Thanks George and packo.
I think it is really good that there is something to talk about in this forum. It means things are happenning with stem cells. I really learned a lot from you, George and thank you for that and sorry for the too many questions that sometimes may seem silly. I greatly appreciate your comments.
It's appears to be looking pretty clear now that ex-vivo colony expansion is required for MSC's as a treatment for MS regardless of the source of the cells that are ultimately used. Adipose tissue will only supply (at most) tens-of-thousands of MSC's per kg of body weight. That is many orders of magnitude fewer cells than thought to be required to have any possible detectable clinical benefit, which is in the range of millions of MSC's per kg of body weight. Re-infusion of unmanipulated stem cells just doesn't even come close to cutting it and simply does not confer any theraputic benefit beyond possible temporary placebo effect. This is why clinics offering such unmanipulated stem cell treatment are just selling an expensive combination of painful adipose tissue liposuction and snake oil. Completely useless.
As it seemed to me that most of the clinical trials with MSC have been focusing on bone marrow sources, I was just wondering if the adipose tissues might have provided enough stem cells. I understand that colony-expansion is crucial to reach the neccessary number of cells, but even in this case time of colony expansion can be significantly shortened with ASC. Some sources say that abundant stem cells (millions to billions of cells) can be extracted from adipose tissue. http://www.hongkongstemcell.com/c/o_information_38b.php
As far as I know 2-4 days are needed to double the number of cells in petri dish. If the adipose tissues provide 500 times more stem cells than bone marrow, then even a month can be gained by using ASC. If I know correctly some scientists think that after a certain amount of time the stem cells start malfunctioning when they are out of the body (after circa 4 months). So, adipose tissues might help.
On the other hand, one of the major disadvantages of adipose derived stem cell is that ASCs are not a completely homogeneous cell population in addition to complicated isolating process.
If my recollection is good, both in Korean RNL and Celltex (also RNL affiliate) are doing MSC injection based on colony expansion. I am not sure if RNL went through the proper clinical tests with ASC? Anyway, I think it is a good thing that both in Texas and Korea treatments are happening with ASC, so we can gain some experience while the lengthy and slow clinical trials start.
Few weeks ago I contacted Prof. Slavin, he let me know that the CTCI team is now able to (in the laboratory) trans-differentiate bone marrow and adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stromal stem cells (MSC) to neural stem cells, motor neurons, dopaminergic neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes that can produce myelin, and therefore he believes it may be possible to use such methods to induce re-myelination in patients with multiple sclerosis. They need to do animal studies to confirm the efficacy of their new patented procedure before they can get approval to apply that methods clinically. He also stated that adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stromal stem cells seem to develop much faster and much nicer as compared with bone marrow derived stem cells but they do not yet know which source of MSCs is more effective clinically.
The future looks bright!
It is really a good news, but the patient speaks from me that we are far away from applying his method?? While we are getting there, I would be really happy if the MSC injections would turn out to be safe any efficacious. Do you guys know, what are the experiences of Prof. Slavin with MSC injections? Anyone tried this therapy?