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How to find the right stem cell center

Finding the right stem cell center in a vast sea of stem cell clinics can be a daunting task. Is the clinic well regulated? Are they experienced? Will the treatment prove to be safe and effective? This article is aimed at making that decision easier by giving you information that will help you decide which stem cell clinic may be right for you.

Reading time: Under 5 minutes

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Dec 15, 2020

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director of DVC Stem

Stem cell therapy clinic in Grand Cayman

Updated:

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Finding the right stem cell center in a vast sea of stem cell clinics can be a daunting task. Is the clinic well regulated? Are they experienced? Will the treatment prove to be safe and effective? This article is aimed at making that decision easier by giving you information that will help you decide which stem cell clinic may be right for you.

Here are some of the most important questions to ask a stem cell clinic when you are looking for treatment:


  1. Can you provide all licenses and certifications of your staff and facility?
  2. Will a licensed MD with stem cell experience be performing treatment?
  3. What type of cells do you provide? Are they culturally expanded?
  4. What type of testing is conducted on the cells?
  5. Do you conduct cell viability tests?
  6. Is the treatment systemic or conducted via site injections?
  7. Do you have a list of patient testimonials for different conditions?

"When looking for a stem cell clinic it is important to be armed with a series of questions that will help you make an informed decision about the treatment." - Dr. Louis A. Cona, Medical Director, DVC Stem

#1 Make sure you are dealing with a well regulated clinic.

Make sure the clinic is willing to disclose all licenses, permits and certifications that it currently holds. Find out if the medical facility is following all laws within its governing country. Ask informed questions about the expansion of cells, method of administration and qualifications of the medical staff.  Ask where the clinic sources their stem cells. Make sure that the lab (where the cells are sourced) is FDA registered and regulated by its corresponding governing entity if located within the United States.

Vitro Biopharmas lab, located in Golden Colorado. A fully FDA registered, cGMP, ISO 9001, and ISO 13485 certified facility.

#2 Will a doctor be performing the treatment?

It is critical to find out who exactly will be performing the treatment. Is it a mid-level Nurse Practitioner? Is it a Chiropractor? Is it a Physician? If so, ask if that physician has experience and training in the field of regenerative medicine. You should seek out a clinic that has a reputable Medical Director that has years of experience. In regenerative medicine, experience matters. This experience is of utmost importance because it will allow the doctor to properly assess your candidacy for treatment. Stem cell therapy is not a cure-all and does not apply to every condition.

Ask the doctor or clinic rep if they have a patient exclusion criteria list. The clinic should be able to have an informed discussion with the patient to decide if that patient is an eligible candidate for stem cell treatment

Doctors in stem cell treatment room with patient
DVC Stem's Medical Director Dr. Cona performing treatment alongside registered nurse.

#3 What type of cells do you provide? Are they culturally expanded?

Do your research and find out what type of product the clinic provides. It could be stem cells derived from adipose, amniotic, cord tissue. Ask the clinic if their cell products are regulated and FDA compliant. Currently, the only FDA approved item in the United States out of all of these products are stem cells that are derived from bone marrow or cord blood, and can only be used for blood disorders and certain types of cancers.

Certain conditions may be treated more efficiently with expanded cells. It is important to ask these international clinics about their cell products. High quality laboratories do not contain any animal serums and stop culturing cells before telomere lengths become too short.

#4 What type of testing is conducted on the cells?

Ask the clinic to disclose the types of testing that are conducted on cells prior to treatment, this is imperative to ensure patient safety. If the cells are allogeneic (from a donor) you should ask the clinic where their lab received their tissue. Is the facility AATB accredited, cGTP and FDA registered? Is there certain tissue donor eligibility that must be met? If so, ask what sort of testing occurs.

The laboratory should have certificates showing approval of the tissue for testing from their designated governing body.

Lab technician extracting stem cells into tube
Do you know what type of stem cells you are receiving?

#4 What type of testing is conducted on the cells?

Ask the clinic to disclose the types of testing that are conducted on cells prior to treatment, this is imperative to ensure patient safety. If the cells are allogeneic (from somebody else) you should ask the clinic where their lab received their tissue from. Is the facility AATB accredited, cGTP and FDA registered? Is there certain tissue donor eligibility that must be met? If so ask what sort of testing occurs.

The laboratory should have certificates showing approval of the tissue for testing from their designated governing body.

#5 Does the clinic conduct cell viability tests?

It is important that patients receive stem cells that are alive. This is crucial because, although "dead" cells may still have growth factors and other benefits, MSCs (Mesenchymal Stem Cells) cannot reach their full healing potential unless they are alive when they enter the patient’s body.

International clinics that do not have their own lab, may elect to ship their cells from a reputable lab abroad. For the cells to be transported safely and effectively they must be cryogenically frozen. This process keeps the cells alive and protected during transportation.

All of our cells are expanded using safe and standard protocols and are then flown overnight in sub-zero CryoPort™ containers directly to our clinic for treatment. To ensure maximum treatment effectiveness, all of our cells are ISCT tested for viability prior to use. - DVC Stem

During transportation, the mesenchymal stem cells are preserved using a compound called DMSO, this is to ensure viability when cryogenically frozen and shipped from the lab. Some clinics may remove this compound or "wash" the cells before treatment. It is important to ask the clinic is they also conduct viability tests post wash. This will determine the total live cell count before infusion. Does the clinic conduct post thaw (if cryogenically frozen) viability tests before treatment? For a general rule of thumb, viability should be over 90% at the time of treatment.

Pictured: Mesenchymal stem cells

#6 Can the clinic recommend different cell administration options for your condition?

What type of treatment does the clinic recommend for your condition? Is it intravenous (IV), or another form of site injection? If the treatment is intravenous, what is the rate of administration? Remember, more complicated injections may require some sort of imaging to locate the target area.

#7 Can the clinic provide a list of testimonials?

A good source of information can also come from patient testimonials. These testimonials can be a great way to see what other patients with similar conditions have experienced post treatment. These stem cell patient reviews can also share insight as to the quality of the clinic and practitioners performing treatment. It is important to note that well regulated clinics may be bound by HIPAA compliance and data protection laws, so it may not always be able to contact a complete list of active patients. This makes testimonials posted online a valuable source of overall patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

For example, here is a patient testimonial filmed with Lou Ferrigno who received an anti-aging treatment at DVC Stem.

Conclusion

Finding the right stem cell clinic for your condition may seem difficult. However, once you know what to ask, it can make choosing the right stem cell clinic much easier. The transparency of a clinic should be highly valued. They should be able to share all relevant information and data regarding their specific protocols, cell products and facility, allowing you to make an informed decision.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 DAYS POST TREATMENT

"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry

EXCITING IMPROVEMENTS

Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!

50 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.


Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem

3 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

Are you a candidate?

Complete our online application form to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

APPLY FOR TREATMENT

About Our Medical DIrector

Louis A. Cona, MD

LOUIS A. CONA, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

Are you a candidate?

Complete our online application form to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

APPLY FOR TREATMENT

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