The Stem Cell - A Cautionary Tale on a Global Scale
Stem Cell research and development is this century’s quest for the Holy Grail as the price of admission to a life eternal.
“Crafting an accurate narrative that makes sense of the nonsensical or inexplicable in the study of stem cells is one of medical science’s greatest challenges,” according to Dr. Ernst Schwarz, M.D., esteemed cardiology specialist in heart transplants. Affiliated with Southern California Hospital at Hollywood and Cedars – Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Schwarz, a pioneer in stem cells applied in treating advanced heart failure and severe injuries says, “The understanding of the stem cell; their existence and their potential application is at the core of human desires.”
There is a consensus among those specializing in the stem cell arena that the pursuit of stem cell scientific study and treatment can already extend life expectancy.
“Stem cell applications may in the foreseeable future circumvent, at least for a significant while, our inevitable demise”, according to author, Discovery Science Channel expert and Founder of the Global Foundation for Human Aging Research, Vincent Giampapa, M.D. F.A.C.S. Also a co-founder of healthycell® the world’s only all-natural supplements created specifically for keeping our bodies stem cells healthy, Giampapa quips, “What was science fiction is now scientific fact”.
The search for new stem treatments and cures for chronic diseases associated with aging, healing debilitating injuries and the path to a healthier and more robust lifespan is the super science of our time.
“A science, however, that can be a double-edged ‘lancet’ and is as serious as a heartbeat”, says Dr. Swartz, who plans to attend the 10th Annual Medical Tourism Congress. Stem cell research and treatments can be rife with misinformation and relaxed standards predicated by avarice and ignorance.
Advances in bioresearch are also impeded by “Policies and legislation often fraught with special interests. This trend must be superseded by concern for the public’s health and welfare, “insists Eric Funderwhite, Director of NuStem Los Angeles Cellular Therapy Clinic.
Talk about sticker shock.
Further compounding domestic advancements the FDA can be excessively risk-averse, imposing dense and vastly expensive clinical trial regulations. Rather than impeding the study of stem cells on an international scale; USA policy has in fact incentivized laboratory and medical research abroad.
The wide gap in what persists between the current administration’s official policy regarding stem cell use in the United States and accommodating patient needs is increasingly ameliorated globally.
Treatment centers and labs are advancing groundbreaking research abroad with India, Thailand, Mexico, Korea, China, Costa Rica and Israel prominent among them.
“The revolution in telemedicine is also driving progress in stem cell treatment. Faster internet connections, availability of vetted information on search engines, “smart” phones and broadening of insurance standards allows health providers to work seamlessly on the international stage,” confirms Bill Cook, Director of Business Development for Global Healthcare Accreditation.
‘‘Especially the search for new treatments and cures for chronic diseases associated with aging such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are making strides on a global scale.
Experts agree stem cell scientific discipline is still in its infancy. Human embryonic stem cells were first cultured in 1998. Two decades later the brave new world of stem cell’s basic assumptions remains routinely inexplicable. Making sense of nonsensical can lead to dead ends, debunking, career suicide or worse if the scientific community does not err on the side of caution.
One such cautionary tale was the S.T.A.P. (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) The potential of creating cognoscente brain matter, instantaneous organ regeneration without rejection or even more cataclysmic; the end of death, as we know it, seemed within the prevue of what was later debunked findings.
The S.T.A.P. scandal that ensued with research retracted and its lead developmental biologist committing suicide is one more disheartening example of what may happen when scientific research is not impartially vetted or corroborated by one’s peers.
What made the C.B.D. claim even more promising was that there was a potential source of stem cells that was not tethered to the typical ethical considerations that thwarted advancements during the George W. Bush Administration. Stem cell engineering raises valid ethical questions that invite the Wisdom of Solomon backed by a team of the world’s leading biomedical scientists and physicians.
“The more pernicious quandaries associated with stem cell treatments today are those derived from embryonic stem cell harvesting. The Red Market, referencing the wholesale trade in human organs and gathering stem cells from fetuses is lamentably thriving on the black market and must be stopped at all costs,” insists Dr. Dana Churchill, West Coast Representative of DAFOH, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting and Director of the Pasadena Optimal Health and Wellness Center.
“Combine industry regulation, a dearth of funding, career pressure to produce groundbreaking results, creates multiple areas ripe for compromise,” confirms John Arnone, Founder of American Cryo Stem Corporation and a frequent panelist at the World Medical Tourism Congress.
The expense of creating a new treatment, the length of time from concept to the application and the potential monetary windfall associated with biomedical advancements are compelling reasons to embrace a worldview when so much is at stake.
Another slippery slope of which there will be no clawback is the bioengineering of the world’s privileged progeny, the science of elite Trans-Humanism.
Trending in Silicon Valley are engineers with implanted chips that open doors and turn on lights with a flick of the wrist.
This begs the question, how much convenience do we really need?
Who can forget Jimmy Kimmel, popular late-night host describing to millions of viewers in May with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance) how torn he was when told his new son was born with a life threatening birth defect.
Admitting to his affluence and privilege; Kimmel made an emotional plea that no family should have to make medical and health decisions based on one’s ability to pay. Adding, “If your parents didn’t have medical insurance or were affluent, you might not have lived long enough to be denied for having a pre-existing condition.”
Stem Cell research and applications are also being thwarted by the public’s voracious need to know. The proliferation of media hucksters wreaking havoc on the legitimate pursuit of pure science is an especially malicious form of fake news. As the adage states “if it seems too good to be true….” one should cast suspicion on claims of sensational results.
“To be invalidated, discredited or debunked in reporting developments that have not stood the test of time and are corroborated by a jury of peers is so many kinds of wrong,” says Dr. Dana Churchill. There is enough intentional misinformation in the media today without making the entire stem cell community suffer for a hasty misrepresentation of the facts resulting in misguided setbacks.
Even more odious is intentional deception motivated by greed as is the case of headlines that shout “Babies from Stem Cells” and “Mail Order Tests Check Cells for Early Aging” or the Charles Vacanti’s hoax. The viral internet meme ‘Earmouse’ touted by the popular media as proof of the aberrant nature of stem cells was simply a piece of cow cartilage that Vacanti surgically implanted in Mickey’s back.
“No matter the scientist country of origin the inherent danger of distorting findings without the benefit of expert peer review impedes the universal scientific community while endangering the patient,” according to M. Nasar Qureshi, M.D. and Immediate Past President of APPNA, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America.
“It is heartening that advancements in stem cell science are taking place on a global scale. By its very nature stem cell research and treatment has become an international pursuit propelled by ongoing improvements in Medical Tourism”, confirms Holmes Stoner, Founder of the Pacific Rim Business Council.
Case in point is the Jilin Yue Tan Hospital in Changchun City, Jilin, China. Commended for their breaking down of geographical cultural barriers the institute and hospital serve to advance medical tourism and the free exchange of stem cell therapies.” With satellites in Malaysia, Viet Nam and the Philippines; Jilun Yue Tan has been managing cell therapy centers since the year 2002.
Their labs have developed patented technology for stem cell extraction primarily from umbilical cord blood; whereby 270 to 350 million stem cells may be extracted per procedure. Utilizing CIKDC immune cells are seeing advancements in the treatment of autism, Parkinson’s injuries and reduction of pain in knees, the back and joints, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.
Foremost among the biological beauty breakthroughs is Neocorium, which utilizes a signature stem cell centrifuge refining process to infuse 4500 ccs of nine different growth factors and stem cells into their formula.
Sandy Dash, of the newly launched Sany Skincare Inc. an upmarket collection of anti-aging skin and body products that are infused with antioxidants, peptides, and plant extracts says she is currently considering a Phase 2 product rollout for Sany Skincare that will include plant-based stem cells.
“The evidence is almost indisputable that stem cells in topical products are truly the next gold standard in advanced skin care.”
The free, immediate and transparent exchange of information and ease of travel; facilitates the patients seeking treatment and scientists free exchange of information without borders. Dr. Ernst Swartz among others interviewed for this article offered a caveat, “Many clinics here and abroad are offering stem cell therapies that have not undergone the rigorous criteria imposed by the world’s most respected medical institutions in North America and elsewhere.
Even in light of the superb facilities available throughout the world; it is paramount that anyone considering stem cell therapy thoroughly scrutinizes the treatment facility and staff before arriving at a decision.”
One such avenue to vet the standards adhered to by a particular clinic is found in the scientific publication PUBMED published by the National Institute of Health. “Patients should be especially vigilant when choosing physicians for this type of therapy,” concurs Dr. Giampapa, a recent Nobel Prize nominee for his research in stem cells.
Experience the Future – Now at WMTC 2017
When asked what advances in stem cell therapies are on the horizon the answers could best be likened to the parable of the six blind men describing an elephant. Everyone interviewed had a distinct answer. Stem Cell Banking is
Stem Cell Banking is increasingly becoming a hedge on debilitating, age-related diseases. Dr. Mark Katakowski, President of Forever Labs explains that they created their adult stem cell banking service to address the age-related decline of stem cells. “All things being equal, you are your own best stem cell donor. However, this prospect diminishes with age. Cryopreservation enables us to apply our own youthful stem cells to treat age related ailments in our latter years.
Director Eric Funderwhite a stem cell therapist at Nustem/Heartstem/Petstem of Beverly Hills confirms each treatment is unique to the individual patient. Practitioners must weigh in not only what improvements the patient desires or ailments they are experiencing; but also their age, source of the stem cells and determination if the patient is apt to develop antibiotics to those stem cells.
These and more criteria are given in-depth consideration before developing a tailor-made treatment plan. There is no formula for predicting which research will yield results or from where. But ethical standards and rules should be ubiquitous and rigorously applied in an attempt to eliminate errors and setbacks.
Global transparency in the sharing of information, both medical and scientific, is at the forefront of the Medical Tourism Associations’ guiding principles, a mission that can help bring inevitable errors to light more quickly while benefiting patients everywhere with a universal brand of health care.