Q: When will the mesenchymal stem cell procedure be FDA approved and available in the US?
A: There is no way to know at this time, as there are only preliminary research studies of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation underway in the US.
The mesenchymal stem cell transplantation has become very popular in recent years, particularly in Europe. Mesenchymal stem are readily collected from the blood but must be stimulated to proliferate and grow in culture outside of the body to create large enough numbers for transplantation. This procedure does not require risky chemotherapy with ablation of the bone marrow and presumably has a different mechanism of action, if it works at all. There are many private clinics claiming to provide this type of stem cell transplant, but they do not grow and stimulate the cells outside of the body prior to transplantation; it doubtful that this procedure would be of any benefit other than robbing you of hard earned income. There are several preliminary research studies of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation underway with the main US study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Dr Jeff Cohen is the PI).
This procedure is still considered experimental and can not be recommended at this time.
To learn more about stem cell transplantations, you can read this previously written blog http://www.healthcarejourney.com/q--a-for-virtual-ms-center/stem-cell-transplantation-and-ms
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