Current Stem Cell Treatment for Scleroderma

The Panama College of Cell Science offers the only 3 year online Ph.D. program in stem cell biology in the world. The mission of the College is to train physicians, bio-medical research scientists, clinical researchers, and others concerned about the cure and control of our most difficult diseases, in stem cell procedures. We emphasize treatment protocols and therapies using adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are the only class of stem cells shown to have a therapeutic effect, and are the cells accepted and used internationally to treat various debilitating diseases. Almost every kind of debilitating disease or condition can be cured, controlled, or improved through the use of autologous stem cells harvested from the patient, fetal stem cells form aborted fetuses (as offered in Mexico), and unbilical cord blood stem cells from normal births. These are the three sources of stem cells used internationally.

More particularly, the best source of autologous stem cells is harvested from a patient’s belly fat. This is referred to as the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), and contains many goodies in addition ot stem cells, such as numerous growth hormones, stimulating and activating factors, endothelial cells, cytokines and many other molecules available in the “soup” that promote successful therapy.

The Current Treatment Protocol Involves the Preparation of Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) from mini-lyposuction of abdominal belly fat. This stem cell fraction, full of mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells which boost stem cell activity, is the main stem cell fraction being used worldwide. The lyposate is processed which takes an hour or so, then the cells are re-injected IV into the patient. This procedure is so simple yet powerful, it is being used now in all sorts of debilitating diseases, including all the auto-immune diseases such as scleroderma. 

SVF is referred to as “Liquid Gold”. This “soup” of material isolated from fatty tissue includes many cytokines and growth factors useful in therapy. We know that endothelial cells have been shown to work in harmony with stem cells to help grow them in large numbers. Endothelial cells are included. We know that cytokines and unknown growth factors help in therapy, which , in other types of treatment centers, is why a soup of fetal tissue is so effective in therapy. Cytokines and growth factors are included. Many other beneficial cells are also included in this Vascular Fraction Cellular Composition: 

Adult autologous stem cells (Mesenchymal) Endothelial Cells
Growth Factors
Pericytes Preadipocytes cells

Smooth muscle cells
Blood Cells from the capillaries supply including: B&T cells
Hematopoietic stem cells
Endothelial progenitor cells
Mast Cells
Natural killer (NK) cells 

As you can see, you get way more goodies with the SVF than you would ever receive from stem cells purchased from a stem cell bank that are not your own. 

The reason we always say “International” centers is because these “new medicine” therapies have been blocked in the US for over 20 years and are still effectively blocked. In the US, allowing a physician to treat his/her own patients with their own stem cells is a no-no. Only “off the shelf” stem cell products, such as bare banked stem cells or equally ineffective “exosome” preparations are allowed. There has never been any research study to date describing any effective treatment using these banked cell products in the US. And no one overseas uses banked stem cells when fresh cells and activators can be directly harvested from and used on a patient. The FDA approved off the shelf products are expensive and don’t work.

A few brave physicians in the US have tried to maintain a small practice using SVF, but their numbers seem to be dwindling. Some have opened Mexican clinics to treat their patients due to pressure by the FDA. 

So we want to emphasize first, that Scleroderma is treatable through stem cell therapy; and second, to look at a couple of small US clinics that were treating the disease prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. A patient can always find treatment for this disease overseas. Thailand has excellent facitlities and is a world leader. Mexico has various excellent centers operated by US physicians. Panama has an excellent center, as does the Bahamas. If you research for clinics overseas, you will find a wealth of information. 

You need to know this: Scleroderma is treatable and controllable

The other thing to note about the US, is that stem cell therapy NEVER involves chemotherapy. So, if you are a patient, no need to be researching what Dr. Burt is doing at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, which uses “myeloablative” therapy, incorrectly labeled as stem cell therapy.

As Dr. Neil Riordan [Panama Stem Cell Institute] observed 12 years ago when discussing stem cell therapy of scleroderma: “Mesenchymal stem cells do not need myeloablation for efficacy”. He discusses the Northwestern myeloblative treatments here: 

“Therefore, certainly with autologous (in which the donor and recipient are the same person) adult stem cell therapy, there is no risk of immune rejection so there is no need to destroy the immune system with chemotherapy; but even with many types of allogeneic (in which the donor and recipient are not the same person) adult stem cell therapy, such as with “immune privileged” “universal donor” stem cells, there is also no need to destroy the immune system with chemotherapy. 

Nevertheless, for clinical trials such as those conducted at Northwestern University, the autologous adult stem cell therapies offer tangible improvement – at least for those patients who survive the life-threatening destruction of their immune systems from the chemotherapy. One can only conclude, therefore, as has already been demonstrated by other doctors at other clinics [outside the US], that patients would exhibit even greater and faster improvement if they did not have to recover from the deliberate destruction of their immune systems prior to receiving the stem cell therapy. Additionally, other clinical evidence indicates that even greater patient improvement would be seen if the stem cell therapy would utilize the “superior proliferative potential” of the adult stem cells that are found in umbilical cord blood”.

As of August 2019, Dr. Kristin Comella’s clinic in Florida was treating scleroderma with good results. Laboratory staff reported: “We would be happy to discuss how we treat our Scleroderma patients, and the expectations for healing. We have had tremendous results with patients suffering from this condition…We actually have treated Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) with benefit. Again, the key is going to be in the repeat dosing. Anything administered IV passes through the heart and lungs first, so this is often where we see the first benefits.” 

Currently, Dr. Melvin Propos at the South Florida Stem Cell Center has been using the SVF fraction for many auto-immune diseases and based on his website, it appears that he believes that the SVF stem cell preparation from the patient’s fatty tissue has the best curative potential for all of the autoimmne diseases including scleroderma. 

Okyanos Center for Regenerative Medicine in the Bahamas: offers the cadillac of stem cell therapy in an excellently equipped center. They harvest and use the preferred SVF fraction: and specifically note the treatment of scleroderma on their website: 

Unfortunately, their cost is $28,000. Great treatment, but expensive. 

Stem Cell Therapy Of Las Vegas & Medical Spa: Dr. Lambert R. Abeyatunge MD, a surgeon with 50 years experience, last 5 years practice limited to stem cell therapy. Dr. Abey is very enthusiastic about the wonders of stem cells who believes that the therapy should work for scleroderma. Although his website lists SVF and bone marrow sources, he apparently prefers  to use 30 million stem cells derived from placental tissue, cultured, and purchased from a stem cell bank. Along with this, he adds Whartons Jelly (another cryopreserved product from newborn placentas) as well as exosomes also purchased. He then resuspends the entire mixture in teh patient’s Platelet Rich Plasma for injection. It is an interesting mixture.      

In addition, as we stated above, most international centers treat scleroderma routinely. One Italian paper titled: “Human Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells for Cell-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis” reported on the treatement of systemic scleroderma, where treatement was limited to the skin, reporting  “All patients showed arrest of local disease progression (100%)”.  Italianpaper2013

Another Italian paper from 2017, “Combined platelet rich plasma and lipofilling treatment provides great improvement in facial skin-induced lesion regeneration for scleroderma patients” found promising results, stating: “Clinical outcome evaluations have highlighted a widespread and progressive improvement in morphological and functional malar and perioral alterations. Our re- sults suggest that this combined treatment could be considered promising for SSc patients.” ItalianPaper2017

In conclusion, successful results worldwide are being achieved using adult stem cells and additional activating and stimulatory factors contained within the fatty tissue stem cell fraction known as the “stromal vascular fraction” (SVF). Scleroderma, as most every autoimmune disease, can be cured or controlled with stem cell therapy. While the mechanism of action is not fully known, leading many skeptics to opine that the treatment is “not proven”, the mode of action most likely results form the immunomodulating effects of the SVF. In any event, just like with the quinine analog (hydroxychloroquine) that works for the Covid-19 virus even though the exact mechanism of action is not known, this does not make the treatment “unproven”. Whoever said that a procedure, shown to be effective and useful, should not be used because the mechanism of action is not known at the molecular level?? Only in the US. 

If you suffer from scleroderma, get yourself to someone treating the disease and stop listening to those that don’t know what is going on in the world of stem cell medicine, or worse, who are bent on blocking you from these useful treatments. Scleroderma is a treatable disease!

Panama College of Cell Science
(Since 2005)

3 Year Online Stem Cell Biology PhD


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