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Can stem cells heal lupus?

Louis A. Cona M.D.

Dec 4, 2019

An in-depth description of lupus and how stem cell therapy may be able to combat the condition.

Lupus Erythematosus, otherwise known as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system begins attacking healthy tissue. This causes a wide range of responses from cold-like symptoms to organ failure. It is most commonly associated with the butterfly-shaped skin rash that develops on a person’s face. Lupus affects over 5 million people worldwide and there is currently no cure. Symptoms are managed with drugs, attempting to provide patients with a better quality of life. However, recent studies and trials have shown significant positive results for the treatment of lupus with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

What is Lupus?

It is is generally accepted that Lupus Erythematosus is caused by a number of genes, in combination with associated environmental factors. The condition compromises a person’s immune system and then allows external factors to plague the person. Symptoms can flare in response to sunlight, minor infections, and even prescribed medicines. Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus triggers cells in the body to begin attacking the body itself. This causes large amounts of harmful inflammation in the body, which can quickly lead to more serious complications. Although common symptoms are minor and treatable, such as rashes and joint pain, serious cases of lupus can lead to organ failure. Lupus has shown the ability to cause failure of the kidneys, central nervous system, circulatory system, lungs, and the heart.

There has not been a cure found for lupus, and it is treated today as most other autoimmune diseases. The patient is prescribed a series of anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics. These strong drugs have harmful side effects and often diminish a patient’s quality of life. In certain cases, they are ineffective at reducing the symptoms present.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are naturally occurring immature cells with the special ability to “differentiate”, or transform, into many other types of cells in the body. They naturally find damaged cells and inflammation in the body and begin to repair and replace those cells. Everyone has stem cells in their body, however, our stem cells age over time and their numbers and effectiveness diminish as we get older.

Researchers have begun using mesenchymal stem cell transplants to treat autoimmune diseases. It was thought that supplementing the body with a high amount of new stem cells would boost a patient’s ability to fight inflammation and reduce symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders. Mesenchymal stem cells are sourced from bone marrow, donated cord tissue, or other tissues in the body. The benefit of using these cells is that they are readily available, they are not rejected by the body (do not require a donor match), and there is no need for chemotherapy to receive treatment. Additionally, MSCs are some of the most powerful stem cells available for cellular therapy.

The results of stem cell transplants for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, have been largely positive. In one trial of 200 participants, 75% benefited from the treatment. This is higher than the current success rate of standard lupus medications. The effects were still present over 24 months following treatment, and there were very rare adverse reactions, with no reported severe reactions. Stem cell treatment for lupus presents patients with a safe, natural, long-term solution to managing their symptoms. It also presents an option to avoid the plethora of potentially harmful medications otherwise required for maintaining a normal lifestyle.

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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