Archive for the ‘Stem Cell Therapy’ Category

Sep 14, 2018

Regenerative Medicine Experts Meet at NAVRMA Conference

Last week I attended a veterinary regenerative medicine conference in Sacramento, California.  The North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association (NAVRMA) was founded in 2010 to bring together the best minds in the stem cell world to discuss research findings and share perspectives on how stem cells can provide treatment options for animals.  Over 100 of the key veterinary stem cell scientists and practitioners met and were educated by the academic and scientific leaders of stem cell research.  I was an invited speaker and was also asked to lead a workshop focused on the education of veterinarians about being a clinical study investigator.  On Sunday, September 9th, I presented ground-breaking stem cell safety data from the VetStem Research and Development program as part of our FDA product development.

Lectures ranged from clinical applications to basic science and discovery of how stem cells work and how they can best be applied to solve veterinary disease challenges.  Included in the program were talks on kidney disease, arthritis and lameness, and many immune-mediated diseases.  The keynote lecture by human doctor Farshid Guilak from Washington University focused on new discoveries of how we can modify stem cells for even better disease-fighting power.  Very cutting-edge work!

VetStem is proud to be in the forefront in bringing cell therapy into the hands of the practicing veterinarian and we are grateful to the many horse and pet owners that have trusted stem cell therapy for the care of their beloved animals.  I have been a regular speaker at the NAVRMA meetings and this meeting, as in the past, has provided opportunities to collaborate with stem cell enthusiasts around the world with the goal of bringing the healing power of regenerative medicine to our animals in the most rapid manner.

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Sep 7, 2018

Doberman With Bad Knees Experiences Relief After Stem Cells

This week’s blog is about Gabby, a ten-year-old Doberman pinscher.  Gabby had a string of bad luck beginning in August 2016 when she tore the cruciate ligament in her left knee.  Though she had surgery to repair the torn ligament, she ended up suffering a partial tear to her right cruciate ligament during her recovery.  Approximately one year later, she stopped using her right rear leg, which was likely due to the arthritis and scar tissue that formed in the joint after she partially tore her cruciate ligament.

Due to the severity of her arthritis and joint swelling, her veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Tate of Sylvania Veterinary Hospital, did not feel she would be a good candidate for surgical repair and instead recommended treatment with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy.

Gabby was treated with stem cell therapy in November 2017 and quickly showed signs of improvement.  Her owner, Ann, stated that she felt like Gabby was five years younger and that she would bark at her to get up in the morning to play (we’re sorry about that, Ann!).  You can read the rest of Gabby’s story here.

We recently checked in to see how Gabby is doing and according to Ann, “Grabby is still doing great! She hasn’t slowed down at all. She runs zoomies, jumps over the couch, and jumps to greet me when I come home. You would never know she’s 10 years old, and I’m so thankful we did the stem cell treatment!”  Yay, Gabby!!

If your dog has arthritis, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy may provide some relief.  You can speak to your veterinarian about the treatment or you can request a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area here.

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Aug 24, 2018

Adopted Golden Retriever Gets a New Lease on Life

At 8 years old, Maverick found himself in the unfortunate situation of being at a local humane society.  Fortunately for Maverick, Irene had just lost her beloved 13-year-old golden retriever, Zeke, and was searching for a companion for her other dog, Reilly.  Though Maverick was listed as dog aggressive, he and Reilly became best friends straight away and Irene took Maverick home.

Shortly after adopting Maverick, Irene realized he was showing symptoms of arthritis: he couldn’t jump onto the bed or couch and he bunny-hopped up the stairs.  X-rays revealed that Maverick had hip dysplasia which, over the years, led to severe osteoarthritis in his hips.  After some research, Irene contacted VetStem to request a list of VetStem providers in her area and took Maverick for a stem cell consultation and treatment with Dr. David Monti of Ridge Animal Hospital.

A few months after treatment, Irene noted that Maverick’s mobility was improving.  He was no longer bunny-hopping up the stairs and began jumping on the sofa.  He also began playing fetch with much greater stamina!  You can read the rest of Maverick’s story here.

We recently checked in with Irene and she reported that Maverick continues to do great.  He still goes for his weekly swims and his monthly acupuncture and according to Irene, “going to the dog park and playing

fetch in the pond is still his favorite.”  She also said, “Maverick’s quality of life has improved tremendously. He has a new zest for life and is making up for all the years when he was in pain and so limited in his mobility.”

One might wonder why, at 8 years old, Maverick ended up at the shelter.  Whatever the reason, he and Irene are lucky they found each other.  It is clear they share a special bond.  Irene said, “we’re so grateful to have him. He’s the love of our life.” If I had to guess, I’m sure Maverick feels the same.

This picture is a bit blurry but the expression on Maverick’s face with his ears flapping in the wind says it all!

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Aug 17, 2018

Does it matter where the fat for stem cell therapy comes from?

A very common question from veterinarians and dog owners is, “Does it matter where you take the fat from for stem cell therapy?”  The simple answer is “No” but let me explain.  (Actually, if you were the dog, you might object to my statement…)  First, why are we interested in fat anyway? This is because, of all the tissues in the body, the fat tissue is the easiest to collect (we all have extra) and it is the most rich in stem cells.  Yes, even more than bone marrow by a factor of 500X!  The fat in our bodies, and of our pets, is the richest and easiest source of these incredible regenerative cells.

So, where to take a little nip and tuck?  A very well done scientific paper analyzed the VetStem database to see if the collection location made a difference (Astor, 2013).  First, let’s define “difference.”  Scientists use statistical tests to see small differences, but for our purposes, let’s say that a difference is significant if it means we have to collect a lot more fat to get the same number of cells.  Using this definition, there is essentially no real difference between taking fat under the skin in the belly, under the skin by the shoulder, or making a small incision like in a spay and taking a sample from the abdomen.  All are essentially the same.  The paper also looked at differences by age, breed, and sex of the patient and got the same answer: there were small differences but none that really mattered.

So what is the conclusion?  You veterinarian can collect fat from any of these three locations and should be able to get a good yield of stem cells from each.  That being said, about 75% of all fat collections are from the “spay” type method of getting abdominal fat.  Even skinny dogs have fat there and it is quick and easy for both the veterinarian and the patient.  But all three methods are perfectly acceptable in the clinic and will provide a very rich source of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine.

 

References

Astor D, Hoelzler M, Harman R, Bastian R.  Patient factors influencing the concentration of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) for adipose-derived stromal cell (ASC) therapy in dogs. Can J Vet Res 2013;77:177-182.

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Aug 10, 2018

Cattle Dog Experiences Years of Relief After Stem Cell Therapy

Those of you who have been following our blog all of these years may remember our friend, Whisper, the Australian cattle dog who is an agility champion and one of our stem cell advocates.  She was initially treated in 2009 for osteoarthritis and OCD in both elbows.  She was treated a second time in 2011 and this time had both elbows along with her right knee and right hock (ankle) treated.  You can catch up on Whisper’s story and outcome here and here.

Recently, Whisper’s mom, Elise, contacted VetStem and provided us with an update.  Whisper just turned 12 yesterday, on August 9th, and according to Elise, ”she’s still nutty!”.  She stated that her elbows are “perfect” and that her hock is thickened however it is holding up well and is not a problem day-to-day.  Whisper enjoys swimming and running in the forest daily.  As you can see from the picture her mom sent, she’s enjoying life!

Since her last treatment in 2011, Whisper has not required further stem cell treatments.  This however is not the case for all dogs treated with stem cells.  It is important for pet owners to understand that each pet responds differently to stem cell therapy, much like every person responds differently to medications.  Your veterinarian will be able to determine if your dog is a good candidate for stem cell therapy.  Or, if you are looking for a veterinarian who can perform VetStem Cell Therapy, click here to receive a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Aug 3, 2018

VetStem Reaches Milestone: Over 14,000 Patients Treated

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy, VetStem Biopharma

From our first patient in January 2004, a thoroughbred race horse named Xpress Xcess, to the 32 new patients that were treated in July, VetStem has reached a milestone: over 14,000 patients have been treated with VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy!

As the first company to provide adipose-derived stem cell services to veterinarians across the United States and Canada, VetStem has been a leader in the field of regenerative veterinary medicine for over a decade.  Through peer-reviewed studies, multiple case reports, and numerous success stories, VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for arthritis as well as tendon and ligament injuries.

The VetStem team works hard to remain relevant and reputable.  We take pride in our strict procedures and protocols, which are guided by FDA regulations.  Our R&D and Clinical Development teams work tirelessly to research new uses for stem cells and create new stem cell protocols.

VetStem continues to contribute to the growth of the rapidly developing regenerative medicine market.  We would not be where we are today without the nearly 2,500 veterinarians and over 10,000 dog, cat, and horse owners who have entrusted us with their patient’s and their animal’s stem cells.  For that, we thank you!

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Jul 6, 2018

How Do Stem Cells Work?

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy

Most of us know how the VetStem Cell Therapy process works: fat is collected from your pet, the fat is shipped to the VetStem laboratory where it is processed into injectable stem cell doses, and those doses are shipped back to your vet for injection into your pet.  But do you know how stem cells themselves work?

Stem cells are like little homing devices.  When an injury occurs, the stem cells home to the site of injury via the bloodstream and begin their work.  They start by releasing specialized molecules that help to grow new blood vessels, reduce swelling and pain, and also send a signal to additional healing cells to replace the lost or damaged cells.  These specialized repair cells are known as progenitor cells.  In addition to this, they produce special “drugs” that help block the formation of scar tissue.

While stem cells are very capable, some factors may lead to the body being unable to fully repair itself.  Sometimes an injury is so severe that surgical repair is required to help the body heal.  Sometimes the body’s natural healing needs some help to do the job quickly and efficiently.  That’s where stem cell therapy comes in.

When injuries like partial cruciate ligament tears occur, delivering a concentrated dose of stem cells directly to the injury may help to speed the healing and reduce scar tissue formation.  By reducing scar tissue, arthritis is less likely to form in the affected joint.

In a case where an animal already has osteoarthritis, introducing a concentrated dose of stem cells to the affected joint may help to rebuild the cartilage that cushions the joint.  The stem cells signal to the cartilage progenitor cells to come and heal the damaged cartilage.  By repairing the cartilage, the joint becomes more cushioned thereby making the pet less painful.

If you think that your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, speak with your veterinarian or contact us to find a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Jun 22, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy and Pain Relief

Posted by Bob under Pain in Pets, Stem Cell Therapy

In our recent blog about Ben receiving stem cell therapy after having bladder stones removed, we briefly mentioned the effect of stem cells on inflammation.  We know that stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties.  By reducing the inflammation, the stem cells are also reducing pain associated with the inflammation.  Just like when you take ibuprofen for your headache or aching joints.

Several recent studies have pointed to the effects of stem cell therapy on pain.  Not only are stem cells anti-inflammatory, they have also been shown to have pain blocking cytokines (small, secreted proteins), which can have opioid-like effects.

Experts point out that the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that we give our dogs do not provide complete relief from the pain associated with osteoarthritis.  We also know that NSAID use can lead to gastrointestinal upset and organ damage, which is why most veterinarians advise against long-term use of NSAIDs.

So where does stem cell therapy come in?  While current literature supports that stem cells have multiple modes of action that can address both acute and chronic pain, it’s generally not the first “tool” that a veterinarian reaches for.  Autologous stem cell therapy, where a patient receives his own stem cells, has the advantage of being a readily available and natural source of anti-inflammatory and pain controlling factors.  When administered aseptically, autologous stem cell therapy has almost no risk of reaction.  Our goal is to inform both pet owners and veterinary professionals about the capabilities of stem cells so that they become a first line of defense, rather than a last-ditch effort.

If you’re wondering whether your pet may benefit from stem cell therapy, contact VetStem for a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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Apr 20, 2018

Bernese Mountain Dog Successfully Treated for Arthritis

Our stem cell success story this week hails from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Meet Sheldon, a 4 year old Bernese mountain dog.  Sheldon suffered from pain and lameness in his front legs since he was a puppy.  His owners recognized his discomfort and took Sheldon to be examined by Dr. Robert Landry of Colorado Center for Animal Pain Management.  Dr. Landry determined that Sheldon had arthritis in both elbows as a result of Fragmented Coronoid Process (FCP).  As part of Sheldon’s treatment plan, Dr. Landry recommended VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy so in December of 2016, Sheldon received stem cell injections into each elbow and also intravenously.

Fast forward just over one year later and Sheldon’s owners remain pleased with his improvement since receiving VetStem cell therapy.  He is more active and is able to participate in some of his favorite activities once again.  His owners state they “are so happy with how the stem cells worked for him.”

You can read the rest of Sheldon’s story here.

Does your dog suffer from orthopedic pain, lameness, or discomfort?  Has your dog been diagnosed with arthritis?  If so, contact VetStem to find VetStem providers in your area.

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Apr 13, 2018

Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis: How Long Will It Last?

Dog owners frequently ask how long the effects of stem cell therapy will last for arthritic canines and whether their dog may require additional treatments in the future.  The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Each patient is different, and several factors may affect the outcome of stem cell therapy and whether the patient will require additional treatments.

Some of these factors include the severity of the arthritis at the time of treatment and your dog’s activity level.  A running buddy might require more treatments than a couch potato.  Typically, a dog will tell you by their behavior or a change in activity level whether a joint has become more painful.

Some dogs treated with stem cells experience prolonged relief. Baxter was treated twice approximately 3.5 months apart and hasn’t required an injection since 2015.  You can read Baxter’s story here.

In data collected by VetStem, it was determined that 63% of older dogs that received VetStem Cell Therapy were not retreated in the first year while 78% of younger dogs were not retreated in the first year.  Perhaps more importantly, according to volunteered survey data from owners, greater than 80% of dogs showed an improved quality of life after treatment with stem cells.

The good news is, should your dog require additional treatments, VetStem keeps a bank of your dog’s stem cells so that they do not have to undergo an additional fat collection procedure.

If you think your dog may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, contact us here to get a list of veterinary stem cell providers in your area.

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