When you use Umbilical cord stem cells you do not have to harvest stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow which typically involves general anesthesia and more than 150 ml of Bone marrow, no patient will prefer such procedure when equally safe and efficacious technology is available which does not require invasive procedure. Even peripheral blood stem cell harvesting has its own pitfalls in forms of life threatening complications.
Our belief is that patient should not be subjected to unnecessary risky procedure of stem cell harvesting when the treatment is still experimental in nature as per the ethical guidelines of medical practice.
What kind of patients can try this experimental therapy?
- Those who are suitable for islets cell transplant but not consenting to it or islets are not available for them or there is a long waiting period
- Patients with triple drug failure & on insulin and episodes of unpredictable hypoglycemia who want to try alternate therapy before they take islets transplant
- Stable patients on insulin who want to get rid of insulin but islets transplant is not indicated based on risk benefit ratio.
- Any diabetic patient who voluntarily want to take part in this program in absence of medical advice in order to improve quality of life and preventing progression of diabetes(in such case there should not be any contraindication for this program) however we do not advise any patient to undertake this therapy in absence of above 3 situations.
It has been shown in preliminary clinical studies of Diabetes type 1&2 that stem cells application can improve life expectancy, promote islets graft survival, act as an adjuvant to conventional treatments, buy time before islets transplant. Further it has been documented in published clinical trials that such application reduces insulin requirement and many patient have been made insulin free for 6 months to 24 months after mesenchymal stem cell application
The program intends outcome in form of better glycemic control and or prevent/delay the progression of complications associated with diabetes.
Note: Number of Stem cell applications has exceeded islets cell transplants. Mesenchymal stem cells do not require immunosuppression to show its beneficial effects contrary to islets cell transplants which requite life time immunosuppression and multiple repeat transplant within few years which is not possible in India at all. After islets transplant patients still die of diabetes or immune suppression. MSCs are freely available in ready to use form in our centers for multiple transplants without the hassle to find suitable islets donor and adequate quantity of islets which is usually not fulfilled.