Stem Cell Therapy
Best hospitals and doctors for stem cell therapy treatment abroad
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Cost for treatment
- Stem cell therapy for oncological diseases
- Stem cell therapy for optic nerve atrophy
- Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction
- Stem cell therapy for diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2
- Stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis
- Stem cell therapy for liver cirrhosis
- Stem cell therapy for orthopedic pathologies
- Stem cell therapy abroad with Booking Health
Stem cell therapy comes to the rescue when tissues or organs of the human body are damaged irreversibly. If the natural regeneration can’t ensure the complete recovery, missed or severely affected organs and tissues can be restored "de novo". As stem cells give origin to the whole human organism, under the specific circumstances they can become any necessary body part. Most often stem cell therapy is effective in patients with cancer, leukaemia, optic nerve atrophy, diabetes mellitus and its complications, erectile dysfunction, liver cirrhosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease, pathologies of joints and cartilage, immunodeficiencies, and other different health conditions. Stem cell therapy demonstrates outstanding results in pathologies that were previously considered incurable. In Germany, specialized hospitals offer cell-based treatments at affordable prices.
Stem cell therapy for oncological diseases
Stem cell therapy does not treat cancer, but allows patients to improve the function of red bone marrow (most often) and other organs that have been destroyed by the malignant process itself or chemotherapy / radiation therapy used during the treatment. Three different types of adult stem cells are used in cancer treatment. These are mesenchymal stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells and neural stem cells.
Hematopoietic stem cells restore the function of red bone marrow. This type of treatment is called bone marrow transplant. The bone marrow transplant is a complicated procedure that is performed in departments of oncology or hematology of leading hospitals. Often, children need bone marrow transplant which requires ultimate effort from all the hospital’s specialists.
Mesenchymal stem cells are mostly used to deliver other therapeutic agents to the target regions or to support other treatments (e.g. improve bone condition by stimulating the multiplication of osteocytes). Neural stem cells are originally present in the CNS, but they have demonstrated efficacy in treatment of metastatic prostate, lung and breast cancer.
Unlike mentioned above natural stem cells, the induced pluripotent stem cells were created in the laboratory. They are made from adult somatic cells. Due to modifications, induced pluripotent stem cells acquire characteristics of the embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have high regenerative potential, but their usage is limited due to ethical considerations. Despite the relatively high cost of treatment, pluripotent stem cells are definitely worth considering.
Stem cell therapy for optic nerve atrophy
Optic nerve atrophy may arise as the independent pathology or as the glaucoma complication. In any case, damage to the nerve is irreversible, as it can’t regenerate. Stem cell therapy improves a patient’s condition via multiple mechanisms of action:
- Stimulates angiogenesis (new blood vessels formation)
- Improves blood supply of the optic nerve and the retina
- Contributes to restoring normal tissue metabolic processes
- Suppresses autoimmune processes against structures of the visual analyzer
- Prevents scars formation and substitution of optic nerve with the connective tissue
In optic nerve atrophy, the mesenchymal stem cells are used due to their neuroprotective, immunomodulating and regenerative properties. The donor cells are harvested from the bone marrow and adipose tissue. After assessing the number of harvested cells and checking them for blood infections, they are injected close to the optic nerve (into the suprachoroidal and subtenon spaces of the eye). The second procedure may be performed in 1-2 months, if necessary.
In 1-1.5 months after the stem cells injection regeneration of nerve fibers and neurons starts. First clinical improvements can be noticed in 3 months. The result will remain stable provided that the cause of the pathology is excluded. Stem cell therapy is usually supplemented by drug administration and physiotherapy.
Stem cell therapy includes injections of pluripotent cells that can substitute almost any tissue in the human body.
It is efficient in cancer, optic nerve atrophy, multiple sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, immunodeficiency, diabetes mellitus, etc.
The best hospital in Europe is the Clinic of Advanced Biological Medicine, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.
Prices for the treatment are:
Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction
Before a doctor makes the decision about administration of stem cell therapy, he should clarify the cause of erectile dysfunction, as in some cases this type of treatment will have zero efficacy. For instance, stem cell therapy is able to improve the condition of blood vessels and nerve endings, so it will lead to the improvement in men with vasculogenic and neurogenic erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, stem cell therapy will cause no improvement in men with endocrine or psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
In vasculogenic or neurogenic erectile dysfunction the intracavernous injections of the mesenchymal stem cells are performed. Stem cells are harvested from a patient's own adipose tissue, processed, and cultivated in the laboratory in order to increase their number. The stromal vascular fraction of stem cells is obtained then. In Germany, special devices are used for stem cells segregation, so that their viability does not suffer.
After that, about 3-5 ml of the received medication are injected into the cavernous bodies, via up to 6 punctures in the different areas. The injected drug contains about 50 million stem cells, which is enough for the start regeneration of blood vessels and nerve endings. The effect received is long-term, the need to repeat the procedure may arise only in several years.
In men with neurogenic erectile dysfunction additional intravenous injections of stem cells may improve the clinical effect. Distributed via blood, stem cells reach nerve endings better.
Stem cell therapy for diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2
Diabetes mellitus is caused by the death of pancreatic beta-cells against the background of autoimmune aggression. Thus, efforts of the scientists are aimed at both restoring the pancreatic beta-cells and suppressing the autoimmune process against them. For this purpose, two types of cellular therapy are used: injections of the pluripotent stem cells into the blood, and transplantation of more specialized insulin-producing cells from the donor pancreas.
Replacement of the destroyed pancreatic cells includes several stages:
- Harvesting the donor stem cells. Depending on the clinical situation, umbilical cord blood, fetal, bone marrow, hematopoietic, and mesenchymal precursor cells may be used.
- Processing the harvested material, cultivation and multiplication of stem cells. Once their amount is sufficient, the medication is injected into the blood (intravenously) or directly into the pancreas.
- Monitoring a patient’s health condition in order to avoid the adverse reactions, giving recommendations on further treatment.
In Germany, doctors elaborate carefully the scheme of blood glucose lowering drug intake, as the insulin production will restore gradually. Due to the better pancreas function, lower dosages of antihyperglycemic drugs are required. Most probably, a patient will not refuse the drug therapy completely, but his diabetes mellitus will be controlled much better.
Stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis
Stem cells are considered an experimental therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis. Like the diabetes mellitus type 1, multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition. In this case, the autoimmune aggression is aimed at myelin sheath that is the essential part of a brain and spinal cord. Due to action of autoantibodies, neurons are damaged irreversibly and a number of severe clinical manifestations arise. Thus, stem cell therapy of multiple sclerosis pursues two aims, i.e. suppression of the autoimmune process and restoration of brain and spinal cord.
Autologous hematopoietic stem cells are used for these purposes. The treatment process consists of six basic stages:
- Stimulation of stem cells releasing from the bone marrow to the blood stream with the help of growth factors administration.
- Collecting blood, isolating stem cells and transfusing blood back to the patient.
- Processing and storing cryopreserved stem cells as long as the patient is ready to receive them.
- Administering therapy aimed at suppressing the immune system, and conditioning chemotherapy. This reduces the risk of disease relapse, eliminating its main pathogenetic mechanism.
- Intravenous introduction of stem cells, that reach the target regions through blood.
- Recovery period, thorough medical follow-up after discharge from the hospital.
The recovery period may take about 6-12 months, depending on the individual health state. This is the price of undergoing therapy that affects immunity. Hopefully, the immune system is rebooted during this period, so it stops attacking patient’s own myelin and causing inflammation in the nervous system.
Stem cell therapy for liver cirrhosis
Liver itself has significant intrinsic regenerative properties. However, persisting liver damage, e.g. in people with alcoholism, fatty liver disease, hepatitis B and C, makes this potential poor and leads to the substitution of normal liver tissue with the non-functioning connective tissue. As the final stage of the chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis develops. In most cases, cirrhosis is accompanied by liver insufficiency and poses threat to the patient's life.
Before the implementation of stem cell therapy into the hospital’s clinical practice, the only efficient treatment option for patients with liver cirrhosis was liver transplant. Cell-based therapy gave such patients a chance to avoid long being on the waiting list for receiving the donor organ. Human umbilical cord blood stem cells and bone marrow-derived stem cells are used for restoring normal liver parenchyma. Such stem cells can differentiate in both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. In addition, they have antifibrotic and immunomodulatory effects.
In Germany, usage of the artificially manufactured induced pluripotent stem cells is currently under investigation, but it still demonstrates the promising results and accumulates impressive body of evidence.
Stem cell therapy for orthopedic pathologies
Orthopedic regenerative medicine actively uses mesenchymal stem cells. In addition to the regenerative potential, the mesenchymal stem cells produce anti-inflammatory cytokines and can migrate chemotactically to the sites of injury and inflammation. Thus, they restore tendons, cartilage, and bones.
Tendons have low metabolic activity and regenerative potential. The most effective technique of stem cells application to tendons is via scaffolds containing the native extracellular matrix. In such cases stem cells will be able to seed on the damaged tendon area.
The most widespread techniques of cartilage restoration are autologous chondrocyte transplantation (which are more specialized stem cells) and autograft transplantation. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells from the subchondral bone can be used. Bone microfracturing or drilling stimulates releasing of stem cells and the subsequent cartilage regeneration.
Stem cell therapy can replace the extensive bone lesions caused by injury, infection or tumor. The mesenchymal stem cells promote angiogenesis, so that the damaged bone regenerates better. They are used in patients with fractures, patients after osteotomy, patients with bone defects and cysts, pseudarthrosis, osteonecrosis, etc. The technique is more sparing compared to the previously used techniques of autologous bone grafting with significant damage to the donor site.
Stem cell therapy abroad with Booking Health
Areas and possibilities of stem cell therapy administration, as well as the cost of treatment, differ from country to country. First of all, it can be performed in a limited number of hospitals that have the doctors with relevant experience. Second, stem cell therapy should correspond to the country’s legislation, e.g. usage of the embryonic stem cells is prohibited in certain European hospitals. Third, the hospital should have the equipment for the processing of embryonic, tissue-specific or mesenchymal stem cells, or for laboratory creation of pluripotent stem cells.
Thus, people often need to travel in search of the necessary treatment abroad. In such a situation, the international medical tourism operator Booking Health provides patients with comprehensive assistance. Medical specialists and managers of Booking Health will help in the following issues:
- Choosing the most suitable US, Asian or European hospital based on the qualification profile and success rates
- Establishing the preliminary distant communication with treating physician
- Preparing medical program in advance, including examinations, stem cells administration and follow-up
- Providing favorable cost of treatment, without overpricing and additional coefficients for foreigners (saving about 50% of the usual price for undergoing treatment abroad)
- Booking the appointment on the necessary date
- Monitoring the medical program at all stages
- Help in buying and forwarding of medicines, if any are required
- Communication with the hospital after stem cell therapy completion
- Control of invoices and return of unspent funds
- Organization of additional examinations, if any are required
- Non-medical service of the highest level: interpreter, booking hotels and plane tickets, transfer organization
To start planning your stem cell treatment in Germany or another European hospital, you should leave the request on the Booking Health website. Patient case manager or medical advisor will contact you the same day by phone or email and tell you about the most suitable options. Thanks to Booking Health, you can get treatment abroad easier, faster and with affordable cost of treatment.