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Stem Cell Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cannot be considered a cure, but recent data has shown promising results. Mesenchymal stem cells can significantly help RA patients by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the immune system.

man with rheumatoid arthritis holding wrist
The Condition

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis​?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects more than just the joints. The illness can harm a range of body systems in some people, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

RA is an autoimmune condition that arises when your immune system erroneously targets your own body’s tissues.

Unlike osteoarthritis, which causes wear and tear on your joints, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing severe swelling that can eventually lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. The inflammation caused by RA can also harm other sections of the body. While modern drugs have significantly improved treatment choices, severe RA can still cause physical limitations.

RA causes the immune system to generate cellular and antibody responses to various components of the joint such as type I collagen. As a result of this immune response, not only does joint destruction occur, but also other secondary complications such as pulmonary fibrosis, renal damage, and even heart damage.

Stem Cells, we know why

How does stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis work?

While recent data has shown promising results, stem cell therapy can not be considered a “cure” for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  However, mesenchymal stem cells can significantly help RA patients by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the immune system.

Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune inflammatory condition, may benefit from mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Stem cells have the unrivaled potential to transform into any cell in the body. This is known as differentiation. 

Intravenous administration of stem cells can be used to locate and mend damaged tissue throughout the body. Stem cells may be able to heal damaged tissue in RA sufferers, reducing pain and increasing mobility. This impact can be ascribed to mesenchymal stem cells’ anti-inflammatory capabilities.

doctor checking x-ray of man with osteoarthritis
Stem Cell Therapy Safety

Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis - a safe treatment option

Besides healing damaged tissues, stem cells have the unique ability to modulate the immune system so as to shut off pathological responses while preserving ability to fight off disease.

Stem cells, specifically mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), migrate to inflamed tissue and begin generating anti-inflammatory molecules. These mediators work locally and do not dampen the patient’s overall immune response. Furthermore, MSCs stimulate the creation of T regulatory cells, a type of immune cell that protects the organism against immunological self-attack.

A recent study on MSCs for rheumatoid arthritis (Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: Safety and Efficacy) found that MSCs reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-, both of which are temporarily targeted by many current RA treatments.

Through administration of umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells, we have observed improvements in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated at our facilities.

Unleash The Power. Feel The Difference.

Stemwell Rheumatoid Arthritis Procedure

Stemwell uses cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells ethically sourced from full-term human umbilical cords (We do not utilize cells from embryos). We then administer more than 300 million cells that are all thoroughly tested for viability before treatment. These cells are NOT a blood product; therefore, it is extremely safe and does not require HLA or phenotypic matching.

Eligibility

Find out if you qualify for our mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) infusion by completing our secure, HIPAA-compliant qualification form

First Step

The patient undergoes an initial evaluation and blood work by Stemwell’s doctor.

Second Step

Endovenous detox therapy applied to patient 

 

Third Step

Stem Cell IV Infusion Therapy + localized Autologous stem cell injections in trigger pain points under sedation

Fourth Step

Hyperbaric Chamber therapy – Hyperbaric oxygen reduces inflammation, oxygenates injured muscle, and regenerates skeletal muscle via macrophage and satellite cell activation.

Fifth Step

Photobiomodulation (PBM Therapy) –  the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound and soft tissue healing, reduce inflammation and give relief for both acute and chronic pain.

*Each Protocol is customized to the patient depending their medical and surgical history 

This protocol information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, is for general information purposes only.

Stem Cells Rejection

Will the patient reject this type of stem cell?

Because the body’s immune system cannot distinguish umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as foreign, they are not rejected. Our doctors have administered MSCs hundreds of times and there has never been a single incidence of rejection (graft vs. host disease). In practice, allogeneic (not from the patient) MSCs are approved for the treatment of graft vs. host disease in Canada and New Zealand.

Umbilical cord-derived MSCs also proliferate and differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat and, therefore, they are considered to be more “potent”.

Stem Cells Administration

How are the stem cells administered for rheumatoid arthritis treatment?

They are typically given intravenously (IV) over the course of a few days.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis

Can’t find an answer? Please contact us.

We are happy to help. 

By repairing damaged tissues and modulating the immune response in rheumatoid arthritis, patients may experience: 

  • improved symptoms such as better mobility
  • pain relief and less inflammation
  • stabilization of the disease, reducing disease progression rate
  • better quality of life. ‍

More research is necessary to determine the true effectiveness of stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Research using mesenchymal stem cells to treat rheumatoid arthritis has found that stem cells have immunomodulatory potential (helping to stabilize the immune response). Clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis patients demonstrated that stem cell therapy led to a reduction in inflammatory markers, as well as improvements in clinical symptoms, joint functioning, and quality of life1.

However, there are often several differences in the administration or type of stem cells used, as well as a wide disparity in the patients being treated. So, while stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis looks promising, it’s important to remember that it’s still an experimental approach, and larger controlled studies are needed.

1. Babaahmadi, M., Tayebi, B., Gholipour, N.M. et al. (2023). Rheumatoid arthritis: the old issue, the new therapeutic approach. Stem Cell Res Ther 14, 268.

You may be able to combine stem cell therapy with other treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plan.

The time it takes to witness results after stem cell therapy can range between rheumatoid arthritis patients. In most people, it can take a few months to see or feel changes, as the process of tissue regeneration and repair is slow. While we can’t predict the exact timeline for outcomes, we continuously monitor each patient after treatment.

Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis is usually administered intravenously. Some people may experience some mild discomfort during stem cell therapy due to a normal inflammatory response that happens as part of the treatment. This may include a mild fever, fatigue, or a headache. Some stem cell therapy can also be administered locally, directly into joints which are painful or inflamed. This can cause some mild swelling or pain at the injection site. 

However, these responses are temporary and can be easily controlled. In general, stem cell therapy is not painful.

Stem cell therapy isn’t a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. The deformities in the joints caused by the disease are not reversible.

However, by reducing inflammation and modulating the immune system, stem cell therapy may be able to offer dramatic improvements in quality of life and daily functioning for years after treatment. It may also reduce the speed at which rheumatoid arthritis progresses. 

The longevity of stem cell therapy varies greatly between individuals and more research is needed to understand how long the treatment usually lasts.

There isn’t a ‘set price’ for stem cell therapy, as it often depends on lots of individual factors. At Stemwell, we believe in tailoring treatment plans to each individual to ensure we can offer the very best results for your unique condition. You can find out more about how stem cell therapy may be able to help you by contacting us or apply today to check your eligibility.