Patients initially apply for our Health Regen Programs or Treat Regen Programs by e-mail or via our on-line enquiry page. This provides us with the opportunity to explain how our various programs could assist a patient and the basic requirements a patient must meet before undergoing one of our Programs. For the Health Regen Programs, the basic requirements are minimal. For the Treat Regen Programs, in order to decide whether one of our stem cell therapy Programs shall be suitable for the patient, we need the patient’s medical records and other relevant information to be reviewed by our multidisciplinary medical team for their approval.
If one of our stem cell therapy Programs is an option, a detailed treatment plan is prepared for the patient including details on procedures to follow, cost of stem cell therapy and choices of clinic/hospital location. Once the patient has decided on the therapy program and clinic/hospital location, a date is set for the patient and accompanying family member or companion to come to Thailand for treatment.
Since autologous adult stem cells therapy involves the use of the patient’s own cells, the risk associated with this treatment is very low. In any case, the entire procedure is performed in compliance with good medical practices using the latest technological and medical standards.
Patients travelling to Thailand for stem cell therapy are met by a Thai Regen representative at the airport and accompanied to their hotel or to the given hospital. In most cases, our patients do not require 24 hour care so they stay in a hotel for the duration of the treatment. The transfers from the hotel to the clinic or hospital and back are organized by Thai Regen.
Thai Regen typically makes use of a patient’s own adult stem cells (autologous adult stem cells) generated from the Bone Marrow. The stem cells are obtained using the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell method (PBSC). Typical steps to the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Method are as follow:
- Bone Marrow Mobilization
- Stem cell harvesting
- Isolation, analysis, and concentration
- Stem cells injection
- Post Program Care
PBSC method for stem cell extraction is non invasive and involves the mobilization of bone marrow stem cells with the assistance of mobilization factors. The mobilization factors are injected into the patient for four consecutive days and cause the stem cells from the bone marrow to enter the bloodstream. Generating stem cells this way is simple, safe and does not involve the risks associated with localized anesthesia and multiple invasive marrow aspirations.
On day one and three, blood samples are also taken. The first blood sample is to map the patient’s blood profile while the second blood sample is used to confirm that the stem cells are adequately entering the bloodstream.
On the fifth day, the patient comes to one of our clinics or hospitals for the stem cell collection. This is done by removing (harvesting) the stem cells from the patient’s circulating blood through a process called apheresis (from the Greek “aphairesis” for removal).
This process takes two to three hours and is pain free. Most patients take a nap during the procedure. A physician accompanied by a nurse oversees the safety and comfort of the procedure. If anything out of the ordinary was to occur, medical staff would be immediately available. All procedures are to the highest standard. Thailand is known worldwide for its medical proficiency and treats over 1 million overseas patients every year.
Once collected, the red blood cells containing the stem cells are delivered to our laboratory. The stem cells are first isolated by separating them from the red blood cells and blood plasma. The resulting stem cells are then analyzed for content as well as tested for the presence of viral markers or communicative diseases such as Hepatitis B and C or HIV. The patient’s stem cells are at all times stored and manipulated under sterile conditions so that the stem cells that will be administered back to the patient are free of viruses, bacteria, or fungi.
Once test results indicate that the stem cells are clear from any potential issues, they are then cultured in laboratory to produce the required amount of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and CD34+. Targeted amount of stem cells for effective transplantation varies from one treatment to the other but usually consist of around 2 million up to 2.5 million stem cells per kilogram body weight of the patient. Before approval is given for delivering the stem cells back to the patient, a quality control test is conducted that consists in measuring 2 key parameters:
- Stem cell vitality measurement
- Stem cell count
Once these parameters are measured, validated and found to be the adequate, additional nutrients are provided to the stem cells to ensure a high level of activity and optimal performance once released in the patient’s body. The entire process is fully documented and the cultured stem cells are not released for injection to the patient until all quality control test parameters comply to our high standards.
Since the cultured stem cells come from the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells, there is absolutely no risk of rejection or complication that may occur when using allogeneic stem cells from a donor cell or public cell bank.
The method of stem cell injection depends on the patient’s condition and the treatment. Typically, we administer the stem cells using the standard intravenous (IV) method. This is a straightforward method that allows for the distribution of the stem cells throughout the entire body. In combination with our organ specific stem cell factors and nutrients concoction, over the years this method has given us great results for both our Health Regen Programs and Treat Regen Programs.
In some cases, the IV method is replaced by other more involved methods such as by catheter, angiography, or lumbar puncture for the direct administration of stem cells to the targeted organ or tissues. These procedures are more complex and conducted at one of our partner’s hospitals where the patient usually remains overnight for monitoring, and released on the following day(s). The suitable surgery method is chosen according to the patient’s needs and medical records.
The Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Procedure (PBSC) we use to treat most of our patients undergoing either our Health Regen Programs or Treat Regen Programs is non-invasive and requires no surgical procedure. For this reason, none of our patients are negatively impacted by our stem cell therapy. The most important side effect recorded to date seems to be better sleep. Many of our patients after the treatment mention that for a few weeks after the injection, they have these great periods of “elevated feelings” followed by sleepiness. This is a good omen as the stem cells can better deliver while the patient is asleep.
In case of an emergency, a Thai Regen staff is available at all times in Bangkok or Chiang Mai and can also be reached by telephone or via e-mail. Upon returning to their respective country, we also encourage patients to discuss the results with their physician and contact us in the months following the stem cell therapy to update us on their progress.