Medical Tourism – Stem Cell Treatment

ARISTOLOFT, is supporting new alternative treatments by helping patients with unmet medical needs to review together with them and a team of medical specialist the possibility of investigational stem cell treatment.

Here are the few general  steps in the review whether a patient may be eligible for a treatment or not:

  1. Review and discuss with a team of medical experts the condition of the patient, based on his / her medical input data, like the actual medical report, X-Rays, MRIs, general and specific blood tests, actual treatments and results, medication taken and how long and Pain scale review. In some cases, we may ask for additional specific analysis data.

  2. Free “First Review” of the medical treatment, method and potential improvement of the quality of life with stem cell treatment together with the patient and the treatment performing physician, either via email or Skype. Clear information about the investigational character of the treatment.

  3. Final suggestion of treatment method, if accepted by the medical team as a medical procedure in the frame of a patient-funded investigational therapy and its estimated cost. 

  4. Providing and explaining “consent form,”  including the risk of the medical procedure; only after the patient has accepted and signed the “Patient Consent Letter”, the performing physician will confirm the treatment, the day and time, and final treatment cost, payable 10 days in full, before the agreed treatment date.

  5. We assist to review flights, assist with the Visa application if needed, as well the hotel selection and recommendation during the treatment stay in the country where the treatment is performed, in some treatment concepts we provide an all included treatment  therapy, except flights, exclusively in our partner clinic, like in India where we also provide treatments with expanded Mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue.

  6. Basic treatment technique:
    Except for expanded stem cells from umbilical cord tissue, ready for treatment, in case of autologous treatments, we use a minimally invasive surgical technique conducted right in the clinic, either from bone marrow or adipose tissue, where we harvest via a mini-liposuction (local anesthesia) a mixture from the fat tissue of the body. From this mixture, we are extracting a so-called Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) rich in Mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors. Basically, we help the patient´s body to restore, regenerate itself by isolating stem cells from one location of the body to the area of disease, injury or inflammation. Standard Treatment will take about 3 to 4 hours, with the full assistance of medically qualified staff. Cells may be delivered through a joint injection, an IV, intrathecally or intramuscularly, and physicians of the clinic are trained and committed to making the process as comfortable as possible. Depending on the condition treated, treatment is performed in general between 3 to 21 nights, either in the hospital or hotel or a combination of both. 

Technology and scientific breakthroughs are moving us forward in ways we never expected. This ongoing discovery in medical science has given rise to new and alternative methods of treatment, new ways of managing our lives. Stem cell therapy to help our body regenerate has become one of the most exciting and promising fields of biological science today. Advancements in medical science, and in particular in stem cell therapy give us the ability to manage our health with new health maintenance and wellness methods so we can live fuller and healthier lives together with our loved ones.

Regeneration and stem cells became the buzzwords in the end of last century, inspiring our mind to start investigating and applying alternative treatments in medicine. Regulators very quickly, unfortunately, entered this field with a lot of red tape in the name of patient safety and a battle of how to implement this alternative medicine started.

Scientist and medical doctors, having basically the same aim, the honorable aim to improve quality of life of patients, but it appears both sides are caught up in defending their point of view neglecting that cooperation between scientist and medical doctors applying new science is more important than the defending of a viewpoint which protects more the actual and monetary side of medical products than patient benefits.

When looking in 2016, to this “battlefield”, the front of those believing that it is too early to use this alternative medical treatment in humans hardened and applied wisdom 1medical science unfortunately in FDA or EMA regulated countries went either to a kind of underground, claiming that medical procedure cannot be regulated by FDA / EMA, whereas at the same time regulators try to enlarged the definition of what are drugs, by including even autologous stem cell treatments into their “manipulated drug definition”, which results that any product before being used at humans has to follow the stringent clinical trial path, which cost according to latest estimations about 2,6 billion USD and takes about 15 years before a product is approved.

The hope, about 20 years ago, that stem cell treatment would become quickly mainstream, did not materialize due to fact that authorities made regulations, which did not adapt to a new reality but even increased barriers to defend existing mainstream products and their development.

Last year various governments, especially those in Asian Countries, like Japan, but also Australia, started to adjust their correctly developed regulation, valid for heavily manipulated chemical and biological products, to the new field of regenerative medicine. Panama, Mexico and the Bahamas declared this medical field even as important for the growing medical tourism industry, but also the future of humanity as there are new technics, quickly developing which may change medical treatment from treating symptoms to curing illnesses.

Like everything in life, when it comes to change, especially when leapfrogging and disruptive technologies are involved, we are facing the gravitational war of those trying to maintain the “status quo” against those few advancing quickly towards the next step of evolution.

I remembered in this respect, always the words of the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, being certain, and sometimes even an invisible barrier to the success of change, even the needed change in this field of alternative, medical treatments in humans. Schopenhauer once said:

All truth, maybe today we should rather say all NEW REALITY,
passes through three stages:”
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

This statement fits really well into the thinking pattern of many western minded regulatory authorities when it comes to new scientific advances, while more open-minded governments support these new treatment opportunities even via medical tourism activities.

The very interesting field of stem cells was apparent and unfortunately politicized by people who used it for their voting tactics claiming they are against embryonic stem cell research as it destroys lives. Truth is, embryonic stem cell research today, has very little to do with destroying lives and adult stem cell research and treatment have nothing in common with embryonic stem cell treatment besides the word stem cells. But due to this politicized fact, only a few, less than a handful of products, not even based on embryonic stem cell research, had been approved by the FDA / EMA at prices which do not allow an easy treatment of the masses as the budget of National Health Services cannot afford it. Stem cell approved drugs costing usually 200 K USD plus. Even one of the approved gene manipulated products, a product of a rare disease, approved in Europe cost 1.0 Million USD per treatment, was accepted once and in a second case, it needed a long extraordinary approval to save a Child life.

So far two approved applications of the EMA approved drug clearly show that this may not be the way forward as an alternative treatment of our aging population. Details please see at the following link:

http://blogs.nature.com/tradesecrets/2015/03/03/1-million-price-tag-set-for-glybera-gene-therapy

It is a fact, that due to an inadequate approval process, at least for autologous stem cell treatments, the potential to save life’s and to improve quality of life of patients at much lower cost via medical procedures has, in our point of view, blocked the advancement in this field in those regulated countries. Highly manipulated stem cells and gene therapies certainly may have long-termed negative influence of our cell structure, and need to be specifically regulated, like the chemical and biochemical products, but regulate autologous stem cell treatments, minimally manipulated, where we give a product from the same person to the same person, is like to regulate a spaceship travel in the same way as a cart pulled by a donkey.

Wrong or right, changes are a part of our technology-driven life environment and those staying in the way of those changes are in the end reducing the potential to improve quality of life for others. What is furthermore really unpleasant, is that high ranking political figures when it comes to saving, or improve their own quality of life, bypasses these regulations they favor, by visiting those countries allowing this alternative medical treatment already.

So, what is the alternative we have today when it comes to too much politically motivated regulation in a world without nearly no borders, where people can travel to any place in the world and satisfy their unmet medical need? Well, it is again the privilege of those having money to satisfy this need, and those who are elected by the people to become their government to serve the interest of those who voted for them are leaving empty-handed.

Progress means change, and change is risky, but like Jim Rohn, one of my favorite mentors once said, life is risky because you are not coming out alive! Therefore, you need to grab the change as a way and opportunity to go forward. Any new way may not always be at first, “the optimum” way, but it’s an opportunity to learn, adapt, and improve constantly what is considered as standard.

Without the willingness to risk and develop by learning, we would not have reached the moon. wisdom 2Just a picture to show what an adventure it really was to accompany the exploration of the moon. Scientists did not possess of computers who had been able to make all those thousands of theoretical calculations….., and in spite of this, we succeeded to reach the moon and return the astronauts safely to earth.

Stem cell treatments are much further researched and documented, showing clearly safety profiles of autologous stem cells in humans, but regulators still are not satisfied because we do not follow their outdated clinical trial path.

Many organizations like ours, have helped already thousands of patients, to be treated in highly qualified clinics to help them with their unmet medical need, and we can proudly proclaim, that in all our thousands of autologous, patient funded treatments, not one patient experienced a negative side effect, but showed some improvement in quality of life.

Quality of life is personal, and regulators do not really comprehend that for a person with COPD e.g., depending already on an oxygen mask to live, a life without it or the capability to walk a longer distance without taking medication with heavy side effects, is an improvement of quality of life never imagined with traditional treatment methods. Those investigational improvements should not be denied to patients in need, just because regulators do not support this progress in the name of overrated and overstated “Patient safety”, which becomes a hidden barrier of applied medical advancements.

We hope that regulators in the US and Europe will find soon ways to accompany those medical advancements, achieved already all over the world and eventually will separate the medical treatment with autologous stem cells from those regulations for heavily manipulated chemical and biochemical or genetically modified treatments.

In the meantime, medical tourism, to qualified places is an alternative for those able to pay for a treatment starting with about 7.500 USD. But as treatment can be done often during a three day holiday visit, even somewhere in the US or a few European countries, it still may be a viable alternative considering the high, yearly treatment costs for painful chronic diseases, where standard treatment is treating symptoms with even considerable side effects, but real improvement of quality of life with standard medical treatment is unlikely.

If you are in need of a medical treatment, please contact us, we are reviewing your need with our expert teams and will let you know whether you are eligible for a stem cell treatment.

For further details regarding stem cell treatments, please kindly contact us.