Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are these procedures FDA-approved?
The FDA cannot approve or disapprove of stem-cell procedures because this type of treatment reaches beyond their scope. Stem-cell therapy does not include any drug treatments; only the injection of one's own cells. The FDA does have guidelines for the proper handling of autologous stem cells, and we adhere to those guidelines.
Q. Why does psc use liposuction fat rather than bone marrow as a source of stem cells?
Bone marrow sampling is an uncomfortable procedure which only yields approximately 5,000 - 60,000 cells. Due to this small amount, these cells must be cultured over several days until enough cells exist (usually a few million) for injection into the patient. However, when processed correctly, there are 500,000 to 1 million stem cells per cc of adipose tissue (fat). This gives doctors 10 to 40 million stem cells to immediately use from a single extraction. These adipose derived cells are multi-potent. This means they can be used to treat many different types of tissues including bone, connective tissues, blood, muscles, nerves, cartilage, and others.
Q. Does a candidate have to participate in research to receive treatment at PSC?
No. Participation in any of our research opportunities is not mandatory to receive treatment. Additionally, there are no incentives available to encourage participation in such studies. However, we are committed to clinical research that furthers stem-cell science. Any participation in such research would be fully explained and privacy maintained. All research studies performed are regulated by an Institutional Review Board which will promote validity, transparency, and protection of the study enrollees.
Q.How is eligibility decided?
The physicians at Pittsburgh Stem Cell will decide if a patient is eligible to participate. Certain criteria will be examined to ensure that the patient will benefit from the procedure. A review of the patient's medical history, present condition, exam results, and up to date research findings will all be factored in the decision.
PSC may seek opinions from other stem cell professionals on complex cases.
Q. Who are the best candidates for stem cell treatments?
Generally, the best candidates are those who suffer from a disease for which there is currently not an effective treatment. Orthopedic patients who have been advised to undergo invasive surgery and those suffering with untreatable autoimmune disorders are good examples.
Currently, we are using stem-cell therapy to treat several specific medical conditions. Check out the sections under "Treatment areas" for more information.
All patients must be stable enough to receive treatment at our clinic. Patients may be declined if they do not fit the requirements or whose condition exists in an area that Pittsburgh Stem Cell does not currently treat. In such cases, a waiting list or outside referral to another facility might be applicable.
Q. How do adult stem cells work?
Stem cells are multi-potent cells. They have the ability to transform into many different types of cells including cartilage, bone, muscle, blood, nerve, and others. Once called upon, these cells replace and renew damaged tissue all over the human body. In addition, these cells have superior anti-inflammatory properties useful for treating damaged or inflamed areas.
Stem cells lay dormant until they are called upon for tissue healing or regeneration. This need stimulates them into action. Clinical research and patient success indicate that these cells, when ideally directed with the help of medical professionals, have unparalleled potential for repair and regeneration of damaged or diseased human tissues.
Q.How long will it take to see improvement?
A patient may see improvement in as little as 30 - 60 days. Long term healing, including permanent tissue repair, may take up to a year.