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Myth Busters

Stem cells are a new and exciting area of scientific study and medical application. However, most people have heard of stem cells and have different perceptions about what they are and what they can do. In order to get the most out of stem cell treatments, it’s important to know the latest and most up-to-date information about this rapid field of study. At Axis Stem Cell Institute, we seek to dispel the following myths so that you have accurate information to make the best decisions for your health.

Do these stem cells come from fetuses or embryos?

No. Stem cells are generally classified into adult and embryonic stem cells. While each has its pros and cons, we only use adult stem cells (also called somatic stem cells) that are taken from your own body. Embryonic stem cells are usually created in a cell culture from eggs that have been donated and fertilized in vitro (or, in a lab), while adult stem cells can be collected from various areas of your body like fat or bone marrow. Among the benefits of using adult stem cells is that they have been shown to have a lesser chance of rejection when they are injected into your body.

Are stem cells unsafe?

There is risk associated with any medical procedure that you undergo, but stem cells are not harmful themselves. Because you undergo an autologous transplant with our own stem cells, your immune system has no reason to attack them. However, the processes of collecting, processing, and administering stem cells can carry mild risks. While these risks are very low, your expert provider can discuss them during a consultation.

Are stem cells illegal?

Stem cells have a long and complicated history of legal, political, and monetary controversy in the United States, mostly around the study of embryonic stem cells. However, it’s important to distinguish between embryonic stem cell research and adult stem cells that are used in medical therapies. Currently, adult stem cell therapies are legal in the state of Washington.

Can stem cells heal everything?

It can be easy to think that stem cells are a kind of science fiction come to life. However, it’s important to keep in mind that stem cells are still under much study to determine their best uses and limitations. Currently, they can be beneficial to regenerating certain tissues and aiding your body’s restorative processes in certain medical conditions. During a consultation, we can provide up-to-date information about how stem cells can benefit you and your health.

Is bone marrow the best source of stem cells?

Bone marrow-derived stem cells have been in use for much longer than adipose-derived stem cells. However, this doesn’t necessarily make them the best source of stem cells (specifically mesenchymal stem cells). Adipose-derived stem cells are currently the gold standard in regenerative medicine and hold the highest available concentration of mesenchymal stem cells. They also require the easiest extraction methods. Due to this, we prefer the use of adipose-derived stem cells for most treatments; however, we utilize bone marrow-derived stem cells in certain cases where they are beneficial or provide a good alternative.

Are there risks involved with stem cell extraction?

While stem cell therapy is a very safe alternative to many other invasive surgeries and therapies, there are some risks involved that can be mitigated by selecting certified and trained experts. At Axis Stem Cell Institute, we take every step to ensure a successful and risk-averse procedure with the best in controlled sterility and patient comfort. During a consultation, we can discuss what you can expect during your stem cell treatment.

Is there a chance my body will reject the stem cells?

Some studies have found that mesenchymal stem cells offer the least chance of rejection by your body because of some of their inner mechanisms, especially because they are gathered from your own tissues. In many cases, rejection occurs when cells are derived and applied from allogeneic sources, which are cells that come from a source outside of your own body. Our experts can give you the best idea of what to expect during a consultation.

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