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Are you or a loved one interested in receiving stem cell treatment? For free information, please fill out our treatment form or email me don@repairstemcells.org and just put TREATMENT in the subject box and the MEDICAL CONDITION in the message.

Stem cell therapy goes to the dogs

 

A surgical team at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove removes fat from Doodle, a 9-year-old German Shepherd suffering from osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Stem cells will be derived from the fat and injected into the dog./Photo submitted by Veterinary Specialty Center

A surgical team at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove removes fat from Doodle, a 9-year-old German Shepherd suffering from osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Stem cells will be derived from the fat and injected into the dog. Photo submitted by Veterinary Specialty Center

Doodle was the first dog to receive the new one-day stem cell procedure in Illinois./Photo submitted by Veterinary Specialty Center

Things were getting bad for Doodle. Despite her youthful name, the 9-year-old German Shepherd was experiencing joint pain from bilateral hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. She would get sore and tired from long weekend walks and started falling up the stairs.

Her owners, the Dahl family of Oak Brook, had tried different options before landing on animal stem cell regenerative therapy, a procedure that’s a hot topic in the veterinary world. Last week, Doodle received reportedly the first such one-day operation in Illinois at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove.

The practice of using stem cells, derived from the animal’s fat, to treat joint problems could be discouraging for pet owners because of cost and timing. The animal used to have to go twice to a vet hospital: once for surgery to remove fat cells and once again for the injection of the stem cells into the inflamed joint.  The cost was around $2,700.

Leslie Dahl, Doodle’s owner and a veterinarian herself, didn’t want to go that route. She had tried anti-inflammatory medication, but Doodle’s stomach couldn’t handle it. She tried collagen injections, but they didn’t fully relieve Doodle of her pain. Plus, the animal already was difficult at the vet’s and she was concerned that Doodle would get too anxious between the visits.

So when the Veterinary Specialty Center started looking into a new procedure that allows the stem cells to be processed in the same facility on the same day for about $1,900, Dahl was intrigued.

The process is essentially the same. Fat is removed and then processed by being put in a centrifuge and spun until the stoma stem cells are separated. They are then isolated, activated and injected back into the animal.

In the clinic before a lab was established, the cells were shipped to California, said Mitch Robbins, a surgeon at the Veterinary Specialty Center. The pet would be under anesthesia for removal of the cells, then a second time for the re-injection.

Doodle’s operation, and that of another dog called Fergus, were the center’s firsts in which the stem cells were processed in house, Robbins said.

He said he’s seen about 70 to 80 percent of the animals improve significantly with the treatment that’ s been available since about 2005.

“It’s been around for a little while,” said Kimberly May, a veterinarian and assistant director of professional and public affairs for the Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association. “We’ve actually been using it in horses for quite a while; now it’s being promoted for joint disease and hip dysphasia. It’s definitely growing, especially for pet owners who are hearing all these anecdotal stories.”

Research is progressing on the treatment’s effectiveness, May said.

“You find out what it really works for and where it doesn’t work,” she said. “We’re still in that stage with the stem cell procedures.”

Robbins said success depends on the animal’s ailments. Pets that don’t respond may be experiencing pain from a source other than  inflammation of the tissues around the joint.

“Some dogs do better, some do worse, some don’t respond at all,” he said.

On average, the animals he treats get re-injected every 18 months, he said. The cells can be stored, with subsequent procedures costing about $600.

Robbins believes the one-day procedure and lower cost will encourage more pet owners to help out their older dogs with arthritis or inflammatory problems. Dahl said her family would have had to euthanize Doodle if pain prevented her from moving, but that would have been a really tough decision since they embrace the dog’s quirky personality.

So far, Doodle’s recovery has been going well. It takes about 10 days to heal from the initial surgery and about four to five weeks to see results.

Doodle is still throwing balls to herself and performing stuffed animal tricks, but is not quite back to going up and down stairs.

“I don’t expect this is going to be a magic bullet to give her back her youth,” Dahl said. “But to get her where she’s not falling and she’s not in pain after going for just a moderate walk, that’s quality of life.

Stem cell therapy goes to the dogs — Buffalo Grove news, photos and events — TribLocal.com.

Posted: 4/7/2011 9:39:28 AM by Guest Blogger | with 0 comments


Are you or a loved one interested in receiving stem cell treatment? For free information, please fill out our treatment form or email me don@repairstemcells.org and just put TREATMENT in the subject box and the MEDICAL CONDITION in the message.
A Tauranga company is offering veterinary clinics a process for stem-cell treatment that improves healing and brightens – even lengthens – the lives of dogs, cats and horses.
 
The groundbreaking treatment is being applied to osteoarthritis, and ligament and tendon injuries affecting racehorses.
Stemvet New Zealand, established in September 2009, is committed to providing veterinarians with the knowledge and products to make stem-cell therapy an everyday treatment.

Your cherished pet is feeling the effects of old age ... it is  suffering and may need to be put down. Enter stem-cell therapy.

 
It also wants to put New Zealand veterinarians at the forefront of developments in regenerative medicine.
“The treatment certainly relieves pain and slows the ageing process,” said Stemvet co-owner Gil Sinclair.
“The degree of improvement varies with each patient. But in most cases there’s dramatic improvement in the animal’s mobility and wellbeing.”
 
Dr Sinclair, a veterinarian who has four in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) laboratories in New Zealand and Australia, has been involved with animal reproduction for nearly 30 years. He has recently worked with researchers in Sydney on the development of stem-cell extraction technology and its application in veterinary clinics.
 
His enthusiastic business partner, Kerry Hitchcock, talks about a dog suffering from osteoarthritis that was “a doormat at home”.
 
The dog had an intravenous dose of stem cells and its condition improved. In a short time it was bouncing around.
Mr Hitchcock said an inquisitive neighbour asked the dog’s owner what had happened to the dog. “The neighbour was amazed in the change to the dog,” said Mr Hitchcock.
 
Early cases treated so far have been dogs – between 8 and 14 years – severely affected with osteoarthritis, and young racehorses that have suffered tendon injuries or have osteoarthritis.
 
Fat tissue containing dormant adult stem cells is taken from the rump of horses and from under the skin of dogs, and from other animals behind their ribs.
 
Each gram of fat can contain anything from 4.5 million to 28 million stem cells. The fat is digested in a water bath at 37C, then spun in a centrifuge, and the stem cells filtered out.
 
A platelet concentrate – containing natural stem-cell activators – is extracted from a blood sample. The platelet and other solutions are mixed with the “fat-extracted” stem-cell concentrate to activate the stem cells.
 
The mixture is then exposed to a photobiostimulator which provides extra activation. The whole process takes three and a half hours.
 
The now active adult stem cells are reintroduced to the same animal, mostly by direct injection into the affected joints or tissues. Some are administered intravenously and find their way through the blood system to the inflamed area.
“We are talking about adult stem cells that can be guided into promoting health,” said Dr Sinclair. “There is a huge concentration of them in the body but they are non-functional. By taking fat out of the animals and extracting the stem cells and activating them we can improve the healing process.”
 
Stemvet has become the exclusive New Zealand distributor for Australian-based MediVet stem-cell therapy products and equipment, which includes the water bath, centrifuge, photobiostimulator and extraction kit.
 
The package, including equipment and kit, costs $15,000 and in the past month six veterinary clinics, in Christchurch, Blenheim, Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland, have signed up. Stemvet provides training, free of charge. Pet owners are charged about $2500 for the treatment – cheaper than the $4000 quoted by an overseas competitor.
Posted: 2/28/2011 9:40:49 AM by Guest Blogger | with 0 comments


Are you or a loved one interested in receiving stem cell treatment? For free information, please fill out our treatment form or email me don@repairstemcells.org and just put TREATMENT in the subject box and the MEDICAL CONDITION in the message.
Researchers Turn Skin Cells Into Beating Heart Cells
 
February 16th, 2011 by Peter Murray


Dr. Sheng Ding pioneered a method by which skin cells are converted to heart cells without going through an induced pluripotent stem cell state.
 
It’s faster, more powerful, and user-friendly. No, I’m not talking about the latest generation tablet, I’m talking about the latest upgrade in stem cell research. The transformation of adult cells from one type to another is common enough. We’ve reported on researchers successfully transforming skin cells into heartblood, and intestinal cells. This process typically involves converting the adult cell to a pluripotent, stem cell state, from which it can differentiate into one of the specialized forms. As if the cell one day realized that it never really wanted to grow up to be a skin cell, scientists could help revert it back to its infant—or, embryonic—state so it could have another go at life. A recent study by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Californiashowcases a different method that bypasses this initial transformation to the stem cell state. Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks.
 
Over the last decade scientists have had increasing success in converting skin cells and other types of cells into something different, including heart and blood cells. Efforts are underway across the world to improve the techniques and clinical viability of these cell conversions. The work by Dr. Sheng Ding and his colleagues at Scripps qualifies as a major improvement. The road ahead still requires much work, but it’s clear that each day mankind moves closer to producing cells of every type, custom made for your body.
 
Faster

The novelty of the new research coming out of Scripps is not going from skin cells to heart cells beating in a dish—that stuff’s becoming old hat—but that they accomplished it in just 11 days. It is normally a two step process that requires four to five weeks. It also requires a lot more work, owing to the step where the skin cells are converted to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). This is done by introducing four genes recently discovered to reprogram differentiated adult cells to embryonic stem cell-like pluripotency. The four genes encodetranscription factors, proteins in the cell nucleus that regulate the expression of other genes. Typically the four genes are active for two to four weeks before the differentiated cell is converted to an iPS cell. Ding’s group modified this protocol by allowing the genes to work for as little as four days before deactivating them. The result are skin cells “pushed” in the direction of the induced stem cell state without actually becoming iPS cells. Turns out that’s enough, which, aside from saving time, reveals something new about stem cell biology. The current work was performed using skin cells from mice and it remains to be seen if the shortcut can be applied to human skin cells. Nevertheless, to render the iPS cell stage unnecessary is a major paradigm change for the field and it will be interesting to see if the new paradigm bolsters progress in the near future.
 
You can see the beating cells in a video below from newsy.com’s coverage of the study:

More Powerful

In addition to being faster, Ding’s protocol boosts efficiency. The old protocol yields anestimated maximum of approximately 0.2 heart cells for every skin cell plated. Skipping the iPS cell stage yields a whopping 1.2 heart cells per skin cell. In the paper the team speculates that the increased efficiency is due to the generation of mitotically active cells which are able to divide and multiply. Resembling heart precursor cells, they speculate further that “these intermediate cells, if successfully isolated and stabilized in culture, could become an expandable and renewable source for not just cardiomyocytes, but many other terminally differentiated cardiovascular cells as well.” In the paper they extend this thought, suggesting that the principle of a versatile intermediate might be important, not only for creating the numerous types of cells that go into making a heart, but for stem cell applications in all tissues.
 
User Friendly

The four genes that researchers use to produce the iPS cells is risky because these same genes can turn cells into tumors. Inactivating them after only a few days instead of a couple weeks reduces this risk. And, like any self-respecting technology, an upgrade is in the making. Because they can turn cells cancerous, stem cell researchers have been searching for a way to reprogram differentiated cells into iPS cells without using the four genes altogether. Demonstrating that the genes are only needed for a few days instead of weeks simplifies the problem and makes the genes easier to replace.
To be sure, stem cell research has a lot of ground to cover before it becomes an effective treatment for disease. For example, the current study was done in mice and it remains to be seen whether or not the shortened protocol produces the same results in human cells. I find it impressive, however, that the four genes widely used by researchers to convert fully-differentiated, adult cells into embryonic-like, pluripotent stem cells were discovered less than five years ago. Since then iPS cells have been gotten by converting other cells besides skin, including cells from the stomach and liver. The current study was the first that we are aware of to bypass the iPS cell stage for differentiation to heart cells, but this shortcut has already been taken for differentiation into blood cells. It is exciting to note that human cells were used in that study.
But in case you hadn’t heard, stem cells have already been used in tissue replacement therapies. We’ve previously reported on tracheal transplants of two women. This involved a donor trachea (from a cadaver) that was coated with a layer of the patients’ stem cells which fostered regrowth of the trachea. Because the new layer of cells originated from the patient the risk of an immune response against the new trachea was minimized.
From my vantage point, it seems that stem cell therapies are inevitable. I also believe that the day is long in coming. Unfortunately it seems that many people have been set up to hope for miracles after the hyperbolic political battles over stem cell research in the past. But therapies rarely come from sudden miracles. Instead it is the incremental advances and shifts in paradigm, such as that achieved by Ding and his colleagues, that will bring us the stem cell therapies we are hoping for.

 
[image credit: The Scripps Research Institute]
[video credits: newsy.com]
 

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute needed just eleven days to convert skin cells in beating heart cells.

“To find the best stem cell treatment facility in the world for your particular condition; fill out the treatment request form at the Repair Stem Cell Institute website:http://repairstemcells.org/Treatment/Treatment-Request.aspx?d=Heart%20Disease You will then be guided to the top treatment center(s) in the world for treating heart disease and educated regarding information, costs, etc.  There is no cost for treatment request and info.”
Posted: 2/21/2011 9:47:52 AM by Guest Blogger | with 0 comments


Are you or a loved one interested in receiving stem cell treatment? For free information, please fill out our treatment form or email me don@repairstemcells.org and just put TREATMENT in the subject box and the MEDICAL CONDITION in the message.
A Palos Hills vet leaned on a colleague for an innovative treatment for her own dog.
By Cristel Mohrman 
 
Credit Cristel Mohrman

As a veterinarian, Leslie Dahl knows the obstacles that aging pets can face. And as a pet owner, she has watched her own dog battle the stairs with arthritic hips.

But if all goes as planned, her dog will soon be walking pain-free. Doodle, a German shepherd, became a guinea pig, so to speak, as the first animal in Illinois to undergo a one-day, in-clinic stem cell procedure.

Dr. Mitch Robbins conducted the procedure on Friday at Buffalo Grove’s Veterinary Specialty Center, where he removed fat tissue from Doodle’s abdominal area and used the center’s newest technology to inject the dog’s hip joints with her own stem cells.

“The reason that it works is that those cells that we’re removing and processing and stimulating are cells that are normally associated with the healing process and the inflammatory process in the body,” Robbins said. “So they go into the joint, they reduce some of the inflammation in the joint, they improve and reduce pain, they improve range of motion, they improve use of the joint.”

While the Buffalo Grove clinic has performed about 40 such regenerative therapy procedures over the past four years, until now the extracted materials were shipped off-site for preparation, resulting in a more drawn out and expensive process.

Last week, Veterinary Specialty Center adopted new technology from Kentucky-based MediVet-America, which allows medical professionals to complete the entire process in-house over the course of just a few hours.

Katherine Wilkie, MediVet-America’s lab services director, guided Buffalo Grove’s team through the process, which involves using machinery to separate stem cells from the rest of the animal’s tissue and cleaning it so that it can be re-injected.

While professionals received instruction, Doodle, still groggy from the tissue extraction, waited in a nearby cage. By the end of the day, she was picked up by Dahl, who brought her back to their Oak Park home.

Over the next few weeks, she is expected to regain her mobility, which has been hindered by bilateral hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis.

“With the stem cells, we’re hoping that they buy her some quality relief and improve her quality of life,” said Dahl, who is a veterinarian at Southwest Animal Care Center in Palos Hills. “I want her to be able to play and the next day not have any of the post-exercise inflammation that she’s having now.”

Robbins emphasized that stem cell treatment will not cure arthritis,but in most cases the procedure eases his four-legged patients’ discomfort. He said the treatment has benefited about 75 percent of his patients, and two-thirds have no longer needed pain medication.

That is especially important to pet owners like Dahl, whose German shepherd’s sensitive stomach won’t tolerate more traditional treatments. Last spring, she brought Doodle to Veterinary Specialty Center for collagen gel injections that noticeably improved the dog’s condition. When Doodle’s discomfort returned in recent months and Dahl learned that the treatment was no longer available, she jumped at the chance to test out the stem cell process.

“We’re going to do what we can to make sure she’s with us as long as possible,” Dahl said.

Robbins said stem cell therapy is generally effective for about 18 months. Extra cells are collected during the initial extraction and stored for subsequent injections, he said.

“They are never going to cure the arthritis, but they should do a very good job of controlling the pain that Doodle has, allowing her to resume a better, more normal quality of life,” he said.

MediVet-America’s technology was introduced in the U.S. May 2010, and it is now being used in 23 states, Wilkie said, with one or two procedures taking place in the U.S. each day.

Doctors report success rates ranging from 75 percent to 90 percent, Wilkie said.

The procedure costs about $1,800; nearly $1,000 less than the expense of a multiple-day procedure, which involves the costs of sending the tissue to outside labs.

Robbins said he expects to use the new technology to benefit 20 to 50 dogs and cats per year.

Posted: 2/17/2011 9:53:54 AM by Guest Blogger | with 0 comments


Are you or a loved one interested in receiving stem cell treatment? For free information, please fill out our treatment form or email me don@repairstemcells.org and just put TREATMENT in the subject box and the MEDICAL CONDITION in the message.

Recently, two New Zealand “experts” in the field of spinal cord injuries weighed in on stem cell treatments.  One of them,  Dr Richard Acland, Christchurch’s Burwood Hospital director of the spinal injuries unit, told TV ONE’s Breakfast today that he has concerns about stem cell treatments and their ability to help SCI patents recover.  The other, “Spinal Cord Society president Noela Vallis said the procedure has been carried out overseas on well over 100 people with few negative side-effects and varying degrees of improvement for each patient.”  via

Well done Noela!  It is obvious to me that you are familiar with and have based your optimism on these articles…and it is further obvious that Dr Acland has never seen any of them:

SPINAL CORD INJURY vs ASC HISTORY OF TREATMENT – http://tinyurl.com/SCIvsASC

Stepping Towards A Paralysis Cure, A Tale Of Two Supermen Stem Cells Cure 23 Year Old Male of Paralysis – C6…-C7 injury
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/stepping-towards-a-paralysis-cure-a-tale-of-two-supermen-stem-cells-cure-23-year-old-male-of-paralysis-c6-c7-injury/

Paraplegic – Adult Stem Cell Success Stories – Laura Dominguez
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/paraplegic-adult-stem-cell-success-stories-laura-dominguez/

PARALYZED COUSINS PLEASED WITH STEM CELL TREATMENT
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/paralyzed-cousins-pleased-with-stem-cell-treatment/

Successful Stem Cell Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury in Dogs
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/successful-stem-cell-treatment-of-spinal-cord-injury-in-dogs/

Spinal Cord Injury Patient Wins…and Loses
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/spinal-cord-injury-patient-wins-and-loses/

STEM CELLS FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/stem-cells-for-spinal-cord-injury/

Adult Stem Cell Grafts Help Paralyzed Heal
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/adult-stem-cell-grafts-help-paralyzed-heal/

Medical hope as paralysed dog cured by stem cell therapy – mirror.co.ukhttp://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/medical-hope-as-paralysed-dog-cured-by-stem-cell-therapy-mirror-co-uk/

Major the Roseville police dog gets stem cell treatment - http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2011/01/major_police_dog_stem_cell.php

and these 43 articles:
http://donmargolis.com/Home/Blog.aspx?tagname=Spinal+Cord+Injury

Posted: 2/7/2011 4:21:42 PM by Guest Blogger | with 0 comments


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