Last Sunday, De Castro and Dr. Franklin Domingo explained that autologous stem cell therapy could speed up the healing of musculoskeletal and sports-related injuries, which could be soon provide an alternative treatment before undergoing surgery.
To the surprise of the stem cell therapy NYC community, the doctors explained the new procedure would require taking stem cells from the patient’s blood, fat tissue or bone marrow and injecting them to the injured area of the same person.
This specific stem cell method is far less controversial than using embryonic stem cells and only involve the person undergoing treatment without threatening any form of life.
“If you have arthritis and you take anti-inflammatory drugs, you will not feel the pain so you will move around and further damage the cartilage. Whereas stem cells will regenerate tissues and ease the pain, making the damaged cells become young again,” De Castro said.
According to Domingo, stem cell therapy is not for everybody and is not a quick-fix solution because it uses the body’s natural ability to heal.
Patients who have cancer and infection are not allowed to undergo stem cell therapy, and so are those under the influence of alcohol or who have taken blood-thinning medicine like Coumadin at the time of extraction.
“If your knee hurts and you underwent stem cell therapy but you remained overweight, the relief will not last forever. You have to lose weight, too,” Domingo said. “Stem cell therapy is not the only treatment, but part of a whole spectrum of treatment that enhances healing.”
De Castro said 60 cubic centimeters of blood would be the optimum amount to be extracted in harvesting stem cells. A centrifuge machine will isolate the stem cells from the blood, which will then be injected to the injured area.
For severe arthritis in old people, a combination of stem cells from the blood, fat tissue and bone marrow will be used for the initial injection but just stem cells from the blood will do for young people.
“When we are young, we have a lot of stem cells. As we speak, we have stem cells. But the number dwindles as we grow older,” Domingo explained.