FAQs

·         Does Utah Pain Relief Institute sponsor stem cell studies through the FDA?

Upholding the highest levels of ethical conduct, safety and efficacy is our primary focus. Each clinical study is reviewed and approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure proper oversight and protocols are being followed and is registered with the FDA.

·         What diseases and conditions can be treated with stem cells?

Stem cell therapy can treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions for which traditional treatment offers less than optimal options. Some conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Spinal conditions, Parkinson's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Each condition is unique with it's own special protocol for the best possible results.

·         What are stem cells?

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and can repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate tissues in the body. When a disease or injury strikes, stem cells respond to specific signals and set about to facilitate the healing process by differentiating into specialized cells required for the body’s repair as well as signaling neighboring cells to repair and heal.

·         How do stem cells work?

Stem cells that come from your adipose (fat) tissue have distinct functional properties including immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory functional properties which have the capability of repairing and regenerating damaged tissue associated with disease and injury.

·         What are the different types of stem cells?

There are four known types of stem cells which include:

  • ·         Adult Stem Cells
  • ·         Embryonic Stem Cells 
  • ·         Amniotic/Placental/Umbilical (after birth tissues)
  • ·         Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)

·         What type of stem cells does UPRI use for stem cell treatment?

We provide autologous adult adipose-derived stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.

·         When do we use the body's stem cells?

Your tap into our body’s stem cell reserve daily to repair and replace damaged or diseased tissue. When the body’s stem cell reserve becomes limited by the aging process the regenerative power of our body decreases, and we succumb to disease and injury.

·         Where in the body are stem cells taken from?

Three sources of stem cells from a patient’s body are used clinically which include adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow and peripheral blood.

·         What is an adipose derived stem cell therapy procedure?

Our board-certified physicians acquire dormant stem cells from the patient’s adipose tissue (fat) through a minimally invasive mini-liposuction procedure with little to no downtime.

During the mini-liposuction procedure, a small area (typically the “love-handles” or the abdomen) is numbed with an anesthetic. Next, the extracted dormant stem cells are isolated from the fat and activated, and then injected into degenerated joints and/or comfortably infused back into the patient intravenously (IV) and via other directly targeted methods of administration. The out-patient procedure takes approximately three to four hours.

·         Why does Utah Pain Relief Institute use adipose-derived tissue (fat) rather than bone marrow derived stem cells?

Research studies show adipose-derived stem cells:

·         Have a higher immunomodulatory capacity; meaning they can downregulate immune cells that are dysfunctional as found in autoimmune conditions;

·         Can be more easily isolated;

·         Is a much safer process, much less chance of infection, less painful;

·         Yields considerably larger amounts of adipose-derived stem cells than other sources such as bone marrow.

Read published research articles and studies on the comparison of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells versus bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells:

·         “Adipose Tissue-Derived Multipotent Stromal Cells Have a Higher Immunomodulatory Capacity Than Their Bone Marrow-Derived Counterparts”. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Read more here.

·         “Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells are more potent suppressors of dendritic cells differentiation compared to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells”. Read more here.

·         “Concise Review: Adipose Tissue-Derived Stromal Cells—Basic and Clinical Implications for Novel Cell-Based Therapies”. Stem Cells, Research journal for publication of original investigative papers and concise reviews. Read more here.

·         How long will it take to see results?

Since each condition and patient are unique, there is no guarantee of what results will be achieved or how quickly they may be observed. According to patient feedback, most patients with joint problems see results in as little as 48 hours, many other patients report results in one to three months, however, it may take as long as six to nine months. Individuals interested in stem cell therapy are urged to consult with their physician before choosing investigational autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapy as a treatment option.

·         Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy at UPRI?

To determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your UPRI patient care coordinator. Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.

·         How long does it take to schedule an appointment?

Our team members are here to help assist and guide you through the patient process.

·         To determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your Patient Care Coordinator

·         Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.

·         Once approved, your Patient Care Coordinator will assist you with scheduling your appointment for stem cell treatment.

·         The process of scheduling an appointment typically takes one to three weeks from the time of the initial contact to the date of your first appointment.

·         Do I have to live in Utah to receive stem cell therapy through UPRI?

No, Patients travel to our office from all over the world.  We purposefully located here in Salt Lake City as it is a convenient midway point for the US residence and has a very user-friendly international airport for world travelers. Treatment will consist of one visit lasting a total of three to four hours. We do have a concierge for your travel convenience.  The therapy is minimally invasive and there is little to no down time. Majority of patients fly home the day after treatment.

·         Are there any known side-effects to the procedure?

The stem cell therapy side effects of the mini-liposuction procedure are minimal and may include but are not limited to: minor swelling, bruising and redness at the procedure site, minor fever, headache, or nausea. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours and are experienced mostly by people with sensitivity to local anesthesia. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.

 

The side effects of adipose-derived stem cell therapy are minimal and may include but are not limited to: infection, minor bleeding at the treatment sites and localized pain. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.

·         Are there any moral or religious issues with regards to adipose stem cell transplant?

UPRI provides adult stem cell treatment with mesenchymal stem cells which come from the person receiving treatment. Embryonic stem cells are typically associated with ethical and political controversies.

·         Is adult adipose stem cell therapy FDA approved?

The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing – Draft Guidance’s Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products was held in September 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Currently, stem cell treatment is not FDA approved.

In March 2016, bipartisan legislation, the REGROW Act was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.

·         Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?  How much does it cost?

Stem cell treatment is not covered by health insurance at this time. The cost for standard preoperative labs are included. Additional specific labs may be requested at the patient’s expense.

The costs can range depending on the treatment plan, some examples below can help.

  • One or two joints, mild degenerative osteoarthritis, includes injection and IV, no culture expansion or banking of cells = $9,800.00.  More severe arthritis requiring, follow up injection with banked, culture expanded cells and IV with 20 more treatments available for future use if needed = $14,100.00.
  • Treatment plan for Multiple Sclerosis, includes banking cells, nutritional support, two follow up IV infusions of banked, culture expanded cells with 20 more treatments available for future use if needed = $15,300.00.
  • Financing is available upon request.

·         Does UPRI provide PRP Therapy?

UPRI does not provide PRP therapy for patients as PRP therapy has shown to be ineffective in research studies and contraindicated in conjunction with stem cell therapy.

 

According to a research study performed by The Cochrane Collaboration, “When we pooled the limited data that was available for all these conditions, we found very weak (very low quality) evidence for a slight benefit of PRT (platelet-rich therapy/PRP) in pain in the short term (up to three months). However, pooled data do not show that PRT/PRP makes a difference in function in the short, medium or long term.”

 

Citation: Moraes VY, Lenza M, Tamaoki MJ, Faloppa F, Belloti JC. Platelet-rich therapies for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD010071. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010071.pub3.

·         Why does UPRI not use amniotic stem cells?

UPRI does not use Amniotic stem cells as independent third-party labs have been unable to verify living cells in their product.  Also, due to unknown safety and efficacy as well as ethical and moral controversy of donor stem cells. Amniotic cells have shown risk of rejection and risk of unknown donor origin which may result in transmission of potential transmission of pathogens and are not screened for genetic mutations.

·         Disclaimer

UPRI is not offering stem cell therapy as a cure for any condition, disease, or injury. No statements or implied treatments on this website have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. This website contains no medical advice.

 

All statements and opinions provided by this website are provided for educational and informational purposes only and we do not diagnose or treat via this website or via telephone. UPRI and its affiliate treatment center offers treatments that are in the investigational stage to provide individual patients with Stromal Vascular Fraction that contains their own autologous stem cells and growth factors. The treatment centers provide surgical procedures only and are not involved in the use or manufacture of any investigational drugs.

 

Utah Pain Relief Institute does not claim that any applications, or potential applications, using autologous stem cells are approved by the FDA. We do not claim that these treatments cure any listed nor unlisted condition, intended or implied. It’s important for potential patients to do their own stem cell study and research based on the options that we present so that one can make an informed decision. Any decision to participate in our patient funded clinical stem cell studies is completely voluntary.