etymology Dictionary; Dictionary.com
U.S. News & World Report: https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/before-you-undergo-stem-cell-treatment