Category Archives: Stem Cell Doctors

Indian doctors fix Yemeni man’s face in rare reconstructive surgery – The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A 26-year-old man from Yemen received a fresh lease of life through a rare reconstructive surgery, performed by a team of Indian doctors. A few months back, the patients face and mouth was left completely disfigured after a mobile phone exploded while he held it between his teeth. Apart from severe disfigurment, the accident rendered him incapable to eat and speak properly.

The patient was admitted at KAS Medical Centre in the national capital where a team of facial reconstruction surgeons headed by Dr. Ajaya Kashyap performed a rare surgical procedure to give him his normal facial features back. As per the doctors, the blast was so strong that it burnt the inside of his mouth, tore up the muscles and the tongue leaving all the soft tissues damaged.

As the blast happened inside the mouth, the injury was rather unusual. After much assessment, the team decided to use flaps of tissue from inside the mouth as well as fat tissues from his body and use it as a flap. Ensuring facial sensations was another challenge. We are happy that the procedure went well and the patient regained his normal features, said Kashyap, Medical Director, KAS Medical Centre.

The muscles of the lips which had been split apart were repaired and flaps were used to close it. Autologous fat with stem cells and PRP were injected to restore volume and improve scarring.

The surgery was done a week back and now he is ready to fly back to his own country, added Kashyap.

Mobile phone blasts have lead to serious injuries in India. The most common reasons for a cell phone to explode are using it while the phone is being charged. Charging puts pressure on the device, using it during charging increases this pressure manifold. This causes cheap electronic components in some mobiles to explode.

Indian doctors fix Yemeni man's face in rare reconstructive surgery - The New Indian Express

Recent AI Developments Offer a Glimpse of the Future of Drug Discovery – Tech Times

The science and practice of medicine has been around for much of recorded human history. Even today, doctors still swear an oath that dates back to ancient Greece, containing many of the ethical obligations we still expect our physicians to adhere to. It is one of the most necessary and universal fields of human study.

Despite the importance of medicine, though, true breakthroughs don't come easily. In fact, most medical professionals will only see a few within their lifetime. Developments such as the first medical x-ray, penicillin, stem cell therapy - true game changers that advance the cause of medical care don't happen often.

That's especially true when it comes to the development of medications. It takes a great deal of research and testing to find compounds that have medicinal benefits. Armies of scientists armed with microplate readers to measure absorbance, centrifuges for sample separation, and hematology analyzers to test compound efficacy make up just the beginnings of the long and labor-intensive process. It's why regulators tend to approve around 22 new drugs per year for public use, leaving many afflicted patients waiting for cures that may come too late.

Now, however, some recent advances in AI technology are promising to speed that process up. It could be the beginnings of a new medical technology breakthrough on the same order of magnitude as the ones mentioned earlier. Here's what's going on.

One of the reasons that it takes so long to develop new drug therapies, even for diseases that have been around for decades, is that much of the process relies on humans screening different molecule types to find ones likely to have an effect on the disease in question. Much of that work calls for lengthy chemical property analysis, followed by structured experimentation. On average, all of that work takes between three and six years to complete.

Recently, researchers have begun to adapt next-generation AI implementations for molecule screening that could cut that time down significantly. In one test, a startup called Insilico Medicine matched its' AI platform up against the already-completed work of human researchers seeking treatment options for fibrosis. It had taken them 8 years to come up with viable candidate molecules. It took the AI just 21 days. Although further refinements are required to put the AI on par with the human researchers in terms of result quality (the AI candidates performed a bit worse in treating fibrosis), the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Another major time-consuming hurdle that drug developers face is in trying to detect adverse side effects or toxicity in their new compounds. It's difficult because such effects don't always surface in clinical trials. Some take years to show up, long after scores of patients have already suffered from them. To avoid those outcomes, pharmaceutical firms take lots of time to study similar compounds that have already have reams of human interaction data, looking for patterns that could indicate a problem.

It's yet another part of the process that AI is proving adept at. AI systems can analyze vast amounts of data about known compounds to generate predictions about how a new molecule may behave. They can also model interactions between a new compound and different physical and chemical environments. That can provide clues to how a new drug might affect different parts of a human body. Best of all, AI can accomplish those tasks with more accuracy and in a fraction of the time it would take a human research team.

Even at this early stage of the development of drug discovery AI systems, there's every reason to believe that AI-developed drugs will be on the market in the very near future. In fact, there's already an AI-designed drug intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) entering human trials in Japan. If successful, it will then proceed to worldwide testing and eventual regulatory approval processes in multiple countries.

It's worth noting that the drug in question took a mere 12 months for the AI to create, which would represent a revolution in the way we develop new disease treatments. With that as a baseline, it's easy to foresee drug development and testing cycles in the future reduced to weeks, not years. It's also easy to predict the advent of personalized drug development, with AI selecting and creating individualized treatments using patient physiological and genetic data. Such outcomes would render the medical field unrecognizable compared to today - and could create a disease-free future and a new human renaissance like nothing that's come before it.

2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Recent AI Developments Offer a Glimpse of the Future of Drug Discovery - Tech Times

Niagara walkers support ‘Rainbow in the storm of cancer’ –

Its heartwarming, she said. They give so much to the community. I wouldnt have been able to do this without Wellspring.

Walk participants braved a howling wind chill to trek three kilometres, carrying Wellspring signs.

Ann Mantini-Celima, executive director of Wellspring, told the walkers theyre acting as ambassadors for the agency, which has seen the number of people turning to its supports and services double since the new centre was opened adjacent to Highway 20. There are still misconceptions out there about what Wellspring is about, she said.

Its because of you that people are hearing about Wellspring, Mantini-Celima said.

The new centre opened last fall after a successful $5-million capital campaign. This is truly the house, the home, that Niagara built, and we are continuing to build hope for people who are impacted by cancer, she said.

That includes Lisa Bouchard of Welland, taking part in the walk to give back to the agency that helped her so much after her breast cancer diagnosis five years ago. Bouchard said she took part in numerous Wellspring programs, from art therapy and yoga to pottery, sailing, cancer rehab and the Healing Journey program.

To sit in a room full of people who get it, it makes a huge difference, she said. Its a safe environment. Wellspring is the rainbow of the storm of cancer.

Bouchard said its crucial that the programs are all free, because people impacted by cancer can quickly find themselves in a deep financial bind because of lost wages and big costs, such as travel, medication and parking at hospitals. One blood-thinner drug alone she was on cost $1,000 a month.

Campbell, who also took part in programs and classes such as art therapy, meditation and yoga to cope with stress and anxiety, said doctors told her she could probably buy herself five years of remission with the treatments before shed need another stem cell transplant or other treatments.

Its almost six years, and Im still living my life every day, she said. Im still kicking ass.

Im so happy to be able to give back to Wellspring.

Originally posted here:
Niagara walkers support 'Rainbow in the storm of cancer' -

Stem Cell Therapy Market Statistics, Trends, Size, Growth Opportunities, Share Demand and Forecast to 2025 – Jewish Life News

Stem Cell Therapy Market: Snapshot

Of late, there has been an increasing awareness regarding the therapeutic potential of stem cells for management of diseases which is boosting the growth of the stem cell therapy market. The development of advanced genome based cell analysis techniques, identification of new stem cell lines, increasing investments in research and development as well as infrastructure development for the processing and banking of stem cell are encouraging the growth of the global stem cell therapy market.

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One of the key factors boosting the growth of this market is the limitations of traditional organ transplantation such as the risk of infection, rejection, and immunosuppression risk. Another drawback of conventional organ transplantation is that doctors have to depend on organ donors completely. All these issues can be eliminated, by the application of stem cell therapy. Another factor which is helping the growth in this market is the growing pipeline and development of drugs for emerging applications. Increased research studies aiming to widen the scope of stem cell will also fuel the growth of the market. Scientists are constantly engaged in trying to find out novel methods for creating human stem cells in response to the growing demand for stem cell production to be used for disease management.

It is estimated that the dermatology application will contribute significantly the growth of the global stem cell therapy market. This is because stem cell therapy can help decrease the after effects of general treatments for burns such as infections, scars, and adhesion. The increasing number of patients suffering from diabetes and growing cases of trauma surgery will fuel the adoption of stem cell therapy in the dermatology segment.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Overview

Also called regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy encourages the reparative response of damaged, diseased, or dysfunctional tissue via the use of stem cells and their derivatives. Replacing the practice of organ transplantations, stem cell therapies have eliminated the dependence on availability of donors. Bone marrow transplant is perhaps the most commonly employed stem cell therapy.

Osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, heart failure, multiple sclerosis and even hearing loss could be treated using stem cell therapies. Doctors have successfully performed stem cell transplants that significantly aid patients fight cancers such as leukemia and other blood-related diseases.

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Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Key Trends

The key factors influencing the growth of the global stem cell therapy market are increasing funds in the development of new stem lines, the advent of advanced genomic procedures used in stem cell analysis, and greater emphasis on human embryonic stem cells. As the traditional organ transplantations are associated with limitations such as infection, rejection, and immunosuppression along with high reliance on organ donors, the demand for stem cell therapy is likely to soar. The growing deployment of stem cells in the treatment of wounds and damaged skin, scarring, and grafts is another prominent catalyst of the market.

On the contrary, inadequate infrastructural facilities coupled with ethical issues related to embryonic stem cells might impede the growth of the market. However, the ongoing research for the manipulation of stem cells from cord blood cells, bone marrow, and skin for the treatment of ailments including cardiovascular and diabetes will open up new doors for the advancement of the market.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Market Potential

A number of new studies, research projects, and development of novel therapies have come forth in the global market for stem cell therapy. Several of these treatments are in the pipeline, while many others have received approvals by regulatory bodies.

In March 2017, Belgian biotech company TiGenix announced that its cardiac stem cell therapy, AlloCSC-01 has successfully reached its phase I/II with positive results. Subsequently, it has been approved by the U.S. FDA. If this therapy is well- received by the market, nearly 1.9 million AMI patients could be treated through this stem cell therapy.

Another significant development is the granting of a patent to Israel-based Kadimastem Ltd. for its novel stem-cell based technology to be used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other similar conditions of the nervous system. The companys technology used for producing supporting cells in the central nervous system, taken from human stem cells such as myelin-producing cells is also covered in the patent.

Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Regional Outlook

The global market for stem cell therapy can be segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. North America emerged as the leading regional market, triggered by the rising incidence of chronic health conditions and government support. Europe also displays significant growth potential, as the benefits of this therapy are increasingly acknowledged.

Asia Pacific is slated for maximum growth, thanks to the massive patient pool, bulk of investments in stem cell therapy projects, and the increasing recognition of growth opportunities in countries such as China, Japan, and India by the leading market players.

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Global Stem Cell Therapy Market: Competitive Analysis

Several firms are adopting strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, and partnerships, apart from product development with a view to attain a strong foothold in the global market for stem cell therapy.

Some of the major companies operating in the global market for stem cell therapy are RTI Surgical, Inc., MEDIPOST Co., Ltd., Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., NuVasive, Inc., Pharmicell Co., Ltd., Anterogen Co., Ltd., JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., and Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l.

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Stem Cell Therapy Market Statistics, Trends, Size, Growth Opportunities, Share Demand and Forecast to 2025 - Jewish Life News

Why this Island woman is giving part of her liver to a complete stranger – Yahoo News Canada

Trina Doyle describes herself as many things.She's a mom, a daughter, a dog-lover, and pretty soon, she'll be adding organ donor to that list.

For the last 10months, Doyle has been preparing to donate part of her liver to someone in needand that person is a complete stranger.

The single mom of two from Tignish, P.E.I., will soon be travelling to Toronto General Hospital, where she will donate a portion of her liver through the University Health Network'sliving organ donor program.

Heranonymous donation meansDoyle may never meet the person who receives her liver, but she said thatnever factored into her decision to donate.

I just feel like it's what I need to do knowing that I can help, I just really want to. Trina Doyle

"It's not about finding out who it is, it's just about helping them," Doyle said.

"This person has probably been living with illness for quite a while in order to be on the transplant list and going through a lot. So the little bit that I do is small compared to what they have to go through."

Always wanted to be a donor

Doyle said the decision to become a donor began when she was a teenager and found out a child in her community needed a bone marrow transplant.

"The information they gave me at the time brought things into perspective that you know, these people need this help," Doyle said.

Though she wasn't a match in that case, Doyle said she was inspired to find other ways to help people in need. When she moved to Saint John to attend universityshe started donating blood giving as often as she could and signed up to become a stem-cell donor.

"In the last couple years somebody had posted something on Facebook about donating organs and I thought, 'Oh I don't think I'm on that registry so I should sign up,'" Doyle said.

Shesubmitted her application to become a livingdonorjust before Christmas in 2018. The following spring she startedtesting to find out if she was eligible to donate.

Months of testing

Doyle began doing tests with her family doctor on P.E.I. and soon started travelling to Moncton, N.B., for more specific testing before heading to Toronto for the final round of exams.

Dr. Nazia Selzner is the medical director of the Live Donor Liver Program at theSoham and Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre with the University Health Network.She said patient safety is the top concern andsteps are taken to ensure donors are physically and emotionally healthy enough to go through the surgery.

Submitted by Trina Doyle

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Selzner said tests includeMRIs and CT scans to look at liver health as well as tests to detect infections, and monitor heart and lung health.

The program also tries to make sure donors are ready for the surgery in other ways, she said, including psychiatric assessments, financial planning, surgical risk consultation and support during the recovery process.

Living donations reduce wait times

Selzner saidsince the program began in 2000, over 900 liver transplants from living donors have been performed and about 10 per cent of those donations came from anonymous donors.

At any given time there can be up to200 people on the wait-list to get a liver donation in Toronto alone, she said. This is often because patients are waiting for a deceased donor, which in some cases can take too long.

"For a deceased donor you have to wait until your turn comes," she said."There are always sicker patients that are added to the list so you never actually know when you can get a transplant and sometimes you may wait for years."

She said each year about 30 per cent of people in need of a transplant die waiting fora donor, including patients who may be very sick, but fail to meet the criteria to get a liver from a deceased donor.

Selzner said living organ donations helpreduce wait timesand, as a result, can improve the long-term outcome of having a transplant.

"Transplantation through a live donation means that the organ is retrieved from a healthy donor," she said. "So the quality of the organs are excellent."

She said the fact that the surgery is planned is also a benefit because it can be scheduled for a time when both donor and recipient are at their healthiest and doctors can better prepare for the procedure.

Selzner said most healthy peoplebetween the age of 16 and 60 could be eligible to donate. She saidjust a few weeks after surgery, the donor's liver will return to its original size.

"The liver has this beautiful ability to regenerate," she said. "The liver will grow back to full size in the donor, but also the piece that is transplanted into the recipient grows to full size."

Nerves turning into excitement

For Doyle, waiting for the call was the hardest part and now that she knows the program found a match, those nerves are starting to fade away.

She'll have to stay in the hospital for about a week after her surgery and then stay in Toronto for at least two more weeks so doctors can monitor her recovery.

Some family members are going with her and will be thereby her side.

"We're all very proud of her and it's an incredible thing,"said her sister Lorna Doyle-DesRoches.

"There's no lines of what you can do in life, it's just, there's no limits and she's definitely jumped on this and never thought twice."

"If anybody was going to do it, it would be her," said her father, Lorne Doyle.

Doyle-DesRoches saidthere's been an outpouring of support from the community, offering everything from cash donations to gift cards to help Doyle and her family while she's in Toronto. Others have approached her looking for information about how they can become donors themselves.

"It's bringing awareness to our whole community," shesaid.

'There's a lot of lives that can be saved'

After the surgery, Doyle said she's allowed to write a letter the recipient of her liver can one day read if they want to.

Otherwise, they may remain strangers forever.

But for Doyle, the most important part of this experience has been her chance to raise awareness about living organ donation and show others that if she can do it, maybe they can too.

"I'm really hoping that people become aware of the need that there is for living donors," Doyle said.

"If more people sign up and commit to doing these things then there's a lot of lives that can be saved."

As she gets closer to her surgery date, Doyle said there are some moments when she feelsafraid. But if overcoming those fears means she may save a life and even inspire someone else to try to do the same, she saidit will all be worth it.

"I just feel like it's what I need to do knowing that I can help, I just really want to."

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Why this Island woman is giving part of her liver to a complete stranger - Yahoo News Canada

The life and controversial career of radio host Rush Limbaugh – Business Insider – Business Insider

Rush Limbaugh may be the most incendiary radio host in America.

Born into a line of conservative lawyers, Limbaugh hated school and saw radio as his future.

At first, his radio career was tumultuous. He was fired more than once as he discovered what could and couldn't be said on air.

He first commanded a national audience at 37. In the 1990s, he became a political force. Every week, he spoke to millions of Americans. In 1994, he was credited for Republicans taking the majority in the House of Representatives, after campaigning vigorously on air.

According to Vanity Fair, Limbaugh's position with conservatives is comparable to Oprah's position with women they both wield "concentrated and extraordinary power."

But while Republicans have backed him and listened to him, he's despised by many liberals for mocking and attacking minorities.

In February, Limbaugh announced he had advanced lung cancer. In the same month, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom, during his State of the Union address.

Here's his life so far.

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The life and controversial career of radio host Rush Limbaugh - Business Insider - Business Insider

Patients guide to stem cell treatments top 10 list …

For better or worse, I am in the unique position of being a stem cell scientist and also a former cancer patient. Looking on the bright side this gives me a unique perspective on things compared to many of my colleagues.

I know there are thousands of people out there looking for more practical information about stem cell therapies and treatments. These folks understandably are using the Internet to look for some clear, good info on stem cell treatments either for themselves or their loved ones. Too often the info that is out there is either wrong, partially misleading, biased, or overly complex.

So in this post I want to address this need for trustworthy factual information and no-nonsense perspectives. I am speaking as a scientist, patient advocate and cancer survivor in the form of 10 key realties list belowto help you guide your way through the jungle of stuff out there about stem cells. As mentioned above, I have now updated this post for 2016 as some things have changed in big waysin just the past few years. Keep in mind this is not medical advice and you should absolutely talk to your personal doctor with whom you should make your own decisions.

1) Stem cells are often essentially a type of drug and possibly permanent in your body after a transplant.Yeah, stem cells can be extremely unusual drugs, but they are often drugs even if some argue they arent. The FDA considers them drugs in many cases. In other cases, such as the use of bone marrow stem cells used for orthopedic conditions, stem cells may not be drugs. Unlike other drugs, once a patient receives a stem cell drug, it will not necessarily simply go away like other drugs because a stem cell drug consists of living cells that often behave in unpredictable ways. What this means is if the stem cells are doing bad things your doctor has no way to stop it. You have no way to stop it. Also because stem cells are alive they can grow inside your body, move around, and change. This can be helpful or harmful, but the big point is that it is not something that is controllable or reversible.

2) Side effects.Like any medical product, even aspirin,stem cells treatments will have side effects. Not maybe. Definitely. Our hope is the side effects will be relatively mild and so mild that you dont even notice. Different kinds of stem cells have variable risk profiles, but if someone tells you that the stem cell treatment they are selling has no risks then that is a big red flag and I would walk away. They are either woefully lacking in knowledge or arent being honest with you. Sometimes clinics will either on their websites or in person acknowledge risks almost as sort of a disclaimer, but then theyll tell more casually that there arent really any risks. A common statement is The only risk is that it wont work. Thats false.

3)The only stem cell treatment explicitly approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. consists of versions of bone marrow/hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.What this means is that any other stem cell treatment you see advertised on Facebook or Google or elsewhere that indicates it will be given to you inside the U.S. is not FDA approved. The exceptions to this are if it is part of an FDA-approved clinical trial or it is using stem cells in a procedure that meets other criteria (e.g. being both homologous use and minimally manipulatedyeah I know these are jargon terms).

4)If you venture outside the U.S. for a stem cell treatment, use extra caution, but in 2016 also be very careful inside the U.S.Whether you travel abroad or closer to home, have a knowledgeable physician inside the U.S. guiding you, preferably your primary care doctor who mot often are not going to buy into hype. We have to avoid the trap of thinking that only the U.S. can offer advanced medical treatments and these days many American patients get their stem cell transplants here in the U.S. from dubious clinics.

5)Stem cells are not a cure-all.I am as excited as anybody about the potential of stem cells to treat a whole bunch of diseases and injuries, but they are not some kind of miracle cure for everything. When a doctor offers to inject some kind of stem cells into a patient either into the bloodstream or into a specific place that is injured such as a shoulder, we just do not know at this point if it will do any good with the exception of bone marrow transplant. You should start getting worried if the clinic tells you that one kind of stem cell such as fat, bone marrow, or amniotic stem cells can treat many different conditions. Theres no science behind that kind of claim. Stem cells are not a panacea.

Patients often mention to me that the doctors offering stem cell treatments told them that the treatments are proven safe.or that your own stem cells cannot harm youor that adult stem cells are harmless. I often tell people to think about how much research and how many questions they ask when looking to get a new car. You should bring at least that level of intensity (ideally much more) to getting info about stem cell transplants too as the stakes are even higher.Be skeptical. Ask many questions and if you arent convinced, then dont do it.

6)Dont let celebrities be your guide to medical care.The number of famous people getting stem cell treatments is increasing including sports stars and politicians. Dont let what these folks do influence what you decide to do about your health. Just because they are famous do not believe for one minute that they are any more informed than you or your personal doctor about medical treatments or stem cells. If anything I think sometimes famous people are more reckless with their health than average people like you and me.

7)Reach out to scientists as a source of info.As a scientist I am always happy to hear from people outside the scientific community with questions about stem cells and other research. I cant speak for all stem cell scientists but you might be surprised at how likely it is that if you send them a very short, clear email with one or two questions that they will respond and be helpful. We cant or shouldnt offer medical advice, but we can give our perspectives on stem cell research and its clinical potential, etc. Just do not cold call scientists as you are unlikely to find them that way and even if you do, they may be cranky. Email. If they dont reply try someone else and dont be offended they we didnt answer. Often times we may not answer because we are super busy. For instance, I often get more than 100 emails a day.

8)The people selling you non-FDA approved stem cell treatments want your money.As such they will do their best to convince you that their treatment is safe and effective. The more convincing they are then the more money they make. They may offer patient testimonials either from patients who truly believe they were helped or from people who are paid to say the treatment helped them. The bottom line is that the sellers of dubious stem cell treatments are generally in it for the big bucks. Admittedly I do think that some of these providers truly believe stem cells are helpful, but youll never see even them offering to give patients the cells at cost. These are instead very much for-profit operations.

9) NEWJust because something is called a stem cell clinical trial doesnt mean it really is and being listed on means a lot less than it used to.I am contacted weekly or even daily at times by patients or their families and they are rightly focused on getting information that they can trust. Many stem cell clinics call the treatments that they offer by the name clinical trial and thats often misleading. In the standard meaning of clinical trial the experimental therapy being tested has the FDAs approval to be used in the study, there are data supporting the study, and those doing the trial do not charge patients to be in it. You shouldnt have to pay to be a guinea pig. I think thats almost always going to be unethical on the part of those giving it. I often suggest that people turn to the federal website for information and that is still a great resource, but be aware that many pseudo-clinical trials are popping up on there that are really mostly about making money. They do not have FDA approval in many cases and there are other issues of concern. So even on that website use caution.

10)The most important thing is information/data and you have a right to see it before treatment.Before you or a loved one get a stem cell treatment, ask two key questions. First, is the treatment FDA approved and if not, why not? Second, can you please show me the data that proves your treatment is safe and effective? See what kind of answer you get. If they demonize the FDA or invoke a plot by big pharma to block stem cells then that is a warning flag. If they refuse to show you data, then that is a big red warning flag. They may say it is confidential or that it is not published yet, but as a patient you have a right to see the data, assuming they have any data at all.

These facts will likely change over the coming years, but right now I think they represent reality. I know as patients we need hope, but these unapproved stem cell treatments will at best take your money for nothing, and at worst will endanger you or your loved ones.

The post above is for information only and is not medical advice. All medical decisions should be made by patients in consultation with their personal physicians.

Originally posted here:
Patients guide to stem cell treatments top 10 list ...

No system is perfect, multi-disciplinary approach will benefit cancer patients: Ayurvedic physician – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOCHI: According to researchers and doctors from different systems of medicines gathered at the International Conference on Integrated Oncology (ICIO) 2020, allopathic and complementary medicines can work magic in cancer patients. Homoeopathy and ayurvedic medicines have a greater role to play in treating and curing cancer patients.

A multi-disciplinary approach is required for the cure and management of cancer cases because no system is perfect in the world. By integrating complementary medicines the ultimate beneficiary of the result will be patients, said Dr K M Madhu, ayurvedic physician at Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala Hospital, Kochi.

In India, existing medicine systems like ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy can do magic on cancer patients. In ayurveda, we have the three doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which are believed to create diseases.

We treat to pacify these doshas which are the framework of ayurveda. When you come to a practical integration, all these frameworks may not match together as there may be so many differences between them. The general thing for the integration to happen is that all should accept that their system is not the perfect one. They also lack many things. Self-criticism is required to improve the way you get integrated with other medical systems, said Madhu.Ayurveda can contribute to palliative care. We have Rasayanas which will help in cancer cure. Study on Misraka Sneham, Sathadhouta Ghritham and Viswamritham in managing anorexia in cancer patients have proved good relief in 70 percent of patients we tested, said Madhu.

According to Dr Nilanjana Basu, homoeopathy doctor and researcher at Amity Institute of Molecular Research and Stem Cell Research, Amity University, Noida, homoeopathic medicines can enhance the activity of the normal cells in ones body. Present-day studies are looking into how to kill cancer cells. But what I found different is why do we only focus on the cancer cells. We can protect the normal cells. Conventional medicinal treatments are hard on cancer cells. It should be that way as well. As the patients suffer more, there has to be something that softens and homoeopathy is that part that softens our body and preserve and maintain natural and normal cells, said Nilanjana.Arnica Montana, a homoeopathic medicine, was used for my research in protecting the normal cells when we try to kill the cancer cells. It was proved that the medicine can actually enhance normal cell activity, said Nilanjana.

No system is perfect, multi-disciplinary approach will benefit cancer patients: Ayurvedic physician - The New Indian Express

There’s no place like home – The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER When her 7-year-old son Isaiah experienced a brain bleed in November 2013, Ruth Truman and her husband Ryan were told that the bleed was caused by a tangle in his veins.

A few months later, in February, it happened again.

(Doctors) ended up doing a scan then, and found that there was a fine layer of brain cancer on his brain and down his spine and in his spinal fluid. It took quite some time about two weeks for labs and they determined 90% that it was called PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor), said Truman.

He was going into radiation, and the doctors said if he survives the radiation, theyll give him about a year (to live). If he survived the chemo after that, they thought it would be a year or two. Now were almost at six years, so Im like this kid is a walking miracle.

As she witnessed her son experience 21 days of radiation, five months of chemo and stem cell therapy, Truman was struck by how many other children and families were going through something similar how they were not alone.

I never knew a kid who had cancer before Isaiah. Its like when you buy a new car, and then all of a sudden everybody has that car when you get thrust into the thing, its like wow I had no idea how many kids had cancer or a medical condition... Its just sad that there are so many kids out there dealing with this, said Truman.

That observation is something that has stayed with her since. It seemed like fate, then, that she stumbled upon Savvy Giving By Design last year, a national nonprofit network of professional interior designers who redesign bedrooms of children who are facing a medical crisis. Truman, an interior designer who previously worked in corporate interior design in Ohio and Maryland before starting Ruth Truman Interiors in Winchester, felt she had found her mission.

I thought about it a lot over the year, and you could apply (to start a chapter), but I thought Im in Winchester, a small town, some of these other places are Tampa, Florida... But it just kept gnawing at me and just felt like this was what I was meant to do. So I applied, and they sent back that theyd love to have us start one in Virginia, she said. The Virginia chapter of Savvy Giving By Design was officially launched in October.

Truman said that theres a misconception that children who are facing a medical crisis are always at the hospital. While they are there often, its in their bedroom that they spend the most time.

They do spend a ton of time at the hospital, but most of their hours are at home, because of their immune system, she explained.

They get bored of their space, and so making it somewhere that they want to come back to from the hospital, that is the key. People just dont realize how much time they have to spend there. Some of the kids have had blood disorders, one of the kids who was paralyzed recently, is not able to go out a lot. So many people dont see that, they think theyre at the hospital. But they dont realize they really are at home all of the time.

And its not just an attractive room that the organization gives to its families many practical upgrades are made with the childs specific needs in mind.

Were not just about making some room pretty for a kid, but these kids do really spend such a huge amount of time in their room. How can we make it more functional and meet their medical needs too, said Truman.

Truman said typical changes include replacing carpet for flooring that is waterproof and cleanable, installing dimmers on lighting since parents often check on their child every hour at night, as well as putting in hypo-allergenic mattresses and bedding, and sometimes additional beds.

From one of the other chapters, one family had three siblings sleeping on the floor in the same room together. We want to provide them with good bedding and beds. Some parents sleep on the floor in their childs room on an air mattress, so we could put another bed in there, she said.

For children with disabilities, the designers meet with specialists who can help them to better understand what needs the child may have, which can be incorporated into the room.

Some kids are in wheelchairs, so space layout, how do we maximize the space in their room so they can move around in a wheelchair. That could be adding bunk beds or built-ins, explained Truman.

Not only does the organization create a new bedroom for the child with a medical crisis, they also redo the bedrooms of the siblings. Truman explained that often in these situations, siblings can have feelings jealousy over the attention their sibling is getting, not fully understanding the pain their brother or sister is experiencing.

When your child has cancer, so many people are generous. I cant tell you how many stories where weve been places, people will pay for our ice cream, our meals, I was in the Disney store once and a guy came up and said, can I buy him a stuffed animal? And yet at the same time, the siblings are seeing this and they are kind of feeling left out. Theyre not understanding, she said.

I just think its so great that we do the sibling rooms. They are going through their own issues with this diagnosis of their sibling. We want them to be a part of this.

On the low end, Truman estimates that it can cost $3,000 or more to renovate a childs room if the organization has to pay in cash for all supplies and labor. Each chapter must raise 100% of the funding themselves, which can be done through donations of products like flooring, lighting, furniture, labor by tradesmen, as well as financial donations to purchase materials and supplies for the room. Work would be completed in four to six weeks.

So far, Ferguson Lighting has agreed to provide the lighting for the Virginia chapters first two bedroom renovations, and Prosource Wholesale Flooring has agreed to provide the flooring. Truman hopes to find local licensed and insured tradesmen who can donate their time to install flooring and electrical, painters and wallpaper installers, as well as businesses that may donate furniture and bedding, dcor, paint, and other necessities. Financial donations are also welcome and can be made online at or by check.

Once a child has been selected and the room has been designed, Truman said they will post specific items that are needed like pillows from Target, with a link to purchase on the organizations Facebook page, and donors can purchase the item for the room. The Virginia chapters Facebook page is

Truman said they already have two applicants, a child in Winchester and another child in nearby Aldie; both children have cancer. Truman said she expects to announce the Virginia chapters first bedroom makeover within the next month.

Ive been in their shoes. I think about me and Isaiah going through that time, if we had gotten something like this how special it would have been, she said.

So much good can come out of a bad situation if you can use it for the good. I think that were thrown things in life that are hard and how can we make them into something good. For me, this is one way that everything he has been through, I feel Im able to give back to people who are going through the same thing.

There's no place like home - The Winchester Star

This World Cancer Week, let’s separate the myth and reality surrounding it – The New Indian Express

Fake, fun and fantastic, myths usually tell us something about why the world is the way it is. But believing myths about cancer can be outright dangerous. Consider this: cancer is contagious and you need dollops of positivity to beat the dreaded C-word. Or this: cancer is caused by a fungus and its actually your bodys attempt to protect itself from the infection. From coffee to carbonates to cannabis, millions of pages on the internet tell us every day about miracle cures for cancer. And it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction, because few illnesses cause as much terror or have as many misconceptions that refuse to die. Here, some of the countrys leading oncologists bust old myths and bring new hope, as an explosion of new research changes the way cancer is perceived, understood and treated.

Dealing with cancer means making some tough choices. How you decide to seek medical help will determine your chances of cure. Hence, education is vital. The most common concerns patients come to me with are often some of the biggest myths. I find it painful that the myths are very much alive even among the educated classes. I make time to engage with my patients to dispel the misconceptions and to create awareness about the bad effects of these myths. Remember, you have a far better chance of beating the disease if you can dispel the fallacies and false notions.

Myth Biopsy can disturb cancer cells and cause them to spread to otherparts of the body.


It disturbs me that people still come to me and say, I dont want to do a biopsy. The truth is: there is little reason to worry that a biopsy allows cancer cells to spread within the body. Medical evidence shows that this is unlikely. In fact, patients who have biopsy procedures to confirm their diagnosis and determine the cancers stage have a better outcome and longer survival than patients who do not have a biopsy.

The point is, how can you diagnose a cancer without biopsy? Cancer treatment starts only after biopsy. It is the first landmark event in the definitive diagnosis of a cancer. That is crucial in determining and planning the correct treatment for a patient. If a biopsy indicates a benign disease, the patient is spared unnecessary treatments.

Biopsy may involve discomfort and bleeding, but the gain far outweighs the risks. I ask my patients if biopsy is responsible for cancer spreading, then all the people coming to me should have initial stage cancers, since they havent done biopsy as yet. I bring in their own examples: how come your own cancer has spread, as all the imaging, MRI, CT and PET scans show, although you have not done biopsy? Yet faith in this myth continues. It is a key reason why treatment gets delayed in our country. We have to understand that cancer does not wait for any procedure to spread.

MythChemotherapy means the cancer is terminal. Hence,avoid chemo.


The second set of cancer myths I come across revolves round chemotherapy. My patients ask a lot of questions about it: they want to know if chemotherapy means the illness is terminal, if the side-effects of chemo will completely disrupt their life completely, and if chemo is really worth it. A lot of patients do not wish to go through it.

The truth is: chemotherapy certainly does not mean a cancer is terminal. It is essential for many cancer patients. The more advanced cancer you have the more you need chemotherapy. In fact, chemotherapy is often a preventive measure to prevent recurrence and to improve the odds of cure. It also ensures faster recovery. Chemotherapy has evolved considerably over the decades. The drastic side effects are not as prevalent today. It does not disrupt a patients everyday life the way it used to once. With the advances in chemotherapy, more and more people are surviving and doing well after cancer treatment.

We need to understand that cancer is something that happens in all multicellular organismsfrom the smallest hydra to the biggest whales. Cancer is more common in animals that are domesticated or in the zoo, because they live longer than those in the wild. Studies from India have analysed fossils of dinosaurs that suffered from cancer. Cancer is a disease of cell regulation. In multicellular organisms there are many cells, some of which become bones, some tissues, some the brain. In that process of evolution, things can go wrong. And sometimes they can become uncontrollable. Cancer is such unchecked cell growth.

More recent studies show cancers are caused by three broad groups of cell alterations: the smallest group is that of people born with some genetic alteration that runs in the family. It makes up about 5 percent of all cancers. Of the environmental factors, the biggest is tobacco, which causes damage to the DNAcigarettes and passive smoking, chewed tobacco, hookah, dant manjanmaking up 25 percent of cancers. The next big group is infection, which is coming down now as hygiene is improving. The big ones are papilloma virusa sexually transmitted disease, from the male to the femaleit takes about 30 years to manifest, from pre-cancer to cancer and then to metastatic cancer. In the liver you get Hepatitis B and C, from mother to child.

Hep C comes through transfusion, tattooing. Then there is the Helicobacter pylori, a waterborne bacterium that is usually acquired in early life. If one is exposed to other carcinogens, like salted meat, cigarette smoke and so on, it triggers the cancer. Infections are responsible for 15-25 percent of cancers in India.The rest of the cancers are now thought to be random occurrences. Our body is a continuous workshop of cell regulation, replacement, regeneration: when cells get damaged, old cells are removed and new cells grow. The skin, the bone marrow, the linings of the gut, bladders and the kidneyare changing continuously. Stem cells provide new cells to the body as it grows and replace those that are damaged or lost. They can divide over and over again to produce new cells. As they divide, they can change into the other types of cell that make up the body. And just sometimes, things go wrongat randomthat have carcinogenic potential. That means, anyone can get cancer. Call it plain bad luck.

MythCancer is fast turninginto an epidemicin India.


That to me is the biggest myth. You may see a large number of cancer patients in hospitals. You may know a lot of people with cancer. But the epidemic is more apparent than real. Cancer is a disease of older age. It usually picks up from about age 40-50 and reaches a peak at about 7080. What has happened in India is that our population has exploded and we have a substantial number of older people. There are a 100 million people above age 60.

The number of cancer patients is also increased. This is typical of what we call an epidemiological transition. That means, once people died of infectious diseasestyphoid, malaria, dengue, choleraand so life expectancy was very low. In 1947, life expectancy was about 30-35 years. Now it is almost 70 years. So you dont just have more people, you have more older people.

Most importantly, we have started doing lab testsendoscopies, scans, screens, biopsiesso deep-seated cancers are being picked up. Even 30 years ago, there was no opportunity for this. This is why you are suddenly seeing so many people with cancer. The proof for this lies in some very beautiful studies done 100 years ago by British doctors in India. They had done autopsies on a lot of unclaimed bodies. And the autopsies showed a high rate of cancersalmost as high as it is today. The Mumbai Cancer Registry, which was started in 1962, has been monitoring cancers in the city continuously for nearly 60 years. You will be pleased to know that the rates have not really increased. The actual numbers have gone up, as the population of Mumbai has gone up enormously, but if you standardise the number of cancers in corresponding age groups and compare, there is no increase at all. On the contrary it has decreased a little bit, which is very reassuring.

MythAYUSH cancure cancer.


Every day in my chamber, I see patients who have been sitting on their symptoms for months, sometimes years, thinking it would not be cancer. Their doctors have not told them it could be cancer and treated them for dysentery or piles, instead. And when things get out of order, they come to oncologists. But by then, its often too late. There is a serious lack of awareness among people and among AYUSH practitioners. The bottomline is, if you have symptoms that continue for weeks, do not go to doctors who cannot do biopsy. You cant diagnose cancer without doing biopsy.

MythCancer is adeath sentence.


People panic once cancer is diagnosed. They seek out immediate treatment, go to people who are not experts, do not understand the upsides or downsides and end up getting treatments that harm them more. One reason could be that they are driven by the messages they hear. So the first thing to remember is that cancer is not a death sentence. Dont panic. You must do your research and find out people who are doing the right treatment and go to the right place. Cancer cells grow slowly, dividing every three to four weeks. It is not that scary. You have four to six weeks time to find the right place. The best treatments are inevitably found in places that have multidisciplinary teams.

Myth Cancers spread with intervention.


The biological nature of cancer is to spread. Thats why cancer kills. All cancers will spread depending on its tumour biology. Some fast and some slow. The reason why there is an apparent spread after an intervention via biopsy or surgery is because those procedures can reveal the spread more accurately, and not because cancers spread after the intervention. As the cancer cells divide in geometric proportions, it will take more or less time to double its size from 1 mm to 2 mm and from 5cm to 10 cm. In other words, the growth of cancer will appear to be faster in more advanced stages.

Myth Dont tell the patient the bad news.


If you tell the patient the bad news (diagnosis of cancer etc) they will not be able to take it. As a result, often half-truths or white lies are told by doctors to patients. Studies done in India on patients with cancer, however, reveal that 90 per cent of them want to know the correct diagnosis and likelihood of survival, as it helps to plan the treatment and plan their lives as well.

There are a whole range of rumours and myths about cancer that makes it hard for people to know what is true about this widely misunderstood disease. Every day, new myths arise and old ones reappear, leaving patients and family members confused and vulnerable. Many turn to dangerous remedies, others get trapped into believing fallacies that harm them immensely. Here are some of the most persistent and pernicious myths surrounding cancer and its treatment that we face every day.

MythNo, this cannotbe cancer.


We come across hundreds of patients who show signs and symptoms indicating the possibility of cancer, yet they will not accept it. The first reaction in India, typically, is: No, this cannot be cancer. Somebody gets a lump, a hard mass on any part of the body, a coughing spell that lasts for over four weeks. And the first thought is to blame it on infections or pollutionsomething that will settle down within a week or two. Who will tell them that cancer coughs will not settle down? The first presenting symptom for lung cancer will be cough. We get patients with telltale signs of cancerblood or discharge through urine, stool, mouth, female genital organsyet by the time they seek medical opinion, often the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. This denial mode and not letting treatment start on time, is a very Indian attitude.

MythLifestyle tendencies that lead to heart disease, hypertension or stroke are notrelated to cancer.


Think of physical inactivity, of stress, of eating a lot of preserved and processed food. And the first reaction we find among patients is: Surely, those are not linked to cancer. They seem to be convinced that the lifestyle tendencies that are linked to heart disease, hypertension or stroke have nothing to do with cancer. Thats just not true. Now we have sufficient literature and scientific evidence to show that patients having more junk food, leading more sedentary lives, living in more stressful environments are more prone to cancer than those who are not under such circumstances. Fortunately, these are modifiable factors. That means, people can change these. Non-modifiable factors mean those that cannot be changed: for instance, somebody with a family history of cancer will have higher chances of getting the disease. These are genetic traits. There needs to be developed the maximum awareness that modifiable lifestyle excesses dont just bring on heart disease, stroke or hypertension, but also cancer.

MythCancer iscontagious.


This is an important myth that even educated people share. If somebody gets cancer, friends and neighbours do not visit, thinking they may also get it. This is a huge issue, because in India we are dependent on social support for emotional sustenance. That often breaks down for cancer patients, who are anyway emotionally disturbed and need more support. Myths like this make them go through social isolation, bringing in more stress. Cancer is absolutely not contagious. In some people, cancers may be caused by certain viruses (some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, for example) and bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori). While a virus or bacterium can spread from person to person, the cancers cannot.

MythNourishing foodnourishes cancer cells.


This is a common and dangerous misconception: if you give nourishing food to a patient, the cancer will grow faster. Hence deprive a cancer patient of food and the cancer will die out. People try to avoid taking nutritious food, become malnourished, their immunity gets weak and they are not able to tolerate chemotherapy, surgery, radiationfor all of which a patient needs to be physically as strong as possible. If they eat well, the immunity system of the body will fight the cancer cells. Remember, our body constantly makes some cells that can convert into tumour cells. At the same time, the body also has the immunity to destroy these cells. If immunity goes down, the patient becomes more prone to having cancer. Keeping yourself healthy and stress-free are the vital preventives for cancer.

THE COSTCancer is now the leading cause of catastrophic health spending, distress financing, and increasing expenditure before death in India

Out-of-pocket expenditure is three times higher for private inpatient cancer care in the country40% of cancer costs are met through borrowing, sale of assets and contributions from friends and relatives These costs exceed 20% of annual per capita household expenditure in 60% of Indian households with a patient with cancer

A lot of my patients ask: Why did I get cancer? I dont smoke, I dont drink, I am a vegetarian, I pray to God regularly, I have never harmed anybody. Then why did I get it? These are some of the most challenging questions oncologists face. And these are also at the intersection of the myths, misconceptions and facts in all discussions on cancer.

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This World Cancer Week, let's separate the myth and reality surrounding it - The New Indian Express