World-class stem cell centre for Queenstown

A world-class research and treatment centre that will specialise in using the bodys own blood cells to heal sports injuries and arthritis is planned for Queenstown within the year according to one of the worlds leading experts on Stem Cell Therapy.

Speaking at the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine Conference in Queenstown yesterday (Thursday August 1), Professor Boyd said Queenstown was at the forefront of Platelet Rich Plasma therapy in the country and was an "obvious choice" to expand into Stem Cell Therapy.

Used in the USA for ten years and Australia for five years, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is already available in New Zealand thanks to Queenstown Regenerative Medicine (QRM) an internationally-linked Queenstown clinic.

Endorsed worldwide by global sports superstars such as Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, PRP is a process by which a small amount of blood is taken from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge which automatically produces PRP (blood plasma with a concentrated amount of platelets).

Platelets are the bloods "ambulance, containing over 20 factors important for tissue repair and keeping the body healthy.

The process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets by up to 500%. The PRP is then injected back into the patients affected area, which reduces inflammation and hence pain, while also stimulating the healing of the tendon or ligament and maybe even cartilage. It can be used in shoulders, knees, ankles, hips, elbows, wrists and much more.

Stem Cell Therapy differs from PRP as it introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. The stem cells are grown outside the body and then transplanted into the body. It is a lengthier, more involved process, whereas PRP is done purely by injection.

"PRP is thus like the bloods "ambulance" - packed with over 20 factors which not only cause clotting when needed, but can dampen inflammation and reduce pain while also triggering repair processes. Instead of delivering just one signal as common drugs do, they provide a factory of helpers.

"Stem Cell Therapy to heal sports and other injuries has proven to be a great success in clinical trials in the USA and UK, and its our aim to ensure this leading edge therapy is available in New Zealand," said Professor Boyd.

"Our task as researchers is to understand how the body develops in the embryo, is maintained in adults and how it tries to trigger its own repair in disease states.

World-class stem cell centre for Queenstown

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