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Autologous (HSCT) vs Allogeneic Treatment

Louis A. Cona M.D.

Sep 17, 2019

Here we explain what HSCT is and how it differs from the type of therapy DVC Stem offers.

There are many forms of stem cell therapy, but the leading ones today are Autologous and Allogeneic treatments. While both aim at the same results, the methods used to achieve them are very different. With support growing behind each form of treatment in communities surrounding degenerative diseases and autoimmune disorders, it can be difficult to decide which path is best. It is important to know the details behind each option and make the right choice for your specific case. More importantly, it is vital to understand the risks and rewards associated with both.

What is an Autologous Transplant? (HSCT)

Stem cells exist in everyone. We have a supply of youthful stem cells when we are born, but they are used for body repair as we age. Additionally, stem cell potency decreases as we age. The stem cells from a patient in their 60s will not act similarly to those from an infant. In autologous treatment, stem cells are extracted from a patient’s own tissue, whether that be fat, bone marrow, or blood. They are then purified and expanded before being reintroduced into the body in a targeted manner to stimulate a healing response.

In a Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT), after the stem cells are extracted, the patient is subjected to high doses of chemotherapy or radiation to effectively kill or deactivate the immune system. The removed stem cells, having been unaffected by the chemotherapy, are then reintroduced to the body, helping it to begin producing healthy red and white blood cells once again. Results for HSCT have been positive for autoimmune diseases, such as MS, in which the immune system attacks a patient’s body. The treatment “resets” the immune system, hoping to cease the effects of the disorder. However, many patients are turned off by the use of chemotherapy, and the inherent risks associated with such aggressive treatment. Some patients may be in too poor a condition to even attempt this form of treatment. Although safety has greatly improved with experience, HSCT initially had a 1 in 100 death rate for participants.

What is Allogeneic Transplant? (Cord Tissue-Derived)

Allogeneic therapy similarly seeks to promote healing and repair within the body but in a much less invasive way. In this treatment form, stem cells are collected from outside sources, such as donated umbilical cord tissue. Cord tissue, or “Wharton’s Jelly”, has some of the most powerful, primal stem cells that can be found. As previously mentioned, stem cells at the point of birth are at the peak of their potency, and umbilical cord tissue is often simply discarded after birth, making them widely available. Additionally, there is no immune response to cells sourced from cord tissue, negating the need for a matched donor for each patient.

Stem cells are extracted from the source, then purified and expanded into the millions, before being transplanted into a patient. The patient is prepared for treatment through a variety of methods and given stem cell activation supplements, vice chemotherapy. The principle is to allow the influx of new, healthy stem cells to travel the body through the bloodstream, where they can naturally seek out damage and inflammation to begin the repair process.

The tradeoff with allogeneic transplant is that it is a much less invasive and radical procedure, having little impact on the patient, however, the results are understandably milder than with HSCT. This gives patients an option for effective treatment without the risk of chemotherapy, or who may be in too poor a condition to undergo HSCT. Additionally, the noninvasive nature of the procedure allows for repeat treatment over time without continuous damage being done to the body.

DVC Stem

DVC Stem is a stem cell therapy pioneer, offering stem cell therapies for years and has become a cornerstone of the medical tourism industry. Located in the tropical paradise of Grand Cayman in the Western Caribbean, we offer patients a nearby alternative to traveling long distances and to less ideal locations. Our protocols are IRB approved, and our cells come from regulated, U.S. based, FDA compliant laboratories. We seek to offer the highest quality products, the latest available treatments for a variety of conditions, all combined with a world-class setting and service.

3 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.

Tyler Heid, lifting his foot 12" off the ground with 2 lb weights on his ankles.

Tyler - 2 weeks post treatment

"I'm on a path of progression and I'm getting better and better each day."

Tyler Heid - 2 months post treatment

2 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."

5 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months 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!

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.

About the author

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.

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