Different Approaches to Stem Cell Treatment

This is the third and final post in this series of personal accounts of stem cell treatments (SCT). As we mentioned in the first post there are two different stem cell approaches. The first approach uses autologous stem cells which means that they are taken from the child’s own body. They are injected in the spinal area as illustrated on https://www.cell-el.com/therapy/. The other option is to have donor cells injected through an IV and to administer other chemical compounds which are intented to increase the effectiveness of the stem cells administered in this manner. It is a big debate in general in the Autism community which protocol is more effective. Cell-El does not have an opinion as to which is the preferred method. Additional research is necessary. Cell-El’s dedicated researchers study stem cell therapy as a possible treatment for immune dysfunction. We have been identifying this dysfunction in our diagnostic study of children with ASD. Additionally, we look forward to studying the difference between the two stem cell treatments discussed. (Please note that this blog post may be more technical than previous posts. If you have any questions, please contact us.) In the research article “Therapeutic properties of mesenchymal stem cells for autism spectrum disorders” published in Medical Hypotheses, Dr. Beni Gesundheit, Founder, CEO and Lead Scientist of Cell-El compares the two approaches to stem cell therapy: Comparison of Stem Cell therapies

Autologous Source of Stem Cells

Dr. Gocha Shatirishvili is the  Medical Director of family Cord Blood Bank Geocord, Tbilisi, Georgia and Chief Scientific Officer of Department for Cell Technologies and Therapy at Cancer Research Center, Tbilisi. He presented his paper: “Safety and efficacy of autologous cord blood intrathecal transplantation for children with autism spectrum disorder (preliminary results)”  at the Joint Event on World Congress on Novel Trends and Advances in Biotechnology, Cell & Stem Cell Research & 15th Annual Congress on Pediatrics. Click here for the full article .His theory regarding stem cell treatment includes the following considerations:
  • Patients with ASD have some typical alterations in the brain – as documented in many studies (eg microglial activation, neuroinflammation, decreased numbers of GABA_ergic cerebellar Purkinje cells).
  • There is decreased communication between the different brain regions responsible for executive function, social/emotional and communication abilities – reflected by the ASD symptoms.
  • Intrathecal injection (via lumbar puncture) is the optimal way to deliver cord blood directly to the involved regions of the brain and is an accepted route of delivery for neurodegenerative disease and post-trauma therapy.
Dr. Shatirishvili  states that in the case of IV injection, the main part of the transplanted cells remain in the veins of the lungs, spleen and liver (up to 60-70%) and few manage to cross the Blood-Brain barrier (BBB). In addition – not all growth factors and healing cytokines can pass the BBB in this manner of injection. Often the cells are given by delivering part to the brain through the lumbar region and a portion to the rest of the body through IV. If parents prefer, they can choose to have the cells injected only by IV. For more information see: “Own (autologous) bone marrow stem cells transplantation” stem cells

Allogeneic Sources of Stem Cells

Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD, general practitioner, intensive care specialist in cell therapy and regenerative medicine at the Swiss Medica Clinic, in Moscow shares the benefits of stem cell therapy. If a child doesn’t have their own (autologous) cord blood stored, Umbilical and Placental donor cells can be a way to provide the unique therapeutic properties these kind of stem cells contain.
  • Allogeneic sourced stem cells have no need for procedure and laboratory work at the time of treatment.
  • Cellular treatment is clinically ready to go.
  • When stem cells come from a healthy donor they possibly contain a healthier, more effective amount of immune-regulating chemicals (cytokines) than those taken from the child with ASD.
  • When donor stem cells are combined with a nasal dose of secretones (a stem-cell product) they may work as effectively as autologous cells administered with lumbar puncture. Please note: Allogenic stem cells can not be administered by lumbar puncture due to compatibility issue.
  • If donor stem cells are as effective as autologous (using one’s own stem cells) treatment, then it is definitely a less invasive technique. Clinics may prefer this method as IV administration is a routine procedure.
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina writes in Autism Treatment with Stem Cells that at the Swiss Medica Clinic “since patients with autism are most often children, their own (autologous) stem cells are not used. We use a combination of allogeneic (donor) multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from two sources – donated placenta and umbilical cord. This combination offers a large number of high-quality stem cells without an invasive procedure being required for their collection (such as bone marrow biopsy or liposuction). Stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta offer strong potential therapeutic properties which are further described in the article sponsored by the National Institute of Health.” Cell El seeks to investigate what is the best approach for stem cell treatment for ASD through applying the biomarker-based diagnostic tool we are in the process of creating. By monitoring physiological changes in the child post treatment, through the use of our tool and not only behavioral symptoms, doctors will better understand how their treatment is helping improve the condition of the child with ASD.

Help Us Help You

You too can join our team and help us in making a difference in the lives of children with ASD and their families! For the Cell-El study, we are recruiting infants aged 10-18 months not diagnosed with ASD but with a sibling diagnosed with ASD and their mothers. Parents please help spread the word to others and thus enable this important tool to be integrated into Autism treatment as quickly as possible. Additionally, if your child is diagnosed with ASD and between the ages of 2-12 years old and you are planning to take them privately to a clinic offering Stem Cell treatment for ASD, please contact Leah at [email protected] or fill out the form to find out about eligibility to participate in  our diagnostic study.