Frequently Asked Questions About Stem Cell Therapy at the Clinic

1. What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a therapeutic approach that harnesses the capabilities of specific cell types to alleviate symptoms associated with various health conditions. Stem cells are renowned for their regenerative potential and ability to naturally modulate the immune system through internal cell-signalling mechanisms. 

2. Is it suitable for treating my disease/health condition?

The number of health conditions that may benefit from stem cell treatment includes neurological and autoimmune disorders, musculoskeletal injuries, metabolic syndrome, skin diseases, and other conditions related to the damage of tissues or cells. Our medical advisors will evaluate your case to make a prognosis about the possible outcome of the therapy.

3. What are the expected results of undergoing this therapy? 

In most cases, stem cell therapy is able to relieve pain, decrease inflammation, heal the affected areas and/or improve motor and cognitive functions, depending on the specific condition. However, the extent of improvements resulting from cell-based therapy can vary among patients due to factors such as the nature and duration of the disease, the severity of the symptoms, the number of procedures performed, and other individual factors.

4. Is it a guaranteed cure?

Stem cell treatment should not be regarded as a miraculous solution, but rather as an alternative approach worthy of consideration. For hard-to-treat and rare conditions, it can contribute to symptom alleviation, enhance overall quality of life, and slow down disease progression. For more common health conditions, it has the potential to improve the symptoms significantly. 

5. What is the typical timeframe for observing improvements following this therapy?

In numerous instances, patients experience noticeable improvements within the initial days of stem cell treatment. However, it is important to recognize that it takes time for the introduced stem cells to reach the affected areas and facilitate the healing process. As a result, the full therapeutic effect typically becomes apparent later – most likely within a few months after discharge – and will last from 6 to 12 months (in general).

6. What are the adverse reactions of stem cell therapy?

The safety profile of the stem cells utilised at the Clinic has been validated through extensive research and clinical trials. Nonetheless, it is important to note that some patients may experience minor side effects shortly after the introduction of the cells, typically within the first few hours or days. These may include short-term fever, redness at the injection sites, weakness, or headache.

7. What are the contraindications for the therapy?

While stem cell therapy is generally well-tolerated and associated with no serious side effects, there are certain contraindications to consider for the procedure. These encompass conditions such as cancer, acute infections, prior negative experiences with cell-based treatments, mental disorders, and several other specific circumstances. For this reason, we assess each patient’s medical history and individual suitability for the therapy to ensure optimal safety and efficacy.

8. Are the cells used in this therapy derived from my own body or donated from external sources?

At the Clinic, we offer the option to utilise both autologous (patient’s own) and allogeneic (from donated tissues) stem cells. In the case of autologous stem cells, additional time is required to harvest, cultivate, and prepare the cells before therapy can commence. Conversely, when using donated cells, treatment can be initiated immediately, eliminating the need for the cell harvesting procedure and associated anesthesia. The choice between these two approaches depends on individual circumstances and medical considerations, which our medical professionals will assess to determine the most suitable course of action.

9. What is the source of stem cells for the therapy?

Stem cells can be obtained from various tissues in the body. Significant quantities of stem cells are present in bone marrow, adipose (fat) tissue (either from the patient or donated), as well as in umbilical cords and placentas obtained with consent following a healthy delivery. Once harvested, the cells undergo processing and are then stored in a bank until they are required for treatment.

10. Is there a risk of rejection when administering stem cells?

The type of cells that is used at the Clinic is known to be immune-privileged. This means that they are not rejected by the immune system of a recipient even in the case they are donated. Unlike other therapies that use other protocols and types of stem cells, the introduction of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) avoids the risk of rejection.

11. Is there a possibility of cancer development associated with the use of stem cell therapy?

At our Clinic, we exclusively utilise mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for therapy. It’s important to note that these stem cells are derived from adult tissues and not from fetuses or embryos. Consequently, MSCs do not possess the capacity for uncontrolled differentiation and tumor formation. Extensive research has demonstrated the safety profile of these MSCs, providing reassurance regarding their use in therapeutic applications.

12. What is the procedure of stem cell therapy?

The approach uses cell-based medications that are prepared in laboratories for clinical use only. They may contain stem cells or exosomes which are secreted by these cells. During the therapy, these cell-based drugs are administered through various routes – intravenously, locally, via inhalation, etc., according to the medical needs of each patient.

13. Is it necessary for me to remain at the clinic during the course of the treatment? If so, what is the expected duration of the stay?

The duration of your stay at the Clinic can vary, ranging from several days to several weeks, depending on factors such as the treatment goals, the number of procedures necessary, and the specific condition being addressed. We strive to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for patients, offering cozy rooms that resemble a home-like setting rather than a traditional hospital setting. Additionally, we understand the importance of emotional support, and you are more than welcome to have your loved ones accompany you during the treatment process.

14. What is the cost of the treatment?

The innovative nature of stem cell treatment often contributes to its higher cost, making it less affordable for some individuals. The overall cost of the therapy encompasses several stages, including the harvesting, storage, processing, and introduction of cells at the Clinic. Additionally, the cost reflects the expertise and efforts of various specialists involved, including regenerative medicine specialists and other healthcare professionals who play a crucial role in ensuring the success and safety of the treatment. While the expenses associated with stem cell treatment can be significant, it is important to consider the potential benefits and long-term value it may provide in improving health and quality of life.

15. What is the process for enrolling in the treatment programme?

Before undergoing treatment, it is a standard procedure at the Clinic to have a thorough discussion with a medical advisor. During this consultation, you will have the opportunity to present your case and provide relevant medical reports. The doctors will carefully evaluate your medical history and condition to assess the appropriateness and potential effectiveness of the therapy for your specific health condition. Following this evaluation, a personalised treatment programme will be created for you, including available dates for your arrival at the Clinic. This ensures that your treatment plan is tailored to your individual needs and maximises the chances of a successful outcome.

16. Is it safe for me to visit Serbia?

Yes – it is completely safe. You can read more details here.

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Please, contact our medical advisors for further details regarding stem cell therapy for your personal health condition.

Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina
Dr. Aleksandra Fetyukhina, MD

Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor

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