While US courts conduct legal battles over the ethics of stem cell research and Big Pharma shuts down clinical trials citing ‘tighter budgets’, North Americans wait for solid proof of stem cell efficacy for many disease conditions. Health organizations such as the National Cancer Institute issue continual warnings about lack of proof for stem cell therapy. National media shows like CBSs’ 60 Minutes, paid for by their advertisers that include Big Pharma, perform razor-sharp hatchet jobs on those quack clinics doing fake stem cell therapy, but in the process paint every other clinic everywhere doing stem cell research and therapy with the same brush.
In the meantime, medical institutions in other countries plough along with research from trials that not only provide good evidence on the safety of stem cells, but also their efficacy for many disease conditions with autoimmune causes. For example, the current accepted treatment strategies for MS are only known to decrease inflammation but have no effect on repairing material damage to the CNS, effectively reversing the disease. What isn’t yet accepted in the medical community is that stem cell transplantation demonstrates a new approach for supporting restoration of tissue through remyelination. Through multiple clinical trials that have already proceeded to phase III, it has been well-established that mesenchymal stem cells moderate responses of the disease and stimulate repair of the central nervous system. In these studies, adult autologous mesenchymal stem cells have not only been safely administered to MS patients but have proven effective as a potential therapy for MS. Approved Clinical Trials involving small numbers of patients have occurred for the past half decade in medical centers outside of North America. As a result, various medical treatment centers have already derived protocols for extraction, culture, and treatment of MS patients with autologous stem cells. A review of popular medical journals actually reveals a widespread consensus on the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation as a therapy for MS patients.
After 18 months of treating MS patients, CCSVI Clinic is well along with its program. “Success means different things to different people, but I’d say we’ve had much more than we could have hoped for when we first started.” says Dr. Chopra, Neurosurgeon with CCSVI Clinic. “For the past year we’ve been adding autologous mesenchymal stem cell transplantation to the liberation therapy procedure and that’s when we really started to notice a significant change in patient outcomes”. Autologous Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation (AMSCT) means that the stem cells are taken from the patient’s own body and are cultured prior to transplantation at various times over an extended period. With the patient as the donor, there is no risk of transplantation leading to cancer as opposed to the risks of transplanting embryonic stem cells. AMSCT is now regularly used in North America for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as other diseases with remarkable results including cure for many patients. “If it works for some diseases, is safe and well-tolerated by the patient, then why not other diseases? We believe that Multiple Sclerosis can now be added to that list.” says Chopra.
In the past four years Chopra has performed over 1500 autologous stem cell transplantations for many types of neuro-degenerative diseases, including MS, cerebral palsy, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s among others.
For the past year, CCSVI Clinic has not done the ‘liberation therapy’ for MS alone without the combined stem cell transplantation in the same 12-day protocol sequence. “Once we saw how dramatic and long-lasting the outcomes were with the addition of the stem cells, it didn’t make sense to do it any other way.” says Chopra. Most MS patients would agree. Lawrence Vermeersch of Kenora, Canada is convinced that it’s the stem cells that are continuing to make the difference in his recovery. “I’m thinking it will take a year to full recovery, but I’m continuing to improve every day.”
Jessica Davis, diagnosed with MS in 2003, of Somerset, UK agrees: “I have my life back thanks to CCSVI Clinic and it’s the best thing I ever did for myself. They weren’t easy to find but I did my homework.” She continues: “I had to be my own advocate for both liberation therapy and the stem cells because I got no help from my own neurologist. From the day I was diagnosed, my MS was aggressive. I didn’t have much time to take action before I would get to the point where just getting out of the flat would become impossible. I was using a cane and so tired all the time. After the 12 days at CCSVI Clinic, the first thing that cleared up was the head fog and my (incontinence) and the rest has come back over the past six months. I am working again and I consider myself cured.”
“These are typical stories for all types of neuro-degenerative diseases we are treating through CCSVI Clinic. At least with MS we are seeing significant improvement in many patients and I believe this trend of outcomes will continue” says Chopra. “We have also had some significantly positive outcomes with ALS and (cerebral) palsy. With the results we have seen in the past year, I think that the promise of stem cells is coming closer to matching the reality.”