How and where is my therapy done?
Our team will welcome you upon arrival at the airport and will bring you to your hotel. After checking in you will on the next day visit our physician, who is a medical specialist for the disease you suffering from. All treatments are performed under medical supervision of the finest medical specialists including neurosurgeons, neurologists, cardiologists, anaesthesists, pedriatricians, orthopedic surgeons and radiologists. The clinics have the highest possible medical standard and patient are taken care off by a professional team of physians, nurses, patient advisors, and other assistants like drivers and translators to guarantee an optimal stay and treatment.
The entire medical procedure consists of 4 parts:
- Bone marrow extraction (Download)
- Isolation, analysis and concentration of the stem cells in the laboratory
- Stem cell implantation
- Post treatment care
The procedure is performed in compliance with the principles of “Good Manufacturing Practice” and in accordance with the latest technological and medical standards. The risks associated with adult stem cell therapy are very low and are no different from the risks normally associated with similar surgical procedures. The therapy involves the use of the patient’s own cells, so the risk of rejection -as there would be in a cell or organ transplant procedure from a donor- can be excluded.
Patients travelling from abroad for stem cell therapy are met by a Cells4health employee at the airport and accompanied to their hotel or to the clinic. Generally, our patients do not require round-the-clock care, so they stay in a hotel for the duration of their treatment. The transfers from the hotel to the institute and back are organized by Cells4health. In-patient treatment can be arranged for those who require professional medical monitoring/care.
Bone marrow extraction
Bone marrow is extracted from the hip bone by one of our physicians. This procedure normally takes around 30 minutes. First, local anesthetic is administered to the area of skin where the puncture will be made. Then, a thin needle is used to extract around 150-200 ml of bone marrow. The injection of local anesthetic can be slightly painful, but the patient usually does not feel the extraction of bone marrow. Bone marrow collection for children, adult patients with cerebral palsy, or Alzheimer is performed under general anesthesia. Once the bone marrow has been extracted, the patient may return to his or her hotel.
Processing of the stem cells in the laboratory
First, the stem cells are isolated by seperating them from the red and white blood cells and plasma. The sample is processed according to cGMP approved standards under sterile conditions so that the stem cells, which will be administered to the patient, cannot be contaminated with viruses, bacteria or fungi. After processing the sample is tested for the number and the quality of the cells, as well as for sterility. Each sample is also tested for the presence of viral markers such as HIV, hepatitis B and C and cytomegalia. The entire process is documented and the concentrated stem cells are not released for administration until all quality criteria have been met.
Only if there are enough viable stem cells, i.e. more than 300.000 CD34+ cells with over 80 percent viability, the stem cell concentrate is released for patient administration.
After collection, the samples are processed in the UK in an affiliated cGMP laboratory under UK MHRA and Human Tissue Authority (HTA) control. This guarantees the quality of your sample.
Stem cell implantation
The method of stem cell implantation depends on the patient’s condition. There are basically 5 different ways of administering stem cells:
- Intravenous administration
- Administration via catheter using angiography
- Direct injection into the target area
- Injection into central nervous System by lumbar puncture or catheter
- Surgery in case of stroke and SCI
The majority of patients is not negatively affected by stem cell therapy and can normally leave a few hours after the implantation procedure.
There is a 24-hour patient hotline in case patients have any queries after they have been discharged. The patients also stay in contact with their physician or a patient consultant by telephone or email, so that we can monitor their progress. For example, this enables the modification of insulin dosage after stem cell therapy and the institute is able to provide patients with recommendations for their further rehabilitation.
It is important to understand that while stem cell therapy can help alleviate symptoms in many patients and slow or even reverse degenerative processes, it does not work for all patients. Consequently, Cells4health can neither predict nor guarantee success for individual patients who undergo stem cell treatment.
Based on additional information, patient’s current health situation and/or unforeseen health risks, the medical staff can always, in the interest of the individual patient, propose another kind of stem cell transplantation or in exceptional situations cancel the treatment at Cells4health.