Makati Medical Center now offering stem cell therapy

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THE MAKATI Medical Center’s Cancer Center celebrated its first year anniversary and marked the occasion with the launch of its Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory. Present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Dr. Eric Flores, head, Spine Clinic and Stem Cell Lab; Rosalie Montenegro, Makati Medical Center president and CEO; Dr. ManuelO. Fernandez Jr., executive vice president and director, Professional Services; Dr. Remedios G. Suntay, director and treasurer, MDI Board; Dr. Benjamin N. Alimurung, medical director; Dr. Francis Chung, scientific officer, Stem Cell Lab; and Augusto P. Palisoc Jr., executive director, president and CEO, MPIC Hospital Group.

MAKATIMED’S Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory is managed by experienced scientists with extensive training and is affiliated with the International Society for Cellular Therapy.

Stem cell therapy is now being offered at Makati Medical Center (MMC) as potential cure for a wide range of illnesses, from various types of cancer and heart ailments to incurable diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Stem cell therapy is believed to be effective in bone marrow transplant for leukemia patients, and with early intervention, yields desirable results among renal and prostate cancer patients.

Launched in the first year anniversary of the hospital’s cancer center, MMC’s Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory is equipped with technology touted to be “totally unmatched in our country,” says Dr. Francis Chung, scientific officer of the lab. “No system exists elsewhere.”

Employing the strictest sterility standards at par with that of the US Food and Drug Administration, the lab has state-of-the-art facilities. The Clinimacs CD34 Reagent System is a machine that isolates specific cells needed for the procedure, while the Flow Cytomer ensures the purity of  cultured cells.

Transplantation

Sourcing the  stem cells, however, is what truly sets the Philippines’ premier health institution apart from chi-chi spas that also push stem cell therapy for beauty and anti-aging procedures.

At MMC, healthy stem cells  are acquired from the patients themselves, a process known as autologous transplantation. For those suffering from an ailment, a parent, sibling or other close relative could be the  donor. The hospital strives for utmost compatibility between patient and donor through a 10-point DNA matching system.

If a battery of tests finds a patient to be up to it, medication is given to prepare him for stem cell harvest.

FITTED with world-class equipment from Germany, Japan and the US, the lab offers a wide range of services.

Under anesthesia, a patient has his stem cells collected, either through his vein or bone marrow. The cells are then cultured and multiplied, and re-administered or injected into  a patient.

Side effects, if any, are few: soreness in the injection site, fever and flu-like symptoms.

Improvements arising from a stem cell treatment may be seen in two weeks or in a month.

Neurosurgeon Eric Flores has witnessed near-miraculous results from stem cell therapy in his capacity as assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.

He says it is “the future of medicine. Particularly in stem cell rescue, the success rate is very high. And children’s response to treatment is fantastic.”

Interestingly, the hospital reveals plans to use stem cell therapy in beauty procedures. According to Dr. Flores, who heads MMC’s Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory, a collaboration with Dr. Manuel Fernandez, head of MMC’s Aesthetic Center, will  allow specialists to reconstruct a cancer survivor’s breast, with the use of her own cells.

For more information on stem cell therapy, visit MMC’s Cellular Therapeutics Lab, 6/F Tower 2, Makati Medical Center, Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati, or call 8888999.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • GKLer

    It says:  “Employing the strictest sterility standards at par with that of the US Food and Drug Administration, the lab has state-of-the-art facilities”

    You mean the same FDA that lets e.coli into peanut butter and beef?

  • AdyMarty

    sana makatubo ng hair sa nakakalbo

  • Diepor

    First, the preparation of embryonic stem cells from a living embryo requires the destruction of the embryo, which the Church teaches is a gravely immoral act.
    Second, some scientists have used cloning to produce embryos in order to harvest stem cells. While these embryos are not created in the normal manner, the Church recognizes that they, too, are alive, and their destruction is gravely immoral.
    Third, the Church opposes the use of embryonic stem-cell lines that already exist for the same reason that She opposes the creation of new lines: Those lines began with the destruction of innocent human life.

  • intsikbeho

    me wonders makano binayad ng makati med kay erap to make an article about this and his youth

  • imongredneck

    We should go easy with this technology. This is still fraught with “bugs and fixes”, but I’m glad the Philippines is joining in, I hope in capable hands.

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