This weekend I spent a whirlwind trip to Morocco. I left Miami Thursday night and was back Sunday night. I was invited there to share information with a very interested medical community. Their eagerness reminded me of myself when I began the journey into regenerative medicine over twelve years ago. At that time, I was like a sponge and they seemed to be the same. The faculty included doctors and new friends from Europe, South America, Asia (including India), North America, and Africa. This trip also represented a milestone for me. I have now lectured on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Something else to check off on my bucket list.
My lecture was designed as a surgery of the field of Regenerative Medicine as it pertained to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem cell therapy. I started out discussing the various aspects of PRP therapy. I explained to the medical community the good the bad and ugly concerning PRP therapy. To try to give them some semblance of order I discussed a paper which I recently published with some colleagues from Brazil. The paper is a classification of PRP preparations. It addresses PRP like no other paper has. I wanted to make sure that the doctors were not lead astray but some sales people telling them that certain components of a PRP product were not necessary. These components are red and white blood cells. We now realize that the full complement of blood is needed to order to properly get the best functioning PRP product. I told them about the “urban legends” of PRP products.
The next portion of my discussion concerned the different types and uses for stem cells. They were given the mechanics of stem cell therapy. I discussed with them why certain cells seem to be favored over other cells. The two most important cells discussed were mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells. Each has a very distinct place in the realms stem cell therapy. The mesenchymal stem cell can be likened to a Navy Seal. They are very specialized. A mesenchymal cell is what is called an immune- modulator. What it does is to try to quell the inflammatory response in the vicinity of the other regenerative cells. Thus, as one can see it is much like a Navy Seal. I gets introduced into a hostile are, it may not survive, but its job is to secure the area to allow other cells to accomplish repair. The cells which accomplish repair are the hematopoietic stem cells.
Another very important portion of my talk concerned the relationship between the immune system and stem cells. The two are intimately related. One is very much dependent upon the other. How the immune system responds can lead to success or failure in our treatments.
I ended the talk discussing the various adjuncts that we use to enhance our therapies. These included stimulation of Nitric Oxide (NO). We know that NO will help increase stem cell output from the bone marrow. I discussed various methods that increase NO output including hyperbaric oxygen, supplements and laser therapy. This is a very important aspect of my therapy protocols. We also gave some clues of some of our propriety methods of preparing PRP and bone marrow products. We have methods allow us to harvest increasing amounts of cells. I also discussed the use and reason for using extra corporal shock wave therapy. This is a therapy which utilizes sound waves. It does it in such a way that it resembles a jack hammer. This type of therapy will help stem cells migrate to the area, increases growth factors, and increases micro-circulation. These factors can all enhance the chance of success.
Some of the other lectures proved to be quite interesting. I met my old friend Dr. Bansal from India. He gave an excellent lecture on very small embryonic like stem cells. He and I both have a special interest in these cells. He has had very good success in utilizing these cells for a variety of auto immune diseases. He has also had some success in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. All in all, it was an excellent meeting with excellent speakers. It was worth the short trip. Thanks Dr. P