Louis A. Cona M.D.
Sep 18, 2019
Explaining the difference between embryonic and cord tissue-derived stem cells.
Stem cells have been studied for decades, but the methods that were used caused much controversy in politics and religion. In the early years, stem cells were sourced from human embryos, which required the destruction of the embryo. This was quick to cause widespread ethical disputes and concerns over whether stem cell medicine should be pursued. However, in recent years, other stem cell sources have emerged that are less harmful. For instance, stem cells can now be sourced from fat tissue, bone marrow, and umbilical cord tissue after birth, at no harm to the baby. Even with these advancements, the stem cell field has struggled to shake its controversial reputation.
Stem cells are undeveloped cells that have not yet been specialized in the body. They have the potential to become many different types of cells in the body. This is how embryos develop from a group of cells, into a fully grown human with functioning organs. Early researchers discovered that these stem cells could be sourced from embryos and used for studies and the creation of treatments. These powerful cells could be used to grow new tissue as they were designed to do, such as organs, bones, and more. It was also possible to use these cells to clone humans and animals. However, as previously mentioned, this introduced a number of questions on their ethical uses, and many were opposed to the practice. This quickly led to legislation in the United States, banning many treatments with the use of stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells are still used today, but new techniques have been developed to extract the cells without harming the embryo. While still remaining controversial, this practice has largely been relegated to specialized research projects, and not for the production of standard stem cell therapies found today. DVC Stem does NOT use embryonic stem cells.
With more recent discoveries in stem cell medicine, researchers began to uncover other sources for stem cells. These sources, such as cord tissue, bone marrow, and fat tissue, provided similar strength stem cells and were completely nondestructive or morally questionable. By sourcing stem cells from these alternatives, researchers could still use the cells to form new therapies, but the practice would be much more ethically sound. Additionally, stem cells from these sources cannot be used for cloning, which was another moral hurdle overcome.
The most effective source and the source we use for our stem cell therapies is donated umbilical cord tissue. After childbirth, the umbilical cord is often discarded as medical waste. However, studies have discovered that there is a large number of highly potent mesenchymal stem cells within the cord tissue. This has led to a booming industry of stem cell banks that offer parents the ability to extract and store their cord tissue cells for potential use at a later date. Additionally, parents are given the option to simply donate their cord tissue to companies that source them out to stem cell laboratories for expansion. This is how our partner laboratory, Vitro Biopharma, acquires their stem cells. With this practice, we are able to offer highly effective stem cell therapies, without causing any harm to anyone.
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.
About the author
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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