Staff Writer | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
By Elizabeth Herbert
A 16-year-old Lubbockite with rheumatoid arthritis recently banked her wisdom teeth for their high concentration of stem cells in the hope of using them in a future procedure.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, meaning they can become almost any specialized cell; researchers have been studying these cells to learn more about using them to treat ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The oral and facial surgeon who removed the patients teeth, Dr. Robert Ioppolo, said there was virtually no downside to storing the teeth and cells because the procedure, which is necessary for most, is the same for the patient regardless.
Instead of putting (wisdom teeth) in a baggie, we put them in a vial; we put them in a little freezer-type cryopreservation box and off they go to the processing center, he said, so its very straightforward from our perspective, and it just provides an additional service to patients that we didnt have access to a few years ago.
Once the teeth have been sent to process at the Stemodontics lab, Ioppolo said specialists open the teeth and extrapolate the nerve tissue to obtain the stem cells.
The cool thing is that the stem cell population inside of wisdom teeth, especially in somebody thats young and healthy, is at its peak as far as the amount of cells, so the quantity, and also the quality of those cells, he said, so this is kind of a one-time opportunity that folks have to bank the best stem cells that they possibly can from their wisdom teeth.
Rheumatoid arthritis typically impacts adults. The Centers for Disease Control states 7.1% of people aged 18-44 years old report being diagnosed with arthritis; younger groups are not listed on the main, arthritis-related page.
Jamie Fields, the patients mother, said her daughter has undergone knee surgeries and is on medications but has not seen strong improvements in the seven months she has been receiving treatment.
Doctors tried a technique called microfracture in which tiny holes are drilled into the knee to produce new tissue, but this results in fibrocartilage and is more like scar tissue and less like the cushiony cartilage that joints need to function properly, according to an article from the Stanford Medicine News Center.
Preserving her daughters wisdom teeth and stem cells will cost Fields $2,000, but she said her alternative is to grow cells from the cartilage taken from a previous surgery which would cost about $46,000 for the graft alone and does not account for an accompanying procedure.
When I hear about these stem cells, Im like, Well, what if this would work, she said. If thats the route we have to take, then why not try this first?
Aside from surgeries, Fields said her daughters doctor prescribed medications to help slow or stop the dying cartilage behind her knee. There are many options, but medicines tend to have side effects and Fields said she does not want her daughter to have to use multiple, strong pharmaceuticals long-term.
He has a list, and he started her at the bottom of the list on the medications, and then he said we would just go up from there, but that way we dont do anything too harsh thats not needed, she said.
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to worsen with age, and Fields said her daughter, who already has a history of broken bones and surgeries, is impacted by her rheumatoid arthritis to the extent that she cannot participate in gymnastics, cheerleading or other fun activities she has enjoyed.
Fields could keep working down the line of medications most 16 year olds cannot pronounce, or she said she could save her daughters stem cells and wait for orthopedists to create a procedure that would use her daughters cells to help rejuvenate damaged areas.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime (opportunity), Fields said. If we dont do this now, where is she gonna get them from later, of her own?
Michael Longaker, Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor for the Department of Surgery and Co-Director for the Institute of Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, said using stem cells could help a number of issues due to the cells ability to change.
While we do some things really well, like cardiac bypass surgery or hip replacement et cetera, et cetera, itd be great if we could unlock the power of cells that can become other types of cells so that we could regenerate each of these things before they get to the point where they need a major operation, he said.
Stem cells can be found throughout the body, and removing wisdom teeth is a fairly routine procedure; the WebMD website states over 10 million wisdom teeth are removed annually.
Many of these teeth are disposed of, but Longaker pointed out that stem cells in wisdom teeth are unique to the individual and are great sources of stem cells.
In the soft part, the pulp, of those teeth are stem cells that - God forbid - that healthy, young patient whos having them removed, God forbid anything happens to them and they need something or they have a family history of disease - theyre all set and ready to go, he said.
Longakers teams research began with mice and found skeletal stem cells can be manipulated to become cartilage.
They used two major molecules, bone morphogenetic protein 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor, to help the cells start bone formation after microfracture yet stop the process halfway to create cartilage. Longaker said the next step in the research is to focus on larger animals; then human clinical trials can begin.
Stem cells from wisdom teeth would work best for things in the mouth such as bone and cartilage, but Longaker said the cells can be backed up, de-differentiated and guided in a dish to the point where the cell can become almost anything; once the cell is fully differentiated, or has changed into a specific type of cell the specialist intended, it can be implanted.
You take the stem cells from teeth and back them up, so to speak, so they can become almost any type of cell, and then you would guide them down the exit ramp, so to speak, to where you want them to go, he said.
It may be years before orthopedists use stem cells to improve arthritic conditions, but Longaker, who banked his own sons wisdom teeth, said advances happen regularly and that one never knows when their stem cells will be useful.
As a stem cell biologist, having someone already store stem cells that I could guide to become something else, God forbid they need it, that really makes sense to me, he said. I dont see a reason not to do it if a parent or patient wants to do it.
Although banking her daughters wisdom teeth will not yield immediate results, Fields said she believes god guided her on this path and that she has more to gain than to lose.
Our faith is really strong, and I believe that God has led us on this path to hopefully find something that we can do to help her because weve been on this path for so long and with no answers, she said.
- Lymph nodes: Purpose, location, and disease warning signs - Medical News Today - June 8th, 2021
- Teesside baby will be third in country to have ground breaking complex cancer treatment - Teesside Live - June 8th, 2021
- Brave Nathaniel Nabena, 9, all smiles as he has life-saving procedure - thanks to you - The Mirror - June 8th, 2021
- Local veterinary clinics offer integrated care options for pets - williamsonherald.com - June 8th, 2021
- Blood cancer and leukaemia: UAE oncologist urges public to spot the symptoms - The National - June 8th, 2021
- Replotting the human: the thorny ethics of growing babies outside the womb - Prospect - June 8th, 2021
- Crossroads of life: Jordan Reed's journey through concussions, injuries and post-NFL healing - The Athletic - June 8th, 2021
- B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: What to know - Medical News Today - May 28th, 2021
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and stomach pain: What is the link? - Medical News Today - May 28th, 2021
- Top 12 Disruptive Gene and Cell Therapy Technologies Announced - GlobeNewswire - May 28th, 2021
- BlueRock and Senti Collaborate to Build Smarter, Disease-Fighting Cell Therapies - BioSpace - May 28th, 2021
- Living with blood cancer - Lara Said - Times of Malta - May 28th, 2021
- 3D Printed Stem Cells Could Revolutionize Neuroscience, Aid Treatment and Understanding of Neural Diseases - Science Times - May 28th, 2021
- In the War on Cancer, Science Is Winning - The Wall Street Journal - May 28th, 2021
- Whats Causing Black Fungus? Here Is What The Doctors Have To Say - The Logical Indian - May 28th, 2021
- University of Pittsburgh Won't Explain its Planned Parenthood Ties | Opinion - Newsweek - May 28th, 2021
- Trial treatment with a mythologically-inspired name saves life of young man diagnosed with multiple myeloma - Neos Kosmos - May 28th, 2021
- An unusual addition to Californias 2022 ballot - CalMatters - May 28th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy Los Angeles - Darrow Stem Cell Institute - February 14th, 2021
- Stem Cell Transplants: A Lifesaving Treatment for Cancer ... - February 14th, 2021
- Smart Stem Cells Made From Fat Have the Power to Heal - Freethink - February 14th, 2021
- Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for cancer patients? Here is what cancer experts say - CNN - February 14th, 2021
- The race to treat a rare, fatal syndrome may help others with common disorders like diabetes - Science Magazine - February 14th, 2021
- Arlo's Army needs stem cell donor as mum begs for help to save three-year-old's life - Glasgow Live - February 14th, 2021
- Arlo's Army: mum opens up on heartbreaking decision to make 3-year-old sick to save his life - Glasgow Live - February 14th, 2021
- Bone marrow transplant shows signs of curing brave little boy with one in a million condition - Shields Gazette - February 14th, 2021
- Canada's blood supply has a diversity problem and people are dying because of it - CBC.ca - February 2nd, 2021
- State-of-the-Art Treatments Garner University Foot and Ankle Institute Multiple Top Doctor Awards - Yahoo Finance - February 2nd, 2021
- Dean Tracy Johnson seeks to diversify the pipeline of future scientists and doctors - UCLA Newsroom - February 2nd, 2021
- Transforming optimism: finding new ways to treat rare cancers - Cancer Research UK - Science Blog - February 2nd, 2021
- Family of Belfast woman Eimear Gooderham (25) share memories and dealing with grief in special UTV programme - Belfast Telegraph - February 2nd, 2021
- Doctor: COVID-19 cases will continue to slowly go down, but were not out of the woods - Yahoo Money - January 23rd, 2021
- Global Precision Medicine Market With COVID 19 Impact Analysis| Leading Players In-depth Analysis Research Report Foresight to 2027 - KSU | The... - January 23rd, 2021
- Leading Urologist Doubles Down on CaverStem Regenerative Stem Cell Procedure for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction in Men - PRNewswire - January 22nd, 2021
- Sisters who organised an Ilkley fundraising ball are to be honoured - Wharfedale Observer - January 22nd, 2021
- Medical Doctor: Roes Overlooking of the Consensus of Societal Morality and Science Reverberates to This Day - National Catholic Register - January 22nd, 2021
- DARZALEX FASPRO (daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj) Becomes the First FDA-Approved Treatment for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Light Chain (AL)... - January 22nd, 2021
- Seattle researchers find clues for treatments that could eliminate HIV in infected patients - GeekWire - January 14th, 2021
- Flow Cytometry Market is Projected to Reach a Value of US$8100 Mn by the End of 2025 - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - January 14th, 2021
- Doctors diagnosed a Suffolk teen with a rare condition. Now, his mom is part of the solution - 13newsnow.com WVEC - January 12th, 2021
- Cassville club assists 2 families as they recover from illness - telegraphherald.com - January 12th, 2021
- The 26 billion-dollar startups to watch that are revolutionizing healthcare in 2021 - Business Insider - January 12th, 2021
- Global Precision Medicine Market 2020 Overview By Size, Share, Trends, Growth Factors and Leading Players With Detailed Analysis of Industry Structure... - January 12th, 2021
- More than 250 articles and a book later, the Valley Doctor bids adieu - San Lorenzo Valley Press-Banner - January 12th, 2021
- Groundbreaking Treatment for Severe COVID-19 Using Stem Cells It's Like Smart Bomb Technology in the Lung - SciTechDaily - January 5th, 2021
- New combo therapy offered against refractory T-cell lymphoma - Korea Biomedical Review - January 5th, 2021
- Hair Growth Treatment Secrets Bollywood Will Never Tell You About - Times of India - January 5th, 2021
- Are metabolic hormones the next frontier in cancer treatment? - MedCity News - January 5th, 2021
- Limerick toddler to wait six months for trial cancer treatment after family raises over 400,000 - Extra.ie - January 5th, 2021
- West Lothian mum fighting for her life after back pain turned out to be terminal blood cancer - Edinburgh Live - January 5th, 2021
- MorphoSys and Incyte Announce the Acceptance of the Swissmedic Marketing Authorization Application for Tafasitamab - Yahoo Finance UK - January 5th, 2021
- A Wish Come True urges plungers to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves for this year's fundraiser - Fall River Herald News - December 26th, 2020
- Ashley Cain says over 80,000 people registered for stem cell donation in 48 hours after appeal to save baby - The Sun - December 22nd, 2020
- The 11 most mind-blowing, awe-inspiring health discoveries and innovations of 2020 - Business Insider - Business Insider - December 22nd, 2020
- 3-year-old patient successfully treated for rare fatal disease- familial Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) at Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh -... - December 22nd, 2020
- Startups are racing to reproduce breast milk in the lab - MIT Technology Review - December 22nd, 2020
- Hand weakness: Causes, symptoms, treatment, and seeking help - Medical News Today - December 22nd, 2020
- Gujarat Issues Health Advisory On Fungal Infection With "50% Mortality Rate" - NDTV - December 22nd, 2020
- A side-by-side comparison of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines - STAT - December 22nd, 2020
- City of Hope Doctors Present Innovative Therapies to Better Treat Blood Cancers at American Society of Hematology Virtual Conference - Business Wire - December 9th, 2020
- Medical technologies that will disrupt (and improve) healthcare in the 2020s - Universe.byu.edu - December 9th, 2020
- Community Cord Blood Banking saves life of child with aplastic anaemia - The Hindu - November 20th, 2020
- Arya Lloyd: Father launches global search for blood stem cell donor to save his 12-year-old daughter - Sky News - November 20th, 2020
- Blood Cancer: Science Reveal Five Easily Missed Signs of Leukemia - Science Times - November 20th, 2020
- Karnataka:Community cord blood banking emerges as lifesaver - United News of India - November 18th, 2020
- How CAR-T Cell Therapy is Being Used in the Field of Blood Cancer Treatment - Curetoday.com - November 16th, 2020
- Election results for California Propositions 14, 18, 23, and 24 - FOX 11 Los Angeles - November 16th, 2020
- Cell Separation Beads Market to Witness Robust Expansion Throughout the Forecast Period 2018-2028 - The Daily Philadelphian - November 16th, 2020
- Fight for the rights of unborn - The Daily Telegram - November 11th, 2020
- Genetic Mechanism Identified in Neonatal Diabetes Could Offer Insights into Other Forms of the Disease - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News - November 11th, 2020
- Doctors Debate: Is Intensive or Low-Intensity Chemotherapy Plus BCR-ABL TKI Therapy Best for Treatment of Ph+ ALL? - Targeted Oncology - November 11th, 2020
- Record number of stem cell donors apply after Ex On The Beach star plea - expressandstar.com - November 11th, 2020
- Bisbee: A commitment to health care initiatives The Journal Record - Journal Record - November 11th, 2020
- California election results: Where state propositions stand as of Thursday at 5 p.m. - Desert Sun - November 11th, 2020
- Critically ill Indonesian woman thanks Taiwan for saving life - Taiwan News - November 7th, 2020
- City of Hope Doctors Present New Research on Bone Marrow Transplants, Immunotherapy and Other Blood Cancer Treatments - Business Wire - November 7th, 2020
- Daily Edition for Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - California Healthline - November 7th, 2020
- 'We're truly blood brothers' - Stanford coach David Shaw and his recent fight to save his brother, Eric - ESPN - November 7th, 2020
- 'We're really blood brothers' - Stanford coach David Shaw and his current battle to save lots of his brother, Eric - The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette - November 7th, 2020
- Mark Drought: Are we on the brink of another civil war? - The Advocate - November 7th, 2020