Carrie McClure: New advances in medicine are improving our lives almost every day and one of the most exciting developments is the use of stem cells. Dr. Bill Johnson of Innovations Medical cell center is here to talk about the stem cell work done right here in north Texas. It’s very exciting and it’s good to see you.
Dr. Bill Johnson: Good morning. Yeah, it’s one of my really exciting things.
Carrie McClure: So why does stem cell therapy has so much potential for so many different problems?
Dr. Bill Johnson: If you start to understand how the body heals, you can really understand why has there been so much excitement about stem cells. We can use this animation to kind of show, if you cut your finger then what happens is a damaged cells release messengers called growth factors. That attracts in cells that first clean up the damage and then it attracts in stem cells which look around, say what do we need to become and change into the type of cell the body needs; skin cells, fiber tissue cells, fiber blast which produces the healing and so all the healing occurs really from the stem cells.
Carrie McClure: So from the very beginning, how are you able to obtain those stem cells?
Dr. Bill Johnson: Well, one of the things we like make sure everybody understands because it’s a big thing, it’s appropriately controversial and we’re not talking about embryonic stem cells, we’re not talking about stem cells from another person, we’re talking about getting your stem cells and we use fat. You can use blood as well, or bone marrow, but you get about a thousand times more harvest from fat than you can get from bone marrow. So that’s how we get the fat, we do a little bit of liposuction, we process it for a few minutes and then at the end, we have your stem cells that we can give back to you.
Carrie McClure: I think it’s all fascinating. What kind of problems are you investigating the use for stem cells?
Dr. Bill Johnson: We are probably doing a lot of arthritis like osteoarthritis, a lot of knees, shoulders and hips with really nice results. We’re also doing a lot of respiratory problems, COPD, and we’re actually doing some research on COPD and seeing some really nice results, we’re very impressed with that, at least early on in small numbers. We’re doing some of the inflammatory arthropathies like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, some of those disorders, we’re also doing neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, there have been some good results in stroke victims. There’s even more being done on the spinal cord injuries and ALS and MS.
Carrie McClure: So a lot of different disorders there. What about the cost?
Dr. Bill Johnson: Well the cost is all patient borne, this is considered investigational so it’s not covered by insurance and we are working under a grant so it is something that the patients will have to call and talk about their problems and we can give them the pricing.
Carrie McClure: I know that this is something you’re very passionate about and the technology continues to grow.
Dr. Bill Johnson: And applications continue to grow; we’re learning a little bit more all of the time about how to make it more and more effective. So that, in particular, we are seeing a lot of patients that are able to avoid joint replacement because they’ve come in and had stem cells injected into the joint and so the advantages to the patients, not only are they don’t have to have a replacement joint, they don’t have to go through the rehab process. But the actual cost out of their pocket may actually be less if they actually come through the stem cells than their portion of the insurance payment for all of the things they have to go through to have, say, a knee replacement.
Carrie McClure: It’s just so interesting and it’s wonderful to see how it can impact for the better so many different lives and we want to thank you for sharing with us.
Dr. Bill Johnson: Thanks for having me.
Carrie McClure: Ok, you can call 214 669-6948 to learn more about stem cell therapy and all those disorders being researched at Innovations Stem Cell Center, you can also log in at innovationsstemcellcenter.com for more information
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have or if you want to know what special offers that Innovations Medical may have regarding fat transfer, liposuction and their other cosmetic procedures. Contact our Dallas branch at 214-420-7970.