In restorative medicine, mesenchymal stem cell exosomes are often preferred over the traditionally used embryonic stem cells because they do not carry the potential to form tumors like embryonic stem cells can.
Stem cell therapy is the process of introducing stem cells into tissue to treat a disease. They have the ability to replace dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue. These special cells seek out areas of injury, disease, and destruction. Once there, they are capable of regenerating healthy cells and accelerating the natural healing process.
There is increasing evidence of stem cell use in treating autoimmune diseases, restoring joint function, as well as an anti aging therapy.
At IFSMED our therapy uses exosomes excreted from msenchymal stem cells derived from the umbilical cord, not the actual stem cells, as research as shown greater beneficial outcomes from mesenchymal stem cell exosomes over stem cells with minimal risk.
Stem cells: Cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods and give rise to different types of cells (bone, cartilage, muscle and fat cells, and connective tissue. ) They serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells: a type of adult non-embryonic stem cell that does not carry the risk of developing tumors as the widely used embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells do. They possess the same regenerative benefits of stem cells with reduced risk.
Exosomes: membrane-enclosed nanovesicles that facilitate the exchange of biological information between different cell types.
Exosomes are excreted from mesenchymal stem cells. When injected into the target area, they are taken up by the target’s cells to facilitate healing and and can normalize various pathological and inflammatory processes in chronic ailments.
Mesenchymal stem cell exosomes: exosomes secreted by mesenchymal stem cells. The therapeutic benefits of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes are similar if not even better that those of stem cells. And the potential risk associated with exosome administration is much lower than that of stem cells.
Beneficial uses of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes include but are not limited to:
- chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, chronic demyelinating inflammatory neuropathies etc (exosomes penetrate through the blood brain barrier)
- acute and chronic tendinitis and tendinosis
- muscle fatigue and muscle weakness
- coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
- chronic hepatitis and other liver diseases
- chronic kidney diseases
NFL star sold on the benefits of stem cell therapy.
Wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, Jimmy Graham, sought stem cell treatment after a potential career-ending knee injury. Graham was looking at having a second knee surgery, but turned to stem cell therapy to heal his patellar tendon.
Graham specifically had an IV injection of extracellular vesicles, which are a group of exosomes and microvesicles. Within hours his knee was pain free and he resumed full workouts within days. Graham plans to continue getting treatments throughout the rest of his playing career.
In addition, stem cell-derived exosomes are frequently used as a part of anti-aging therapy.
As we age our supply of stem cells is depleted leading to age-associated frailty and diminished physical capacity.
In two human clinical trials the outcomes were very promising.
In the first trial 15 frail patients received a single MSC infusion collected from bone marrow donors aged between 20 and 45 years old. Six months later all patients demonstrated improved fitness outcomes, tumor necrosis factor levels and overall quality of life.
The second trial was a randomized, double blind study with placebo group. Again no adverse affects were reported and physical improvements were noted by the researchers as “remarkable”.
Below are some frequently asked questions about mesenchymal stem cell exosomes.
Q: What is the source of stem cell-derived exosomes?
A: Exosomes used in our clinic are obtained from human umbilical cord stem cells. Exosomes are produced in a FDA registered tissue facility that follows cGMP production procedures and holds both ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 quality control certification. The production of exosomes is regulated as a 351 tissue product by the Food and Drug Administration.
Q: How are exosomes administered?
A: For systemic illnesses and as a part of anti-aging therapy, exosomes are administered intravenously. As a part of joint regenerative therapy, exosomes are administered via intraarticular (joint) injections.
Q: How soon after administration of exosomes can a person can expect to see the benefits?
A: Every individual is different, but two key determinants for success are the severity of your condition and your body’s response to exosome therapy. Typically, early benefits of therapy are observed in 3-4 months. However, it is not uncommon, to see the benefits after 9 to 12 months.
Q: What Can I Expect After the Procedure? Are there any side effects?
A: Exosome transplantation is usually done on an outpatient basis, most patients should expect to walk out of the clinic without any major pain or problems. Generally speaking, aside from the initial pain at the injection site, the patient will not experience any discomfort. Less than 10% of (mostly lumbar puncture) patients have developed a minor fever, headache, nausea or vomiting. However , these side effects have never lasted more than three days and usually resolve within 24 hours. No long term negative side effects have been reported.
Q: When Can I Resume Physical Activity?
A: The most important part of any exosome therapy is adhering to your post-procedure restrictions, which will be covered before your procedure. For the procedure to have the best chance of lasting benefit, we strongly recommend:
- Refrain from anti-inflammatory medication
- Rest for the first 24–48 hours, but do not lie sedentary
- Cardio is allowed after 3–4 weeks
- After four weeks, weight lifting and running are permitted
Q: Why are exosomes safer than stem cells?
A: Stem cells can proliferate and establish in the recipient’s body possessing a certain risk of undesirable complications such as new tumor growth. Exosomes do not proliferate but rather transfer valuable biological signals to the recipient’s tissues and facilitate the normalization of various pathological processes.
Q: How do exosomes benefit the inflammatory processes?
A: Stem cell-derived exosomes induce high levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, in contrast to decreased levels of pro-inflammatory molecules. In addition, stem cell-derived exosomes can also inhibit macrophage activation.
The macrophage is a large white blood cell that is an integral part of our immune system. Its job is to locate microscopic foreign bodies and ‘eat’ them.
Q: How can exosomes benefit musculoskeletal disorders?
A: Experimental data show that stem cell-derived exosomes stimulate bone growth and skeletal muscle regeneration by directing the stem cells specifically into muscle and bone cell precursors.
Q: How can exosomes benefit neurodegenerative diseases?
A: Stem cell-derived exosomes penetrate the blood-brain barrier and stimulate neuronal differentiation, neuronal growth and suppress inflammatory processes within the brain tissue.
Early results show great promise for the application of stem cells in medicine. There is still much that remains to be tested and proven, but the use of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes is proving to be a safe option with minimal side effects. If you are seeking this as a treatment option please consult your doctor for the best solution to your individual case.