The closest and best researched stem cells centers (that infuse autologous, mesenchymal or umbilical cord stem cells) that I know patients have benefited from include:
1) CellTex in Mexico–Which will cost $20-40,000 per infusion plus an initial $5000 evaluation fee;
2) The Stem Cell Institute in Panama. There, the stem cells come from the afterbirth (placenta and umbilical cord) of healthy new born infants. Future patients will also be given their own stem cells derived from belly fat in addition to the afterbirth stem cells.
3) Dr. Estrada in Monterrey who uses umbilical stem cells and also includes ozone treatments for the blood.
Though it’s early yet to know the full benefit of the stem cell
transfusions or how long such benefits will last, initial results range from good to spectacular. This has prompted several CFS/ME patients to seek out stem cell therapy on their own.
Dr. Cheney has three concerns regarding CFS/ME patients undergoing stem cell therapy.
Re-Boot Gene Expression with Cell Signaling Factors
Dr. Cheney believes that better and longer lasting results will be
obtained from stem cell therapy if patients first shift or “re-boot”
their gene expression to a more normal genetic expression. “Gene
expression” may not make sense to some, so here’s a simple explanation.
Individual genes are either “on” or “off”. If they are off, something
may trigger them into turning on, such as diet, environmental exposures, pathogens, toxins, stress, etc. Once on, it’s a matter of degree, like a dimmer switch. They can be on just a little, on moderately, or on all the way.
In all chronic illnesses, the body attempts to compensate or adapt to the illness. Doing so shifts the gene expression. The gene expression of a person with CFS/ME is far from normal – it reflects the illness. The overall gene expression is difficult to change. Even if you address the underlying cause(s) of an illness, it can take months or even years for the body to realize the illness is gone and allow the gene expression to gradually shift back to normal.
A great example of this is Dr. Cheney’s own heart transplant made
necessary by a diagnosis of idiopathic cardiomyopathy. After two years of increasingly severe symptoms, the underlying problem of heart failure was corrected surgically in a matter of hours. However, even after an outstandingly successful transplant, a resulting cardiac output of someone in their 20’s, and time to recover from the surgery itself, Dr. Cheney’s functional capacity was still very much what it had been before the transplant. He asked his doctors why he still felt so incapacitated. One doctor told him, “Well, your body adapted to the reality of a failing heart in order to survive and now that your heart is fixed, it will take a year or two for your body to re-adapt back to the reality of your new heart.”
In other words, all chronic illness always has two problems to solve: the problem at the core of the illness and the adaptation the body makes to survive. The first can sometimes be fixed very quickly (hours to weeks) but the latter takes time. There is no “hours to weeks fix” to the second problem of adaptation because it becomes programmed into one’s gene expression, also known as phenotype.
Finally, In a conversation with Dr Cheney, he indicated that although younger patients held onto their gains after stem cells treatments, CFIDS patients over the age of 50 did not in his small cohort.