Information for patients
Retinitis Pigmentosa treatment with autologous stem cells from your own bone marrow.
What is Retinitis Pigmentosa? 1Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of genetic eye conditions. In the progression of symptoms of R.P., night blindness generally procedes tunnel vision by years or even decades. Many people with RP do not become legally blind until their 40s or 50s; natu-rally retaining some sight all their life. Others go completely blind, in some cases as early as child-hood. Progression of RP is differs from case to case.RP is a type of hereditary retinal dystrophy. Retinal dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders in which abnormalities of the photoreceptors (rods and cones) or the retinal pigment epithelium of the retina lead to progressive visual loss. Affected individuals first experience defective night vision or nyctalopia, followed by reduction of the peripheral visual field and, sometimes, loss of central vision late in the course of the disease.
Diagnosis The diagnosis of RP relies upon documentation of progressive loss in photoreceptor function by electroretinography (ERG) and visual field testing. RPâ€™s mode of inheritance is determined by family history.
Symptoms SymptomsRP starts often with night sight difficulties and later night blindness. The patient experience a narrow vision, and later on a progressive loss of central vision.
The Cells4health Retinitis Pigmentosa treatment
About Stem Cells The discovery of the stem cell has lead to a revolution in modern medicine. Stem cells are in fact, the â€œsmart cellsâ€? of our bodies. These cells migrate to injured areas within the body and transform themselves into new tissue cells that replace the damaged ones. The body repairs itself by continuously producing new cells and tissues in this manner.
Stem cells have the capacity to multiply and to renew themselves almost indefinitely. This contrasts with nerve cells, muscle cells and blood cells, which cannot multiply themselves and have limited life spans. Stem cells can also develop into specialized cells. Liver
Adult Stem Cell
Skeletal muscle Brain Bone marrow
Stem Cell Blood cell
The entire procedure consists of the following phases: eligibility, stem cell collection and processing, stem cell treatment, and follow up. Objectives ObjectivesThe possibility that stem cells can replace dead photo-receptors is one of the most fascinating hypotheses.There is also the vascular problem connected to Retinitis Pigmentosa, by which the retinal vessels progressively become ischemic; resulting in decrea-sing supply of oxygen and nutrients. In this case, we theorize that the stem cells could reactivate the retinal vascular circulation with a subsequent incre-ase of retinal oxygenation. The above will finally lead to an improved individual vision.
Stem Cell e.g., hematopoietic stem cell
Cardiac muscle Neuron
Specialized Cell (e.g., neuron)
These pictures show the Bone Marrow Collection Procedure
If you meet the following conditions, you are eligible for treatment: - Retinitis Pigmentosa diagnosed from your ophthal mologist possibly supported by OCT, Electroretinog raphy (ERG), Fluorangiograpies and Retinographies - Our medical team approves your specific case for treatment
Bone Marrow Collection Procedure
- Your bone marrow contains a sufficient quantity of viable stem cells. This is assessed during the processing phase.
Disinfection of the collection site
Application of local anesthetic
Needle insertion into the hip bone (iliac crest)
Stem Cell Collection and Processing Prior to scheduling bone marrow collection, you will be asked to fill out the patient consent form. This form grants explicit written permission for bone marrow collection. You must discontinue using any blood diluting medications at least 10 days before your collection date. You should consult your physician before discontinuing the use of blood diluting drugs. When we greet you on the collection day, we’ll have everything prepared to begin collection and make it comfortable for you. Our physician will collect approximately 150 – 200 ml of bone marrow from your hip bone. Stem cell collection is performed as an out-patient procedure under local anesthesia in sterile conditions. It is comparable in pain to a dentist visit. During the collection, you will barely feel the needle insertion into your hip bone. Afterwards, the collection site might look like a “blue spot” and be a bit painful for 3 – 4 days. Normally, there are no other side-effects. Theoretically, there is a small risk of infection. We minimize this risk by working in a sterile environment.
Within 24 hours, the stem cell samples are processed and quality tested by a highly specialized laboratory in totally sterile, clean room conditions. Since they are kept in sterile tubes and never come into contact with the air, these samples cannot be contaminated. Bone marrow processing and quality testing consists of: - Stem cell isolation – stem cells are separated from the red blood cells and blood plasma. - Stem cell counting - Stem cell vitality measurement - Stem cell processing results are documented in an analysis report. The result is positive if: - There are more than two million (2,000,000) CD34+ stem cells present. - The CD34+ stem cells have a vitality greater than 80% - Positive isolated stem cell samples are stored in sterile tubes at -196°C in liquid nitrogen.
Stem Cell Implantation
Your high-quality stem cell sample will be implanted behind/or into the eye depending to the different stage of the disease, under local anesthesia per injection or via eye drops.
- Simple - Out patient - Low overall risk
Note: If your bone marrow sample is negative or the stem cells cannot be administered due to unforeseen medical circumstances, you will only be required to pay charges incurred to that point. In the case of a negative bone marrow sample, it might be possible to schedule another bone marrow collection.
Follow-up Possible Adverse Events from the treatment Patients may experience intense red eye caused by the subconjunctival introduction of stem cell fluid that naturally contains a small amount of blood cells. This increases eye stimulation and is known in medicine as “self-blood-therapy” (auto-emoterapia). The eye will become normal in 3 - 5 weeks maximum. In very rare instances, this stem cell fluid can migrate down under the eyelid and cause bruising. There is no cause for alarm when “red eye” or eyelid bruising occurs. The body will naturally absorb this excess blood. Actually, this excess blood serves to better stimulate the eye.
Once you have returned home, a member of our medical team will regularly monitor your progress via telephone and email. For your convenience, a telephone “hotline” is always at your disposal. General No additional charges will be incurred unless you are required to extent your stay at the medical center as a result of complications. Costs do not include additional stem cell treatments. If another treatment is necessary, we will discuss potential options with you. You will receive an invoice one week prior to treatment. This invoice must be paid in-full before treatment can begin.