Stem Cell Therapy: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Recently the FDA issued permanent injunctions against stem cell clinics using a type of stem cell
product called Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF). This product (“The Bad”) is derived from fat retrieved
from a patient by liposuction. It is then digested by enzymes, washed and filtered to yield SVF. It is
injected back into the patient receiving the liposuction for various therapies. SVF is not approved for
clinical use by any regulatory authority. It is a very impure source of stem cells and was responsible for
blindness in 3 patients treated at one of the facilities recently sued by the Dept of Justice/FDA.
Bad Stem Cell Therapies:
Vitro Biopharma has recently completed a white paper comparing SVF from both fat and
placenta to expanded and purified MSCs. We found that SVF from either fat or placenta did not meet the
international standard definition of a stem cell by measurement of specific proteins on the cell surface.
Thus, it is inaccurate to call SVF a stem cell product. Also, SVF was inferior to stem cells expanded
from fat or placenta in terms of potency that reflects how well it will regenerate tissues. Unfortunately,
this product is sold in many stem cell clinics in the US. The buyer should be aware of this product as
ineffective and potentially harmful.
Ugly Stem Cell Therapies:
These involve painful and potentially harmful procedures to remove tissues from your body:
liposuction or bone marrow aspirate. While these are common procedures they are outdated and
unnecessary when you use the latest technology produced as allogeneic stem cells.
Good Stem Cell Therapies:
This is a type of stem cell is derived from another person and has just recently received approval
for marketing by the European Medicines Agency (the European equivalent of the FDA.) for the
treatment of a type of Crohn’s disease. There are three types of allogeneic stem cells being used in
clinical applications: bone marrow derived, adipose (fat) derived or those from the umbilical cord.
Within these three sources there is also variability. We and renowned Research Institutions have
found that umbilical cord derived stem cells are the best.
Vitro Biopharma offers umbilical cord-derived stem cells for ongoing trial in the Grand Cayman
Islands and in New Zealand for stem cell therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.
In summary, it is very important to consider the stem cell product if you are planning stem cell
therapy. SVF or similar products should be avoided. If a liposuction or bone marrow extraction is
involved, realize that there can be complications and significant pain associated with these procedures.
Contact the experts at Vitro Biopharma to discuss your stem cell therapy options
By Jim Musick, Ph.D, CEO Vitro Biopharma, Tiana, Tonrey, MS, COO Vitro Biopharma
& Richard Dean, Research Associate, Vitro Biopharma.