What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is the use of adult stem cells to treat certain diseases. The stem cells used at ProgenCell® are derived from the participant’s own bone marrow. In general terms, stem cells are progenitor cells that lead to the creation of new cells. They are regenerative in their function; they are regenerative cells.
What are Bone Marrow Stem cells?
Bone marrow is a specific tissue found inside bones. Its main purpose is to produce stem cells, which give rise to the various blood cell types, especially the white blood cells, the red blood cells and the platelets. Each stem cell can further form millions of stem cells. Most stem cells are found inside bones in the bone marrow of the sternum, hips, skull, upper arms and legs. If the stem cells develop into fully functional cells, they are released into the blood. A smaller number of undifferentiated stem cells are also found in the bloodstream.
How many procedures are performed?
Typically, three procedures are performed. Procedures are given over a period of 1 year, one procedure every four to five months, depending on the subject’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation for the particular individual.
How long do I need to be at the clinic?
Between 3 to 6 hours, depending upon your condition.
Can other treatments be taken at the same time?
There are not any known contraindications for other therapies during stem cell protocol. Typically, a doctor will review what other treatments and medication the person is already taking.
Are there any known side effects to this protocol?
Participants have not reported any side effects other than discomfort at the injection site and in some cases mild headaches.
How long does it take to get an appointment?
The multidisciplinary medical committee will review the medical records. It will then take 2 to 3 days to review the records and get back to you. Then the procedure is scheduled for the next earliest available appointment. The process of scheduling takes 2 to 3 weeks, from the time of the initial contact to the date of the first procedure.
What about the ethical issues involved with stem cell therapy?
According to several religious denominations, adult stem cells from Bone Marrow are not encumbered by any ethical or moral dilemmas. Those ethical issues, which apply to fetal and embryonic stem cells do not apply to adult stem cells. The Catholic Church and other institutions have issued papers that actually encourage research on adult stem cells in the treatment of human disease, as an ethically acceptable alternative to the use of fetal and embryonic stem cells.
Is a special diet required?
Typically no. A doctor will review the medical condition and make recommendations if needed.
Are any nutritional supplements or medication taken along stem cell protocols?
There may be specific nutritional supplements that may enhance the potential benefits of stem cell protocols. Such prescriptions will be made on an individual basis, depending on each persons particular evaluation.
Does drinking or smoking affect therapy?
Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can both be detrimental to new progenitor stem cells. It is highly advisable that people do not smoke or drink 2 weeks prior to and after procedure.
Is there a risk of developing Cancer?
No. Protocols with autologous bone marrow stem cells have no risk of developing cancer. However, this is a justified concern when a protocol involves embryonic stem cells. Because embryonic stem cells actually do divide at an extremely fast rate, they have been shown to have cancer-causing potential in animals and humans. We do not use embryonic stem cells.
Where are the medical procedures performed?
All procedures are performed at our Clinic at ProgenCell. We are located in Tijuana, Zona Río, Baja California, México 1 minute away from the US-MEX border.
Will I be hospitalized?
No. Bone marrow collection and stem cell implantation are outpatient procedures and will be done at our facility.
What language do they speak at ProgenCell?
Spanish and English are spoken by most of our professionals. If another language is needed, we will do our best effort to arrange for a professional translations service.
Which is the best way to get to ProgenCell?
Depending on your origin you can fly directly to San Diego, California Airport or to the Tijuana, Mexico Airport. ProgenCell will provide your personal agent to help you out in every way during your procedure. ProgenCell can offer a safe private transportation service between Airport –hotel and ProgenCell upon request. We are registered with the fast pass crossing border program, so crossing from Tijuana to San Diego should not be a hassle.
Is you Clinic licensed by the government authorities, specifically for Stem Cell Procedures?
Yes, ProgenCell is licensed by the COFEPRIS (the Mexican version of the FDA) specifically for Stem Cell Treatment Protocol. License Number 12-TR-02-004-0001.
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Does your clinic have a medical committee and an IRB?
Yes, ProgenCell has a Scientific Committee, and an Ethics Committee (IRB) composed by renowned medical professionals.Is the doctor CV and the medical facility address up in your website?
Yes, you can view the doctors CV on our website, and the facility address is visible in our website at: https://progencell.com/about-us/
Is it possible to speak directly with one of the doctors? (even If I am not still a patient, or anytime during my treatment?)
Yes, you can request a phone call directly with one of our doctors even if you are still not a patient. Doctor can also communicate via skype and text messages.
Does ProgenCell have a dedicated stem cell-processing lab or sends to a 3rd party to process?
At Progencell we have our own dedicated Stem Cell Processing Lab. https://progencell.com/progencell-stem-cell-research-center/
What is the source of the Stem Cells you administer?
The treatments performed at ProgenCell are autologous, which means that the doctor’s harvest the Stem Cells from the patients’ own body, most specifically the patients bone marrow or fat (adipose) tissue.
What harvesting/aspiration technique are you using?
With local anesthesia aspiration of bone marrow is performed from the iliac crest (hip); or mini-lipoaspiration from the abdominal area when adipose tissue is required.
What type of Stem Cell do you administer?
They are Autologous Adult Stem Cells. Depending on the harvesting process and lab processing, huge amounts of Hematopoietic or Mesenchymal stem cells or both can be infused into the patient.
What complications have you had? And how did you solve them?
We have not had any health complications related to stem cell therapy, but we do have seen very few cases with side effects, which have been mild and tolerable: such as dizziness, muscle discomfort in the extraction zone and headaches. A proper medical observation and follow up has been made.
How soon can I get back to my daily activities? (What is the recovery time?)
Usually the recovery time is minimal after a stem cell treatment, next day you will be able to be back at your daily activities.
How long has your clinic been in business?
ProgenCell has been in business for 7 years since Jan 2009.
How many years has the attending physician been offering stem cell treatments?
Dr. Luis Romero and Dr. Jorge Luis Gaviño, the main attending physicians in ProgenCell have been offering Stem Cell Treatments for 17+ years.
How many stem cells treatments have they performed?
They have performed over 800 Stem Cell Treatments procedures.
How are the cells delivered to the body for an efficient effect?
Stem Cells can be delivered intravenously or in the place of the specific injury, depending on the injury or ailment. We do intrathecal, intrarticular, retrobulbar injections among others depending on the case.
Is the clinic adequately prepared to handle emergencies? (Such as a serious allergic reaction or another non related medical event)
Yes, our clinic and all of the staff is prepared to handle any type of emergency. We also have ambulance and hospital contacts to scale if necessary. Up to today we have never had an emergency situation.
What kind of support do you give your patients regarding the trip? (Local transportation, hotel reservations, long distance calls, language interpreters, Hi speed-wifi connection, 24 hrs medical contact phone)
When you schedule an appointment, you are assigned a personal agent to assist you with everything from your travel needs to your medical procedure. This assistant will be available to you 24 hours a day and will be able to help you with administrative tasks, logistics, planning your stay, communication with the medical staff, etc. Your personal agent will provide you the proper documentation to complete your medical records and will explain the informed consent. Our goal is to make your travel and stay easy and comfortable. Depending on your situation, your personal agent can coordinate:
- Transportation to and from nearby airports,
- Local transportation (for example: Airport-hotel-ProgenCell)
- Quick border crossing with medical pass,
- Logistic Coordination
- Translation services
- Long distance calls
- Special meals,
- Hi speed Wifi connection
- Entertainment, etc.
What kind of support do you provide when special needs are present? (Wheelchair, permanent oxygen tanks, dialysis, X rays, MRI, blood works)
ProgenCell complies a clinical quality standard program, and is fully prepare to provide support if any special need arise. We have set up oxygen tanks at hotel rooms, dialysis sessions, MRI or X-rays services, lab services, wheelchairs, nurse care, etc.
What follow-up will I received, and for how long? What will I need to do?
Our medical staff will periodically follow up with you every month for one year after the procedure. When the year is done, follow up is still available when needed. You will not have to do much more than answer a quick phone call or a short email. Depending on the case you may need to take confirmation blood tests or Xrays at the end of the treatment.
What are the costs of the treatment? What does it include? What other costs will I incur? Will the quotation change once I get there?
The cost of the treatment will vary depending on the treatment plan developed by our medical committee. Once the quotation is made, we will honor that quotation and no other expenses will be charged. You will not be offered additional services on site to increase your purchase total. No surprises.
If I would like to schedule, how soon can you take me?
The multidisciplinary medical committee will review the medical records. It will then take 2 to 3 days to review the records and get back to you. Then the procedure is scheduled for the next earliest available appointment. The complete process may take 2 to 3 weeks, from the time of the initial contact to the date of the first procedure.
What is the weather like at this time of the year?
Tijuana’s climate is semi-arid with about 231 mm (9.09 in) of annual precipitation, with most of the annual precipitation falling in the winter (between November and March). January is the wettest month of the year. January is also the coolest month, during which temperatures average 13.6 °C (56.5 °F). In Spring the daytime highs are generally around 20 °C (68 °F), heat waves can reach up to 33 °C (91 °F). The hottest months in the city, also the dry season, are August and September, during which temperatures average 22.0 °C (71.6 °F).
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Updated: June 7th 2016
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