It has been more than 20 years since Ms. Lynn Bertrand was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s the same type of condition the famed physicist Stephen Hawking suffered. Lynn had been bedridden much of the past 20 years barely able to walk more than a few feet. Her airway collapsed from her own body weight when she laid down and she had to sleep in upright position. Someone also had to watch her eat so she didn’t choke on food, and she had no use of her left arm. Her body was also in constant pain and she also had floaters in her vision. At one point, she was sent to hospice and her family was told to prepare for the worst. She was told her only hope was stem cell therapy and she and her husband weighed going to Mexico for a treatment, however, they were quoted a large amount of money that they simply could not afford. But Lynn is a fighter and she never gave up the hope of someday, something can help her. This hope and the loving care of her husband and sons kept her going.

When she was wheeled into the clinic almost 2 years ago, I told them that we did not have any experience treating ALS and that I wasn’t even sure if this would help her or not. But certainly, if she were my mother, I would want her to try it. They had nothing else to try, they told me, yes they wanted to try it.

Lynn BertrandTwo days later, I was out of the office when a stunned staff member called me. “You are not going to believe it, Dr. An. Ms. Lynn walked into the office with a walker.” I rushed to the office and Lynn told me, immediately after the treatment, she felt a pleasant tingling sensation in her head. And by the time she got her car, the floaters in the vision were gone. She’s gotten a few more treatments since the first and the last treatment was more than 7 months ago but she continues to improve. She’s regained much of the function in her left arm. She has ditched the wheelchair and now mostly walks with a walker and sometimes, she “upgrades” it to a cane. Her 23 year old son had never seen his mother walking until now. She can sleep and eat without much trouble. She feels like her whole body is reversing, her hair started to grow out, and her skin feels different. And the most exciting recent news is that she started practicing driving again and she aims to get her driver’s license back. In her friend’s words, Lynn cannot contain herself from the freedom of body riddled with pain and disability.

Lynn is now the biggest advocate of umbilical cord stem cell therapy. She frequently talks to patients who are considering treatment. She serves as an inspiration for me to continue to do what I do. Too many peopler suffering without knowing that there are other options for their health problem. Drugs, steroid, and surgery provide only a temporarily relief and often have deadly consequences. Opioid addition kills 1000 people a week in this country!

Try something different, try chiropractic, PRP, amniotic tissue, umbilical stem cell. Until you do, I continue to spread the message of natural health care because there could be another Lynn whose life can be changed.

Until next time,
Dr. An

What is Regenerative Medicine

A discipline of medicine focused on utilizing and optimizing these natural self-healing processes to improve our health, is the basic definition of regenerative medicine. It is inclusive of a range of procedures and therapies such as organ transplants whether real or artificial, the engineering of tissue, and cellular therapies.

Medical professionals have actually been using forms of it for years, though regenerative medicine strikes many as a new concept. In 1665 was when the first recorded successful blood transfusion happened. 1854 was when the first skin graft occurred, and 1950 saw the first successful kidney transplant. Procedures like autografts and organ transplants that seek to replace, rejuvenate, and regenerate the body, are all considered regenerative medicine.

Types of Regenerative Medicine

Medical Devices and Organ Transplants

There is a national transplant list in the USA for people who have failing or damaged organ in the hopes of receiving a donated organ. More than 119,000 people are on the U.S. transplant list and there currently aren’t enough available organs for those in need. Sadly, roughly two dozen people die each day waiting for a transplant. A transplant frequently requires immunosuppression drugs that can have a variety of adverse side effects, because even if a patient does get an organ in time, sometimes their body rejects the transplant—their immune system will attack the organ as the foreign body that it is.

By developing artificial devices that can replicate the function of organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys without being rejected, researchers and scientists are actively working to solve the organ shortage. To help patients survive while they wait for a donor, medical devices are also being developed to support damaged organs.

Engineering Tissue

To support cells as they work to repair and maintain organs and tissues, tissue engineering is a form of regenerative medicine that uses what’s called scaffolds—which are structures made from artificial or natural materials. To form healthy, functional tissue, biologically active molecules cause cells grow on the scaffolds. Artificial skin, cartilage, and lab-grown bone are the main functions of tissue engineering.

Cellular Therapies

One of the most commonly known is the transplantation of bone marrow. This allows patients with radiation damage or blood cancers a chance to make new, healthy blood cells using the donor’s bone marrow stem cells.

When a patient does not have a sufficient amount of undamaged skin for skin graft treatment, Cell therapy using a patient’s own cells is also used in cases of severe burn and scald injuries. In this procedure, skin cells are isolated from a small biopsy and expanded in a specialized laboratory. To shorten healing time, millions of cells can be grown in a relatively short time and transplanted onto the burn wound.

Many cellular therapies employ the use of stem cells to help regrow and repair tissue. Scientists are now working to harness these unique properties of stem cells to help regrow, repair, and heal organs and tissue. Every organ and tissue in your body started as a stem cell and they have the unique ability to transform into different types of cells—blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, and others.

Stem Cells

For scientists studying regenerative medicine, stem cell research is particularly promising. Studies have shown that the tissue or organ can regrow and heal, if these cells are inserted into damaged or diseased tissue under the right conditions. Scientists around the world are optimistic that stem cells could be used to help heal nearly any type of tissue in the body.

Conclusion

Most clinical treatments focus on alleviating symptoms, so regenerative medicine and cellular therapies could completely change how we treat illness and disease. Regenerative medicine using cellular therapies are designed to cure illnesses at the source. For example, someone with a damaged liver could have stem cells that were transformed into liver cells to be placed within their body. The new cells would replace the damaged ones or teach them to become healthy once again, using the body’s own natural healing process. Because the treatment cells were derived from the person’s own stem cells, the body’s immune system wouldn’t respond, and rejection wouldn’t occur. The process would drastically reduce the reliance on organ transplants.

It’s the question that I get asked everyday.
Is PRP approved by FDA? Is P-shot approved by FDA? Is O shot? Vampire facelift? What all these questions mean is, I don’t know what FDA does.

First let’s talk about what FDA stands for. Food and Drug administrations. (I am surprised at how many ppl think F stands for federal). They “approve” or disapprove, food, drug, and medical devices. Since umbilical cord tissue is not food, drug nor medical device, FDA does not approve or disapprove, but they regulate. These human tissue products are regulated as FDA 361 human tissue products and regulated to ensure that they are clean and safe. It also needs to meet a certain requirements such as minimal manipulation and homologous use. The tissue labs who process the tissue also have abide by the FDA rules and regulations and must be fully compliant with American Association of Tissue Banks.
Same thing goes for PRP and PRP procedures. The kits that produce PRP must be approved by the FDA however it is up to the doctor to decide how the PRP is used.

Be sure to seek these type of treatments with the doctors and clinics who does due diligence to ensure the tissue product is clean and safe. Recently, there was a FDA recall on a umbilical BLOOD stem cell product marketed by Livyon (manufactured by Genetech). Their tissue was found to contain e.coli and other bacteria, and the blood cells caused severe rejections in many patients. Personally I do not work with labs who doesn’t allow me to visit. There is just too much at a stake for me to just take a sales rep’s words. In February, I am re-visiting a few labs to meet with the science directors to learn what the latest technology is. I will also be attending Perinatal Stem Cell Society Conference. I will keep you guys updated on what I learn in the stem cell industry.

Until next time. Dr. An

What Are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells. Through self-renewal, these cells either become more stem cells or other cells with a specific function—such as heart, brain, blood, or bone cells. Stem cells are the only cell in the human body capable of generating new cells.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Pluripotent stem cells used to generate muscle blood and neural cells. Digital illustration.
Pluripotent stem cells used to generate muscle blood and neural cells. Digital illustration.

Also known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional, or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives. Since the supply of organ donors is limited, stem cell therapy is being seen as the next step in organ transplantation.

These stem cells, which researchers grow in a lab, are manipulated to specialize into certain types of specialized cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells. The manipulated cells can then be implanted into a person. Specialized heart cells, for example, could be injected into the heart muscle of a patient with heart disease. The healthy transplanted heart muscle cells could then contribute to repairing defective heart muscle.

Myths About Stem Cells and Research

Now that we’ve covered the bases on stem cell therapy, let’s look at some stem cell myths that are simply not true:

Stem cell research is illegal

Stem cell research in the United States is perfectly legal, though the research utilizing embryonic cells is being seriously debated.

Back in 2013, The National Institutes of Health funded nearly $1.3 billion worth of stem cell research. The state of Ohio has pulled ahead by donating $25 million to the National Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, a collaboration among Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Athersys Inc., and The Ohio State University. It happens to be the fifth-largest stem cell research institute in the country.

Stems Cells are All the Same

Not everyone is familiar with what stem cells are and what they do. Stem cells are the body’s internal repair system, which replaces dead or diseased cells with new, healthy cells to ensure normal function of the body. There’s a distinct differentiation embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells can develop into any type of cell in your body, and that versatility is powerful and valuable. Unfortunately, controversy has arisen because of their origin—the vast majority are donated from fertility clinics and were slated for destruction.

Since 1998, umbilical cord stem cells which are harvested from a newborn’s umbilical cord have been successfully used to treat leukemia and other blood disorders. Considered adult stem cells, umbilical cord cells are discarded as medical waste in many instances if not cryo-preserved. Because most umbilical cords are discarded as medical waste, there is rarely any controversy surrounding their collection.

Already selected for their specialty, adult stem cells are found throughout the body and they form only certain tissue cells, maintaining the body’s systems as you age.

Stem Cells are a Universal Cure

With more than one million blood stem cell transplants across the world, blood stem cell transplantation using stem blood cells from sources such as bone marrow has been performed for more than 50 years. The treatment of bone marrow failures, blood cancers, blood disorders, metabolic diseases, immune deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases have improved immensely.

Certainly, stem cell therapies are becoming as important to the medical field as antibiotics were for the 20th century. However, every degenerative condition isn’t solved through stem cell procedures are. Patients need to know upfront what these techniques can and cannot do.

It’s hoped stem cells could one day heal ailing hearts, repair damaged muscles, reduce inflammatory bowel disease symptoms and improve transplant outcomes. Discarded hip joints after replacement surgery and fat cells removed after liposuction are being investigated by researchers as other sources for stem cell collection. What once was a small stream of discoveries has turned into a river of many possibilities.

Stem cell therapy is a big topic of discussion in the media right now, and many people come to me with the same basic questions before they feel ready to dive in. In this blog post, I will be answering some of your most frequently asked questions about stem cell therapy.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are naturally occurring cells in the body that have not yet differentiated themselves. This means that they do not yet have a specific purpose, so they can become any type of cell in the body. We can use this to help heal tissue from an injury, or fight the effects of aging. The most common sources of stem cells are bone marrow, adipose, umbilical allografts, and amniotic fluid.

How does stem cell therapy work?

Stem cell therapy promotes natural healing of the body to alleviate pain and restore function. It can help regenerate damaged tissue, muscles, tendons, and more. Because it actually helps the body heal, stem cell therapy provides long-lasting results. During treatment, the doctor will extract stem cells from the body and transfer them to the afflicted area.

What can stem cells be used for?

In general, stem cells are used to treat pain and promote healing for a variety of conditions:

  • Knee pain
  • Joint pain
  • Back & shoulder pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Hip pain
  • Regenerating the synovial fluid in joints
  • Arthritis
  • Neuropathy treatment
  • Herniated discs
  • Torn discs
  • Fibromyalgia treatment
  • Neck injuries
  • Migraines
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Injuries

Is stem cell therapy approved by the FDA?

I wrote a separate blog post on this topic, but since I get asked this question so much, I wanted to go over the basics here, too. The FDA regulates human tissue products to make sure they are clean, safe, and meet the basic requirements. It is up to the individual doctor to conduct due diligence to ensure that their patients are getting high-quality stem cells.

How much does stem cell therapy cost?

The cost of stem cell therapy depends on your condition and how much tissue you need to achieve your treatment goals. It is priced per injection or cc of tissue, and can range from around $5,000-$8,000.

Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?

Because stem cell therapy is an elective treatment, it is not covered by insurance.

What can I expect in terms of recovery time?

Recovery time from stem cell therapy is very brief, and can even be as short as 1-2 days. Since it is a non-invasive procedure, the steep recovery required from surgery is eliminated.

If you would like to learn more about stem cell therapy, I encourage you to attend one of my lectures (upcoming events can be found on Facebook) and order a copy of my book, Demystifying Stem Cells.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very close to my mother. Our relationship is one of my biggest treasures, and she has influenced my life and path in countless ways—including my career.

A passion to serve

Serving others is at the core of working in the healthcare industry. Helping people have a better quality of life is why I have dedicated my own life to my work and my practice.

The very best part of my job is that I get to take care of my mother first. She suffers from arthritis, hand pain, and the frailty that accompanies aging. I have been able to treat her with several therapies that I offer at my practice, including regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy, and chiropractic care. I have seen her regain strength and once again be able to carry out day-to-day activities without pain.

“I am not just the president, but I’m also a client”

Anything I do in the office, I first try out on my mother and myself. My patients can take comfort in knowing that when I tell them something works, it’s because I’ve tried it firsthand!

Undergoing the treatment I provide to others also helps me better understand the sensations, side effects, and other aspects of any given treatment. I can answer questions honestly and am able to recommend treatments based on what I know from personal experience. I treat my patients like family, and I wouldn’t suggest or provide any treatment I hadn’t tried on myself and my loved ones.

My motivation

I have seen the difference my treatments have made for my mother. It gives me motivation to keep learning, researching, and working to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible. My mother has taught me the role of compassion in my work, and she continues to spark my passion for and dedication to helping others overcome their pain and health issues.

If you are interested in learning more about the services I provide, please visit my website. I would love to talk with you about finding pain management solutions. Give us a call to set up your free consultation. It’s time to leave your pain behind and get back to living your life!

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you may have tried everything from pain killers to physical therapy to surgery in an effort to find relief. Or maybe you’d rather skip all that. Regardless, you just want to get your life back and get rid of your pain for good! You aren’t out of options, and it may be time to ask your doctor about stem cell therapy.

What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that helps your body recover and repair itself. Stem cell therapy uses stem cells, which are undifferentiated cells in the body that can reproduce to make new, specialized cells. These specialized cells can function as muscle cells, brain cells, or blood cells. These cells are used to repair the damaged tissue that is causing pain. Stem cell therapy can treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, pain in the back, shoulder, knees, and more.

The benefits of stem cell therapy

  • Avoid surgery & pain meds
  • Long-lasting solution
  • Encourages repair
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Minimizes formation of scars
  • Recover function
  • Can treat a wide range of conditions

Stem cell therapy can offer an effective, lasting, alternative solution to your pain. For those searching for relief from chronic pain, stem cell therapy is a great treatment option. Ask your doctor about stem cell therapy so that you can make an informed decision about managing your chronic pain.

I have dedicated a good portion of my career to learning and researching about stem cell therapy. I travel around the country to collaborate with other great minds in the field, and I speak frequently on the topic. My practice, Campbell Medical Group, is Houston’s leading medical clinic for stem cell therapy, among other pain management and relief treatments. I believe wholeheartedly in this method for pain management, and have seen great success for my patients.

If you are interested in learning more about stem cell therapy to alleviate your chronic pain, visit our website and call us today to schedule your free consultation!

Stem cell therapy, sometimes known as PRP therapy, is a treatment plan designed to reduce pain and to heal injuries and is usually administered through injection. Stem cell treatment is common for arthritis and injuries to the skeletal and muscular systems (ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, and bones). Pluripotent embryonic human stem cells, carried by babies and infants, can become any of the hundreds of different cell types of the body. In contrast, multipotent stem cells in adults can turn into more than one cell type. However, these are safer; being more limited and controlled in comparison to pluripotent cells. Stem cell therapy and stem cell treatment are performed with adult stem cells.

Let’s look a little further: human joints contain plenty of stem cells responsible for repairs and maintenance as well as when and where they are needed. In essence, stem cells give out instructions and can then transform into specialized cells that perform the required action for repairs. Having the proper amount of stem cells balances the damage and repairs that the body experiences and, with time, the number of these stem cells decline. Aging affects the number of stem cells retained in the body as well as severe injuries that lead to an imbalance due to the dramatic reduction of stem cells when needed for such repairs. This is the root cause of conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, and injuries.

Fortunately, there are multiple areas in the body that contain a large reserve of stem cells. These areas are the hip bones and the surrounding fat on the hips and buttocks. During stem cell therapy, the doctor extracts stem cells from these areas then transfers them to the area of injury or arthritis. This will provide the necessary amount of stem cells for treatment and repair. Stem cells secrete growth factors responsible for the operations of rebuilding the damaged area.

Stem cell treatment is common for damaged ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage joints, and meniscus. Also, it is a great alternative to surgery and is preferred for conditions untreatable by therapy, medication, and other injections.

Plasma-rich platelets (PRP) therapy, works in a similar fashion in that it is used to treat professional athletes who attain injuries while performing in sports. Instead of extracting stem cells, platelets are used to secrete growth factors necessary for repair. During this process, a certain amount of blood is taken from the patient and components of the blood are separated during a process called centrifugation. And then, the fraction of blood which contains the platelet-containing plasma is injected to the affected area. It is considered a low-risk treatment as a great alternative to surgery. Common injuries treated by PRP Therapy include tennis elbow and torn ligaments.

Pros:

  • Great alternative treatment for numerous conditions like diabetes, severe injuries, cancer
  • Aids in scientific research and development
  • Tons of health regenerative benefits
  • Contributes to the study of birth defects as well as abnormal development within the body
  • Uses patient’s own stem cells which negates the risk of rejection

Cons:

  • Long term side effects are yet to be discovered
  • When embryonic cells are used, the risk of rejection is dramatically increased
  • Still under research. Many things have yet to be established before making this a widespread treatment plan

Who Can Use PRP Therapy?

Patients with trauma, injuries, and illnesses or that have accumulated a combination or all of these can benefit from this kind of treatment plan. Research also shows that patients that desire to slow or even reverse the effects of the aging process may be administered this kind of therapy. While still being researched, stem cell therapy has been shown to improve the lives of many people.

Contact us today at (832) 460-6468 for a free consultation and see how stem cell therapy can benefit you.