What is the Procedure of Stem Cell Therapy?
If stem cell therapy is an option, a detailed treatment plan is prepared depending on the type of treatment necessary. Once the patient has consented to the treatment plan, an appointment is scheduled for bone marrow extraction. Please note that this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, so it is important that patients do not take any blood-thinning medication in the ten days prior to the appointment. It is necessary for each patient to consult their own doctor before discontinuing this type of medication.
The treatment procedure include:
» Bone Marrow Extraction
» Isolation, Analysis and Concentration of the Stem Cells in the Laboratory
» Stem Cell Implantation
Bone Marrow Extraction: Bone marrow is extracted from the hip bone by the physicians. This procedure normally takes around 30 minutes. First, local anesthetic is administered to the area of skin where the puncture will be made. Then, a thin needle is used to extract around 150-200 ml of bone marrow. The injection of local anesthetic can be slightly painful, but the patient usually does not feel the extraction of bone marrow.
Isolation, Analysis and Concentration of the Stem Cells in the Laboratory: The quality and quantity of the stem cells contained in the collected bone marrow are tested at the laboratory. First, the stem cells are isolated. Then a chromatographical procedure is used to separate them from the red and white blood corpuscles and plasma. The sample is tested under sterile conditions so that the stem cells, which will be administered to the patient, are not contaminated with viruses, bacteria or fungi. Each sample is also tested for the presence of viral markers such as HIV, hepatitis B and C and cytomegalia. The cleaned stem cells are counted and viability checks are made. If there are enough viable stem cells, i.e. more than two million CD34+ cells with over 80 percent viability, the stem cell concentrate is approved for patient administration.
Stem Cell Implantation: The method of stem cell implantation depends on the patient's condition. There are four different ways of administering stem cells:
- Administration via catheter using angiography
- Direct injection into the target area
- Retrobulbar Injection
It is important to understand that while stem cell therapy can help alleviate symptoms in many patients and slow or even reverse degenerative processes, it does not work in all cases. Based on additional information, patient's current health situation and/or unforeseen health risks, the medical staff can always, in the interest of the individual patient, propose another kind of stem cell transplantation or in exceptional situations cancel the treatment.
Success Rates of Stem Cell Therapy in India
There is about a 60% to 80% overall success rate in the use of stem cell therapy in both India and around the world. However, success rates vary depending on the disease being treated, the institute conducting the procedures, and the condition of the patient. In order to receive complete information you will have to contact the medical institutes and ask specific questions concerning the patient's condition.