Lupus and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your own healthy tissues and organs.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, uses human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus.

The symptoms of lupus will depend on what part of the body is being attacked but the most common symptoms include;

  • Dry eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin lesion
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon (fingers and toes that turn white or blue)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Confusion or memory loss

What do we know about SLE?

Normally the immune system produces antibodies which protect the body from foreign invaders such as; viruses, bacteria and germs. 

In patients with SLE, the immune system malfunctions and is unable to distinguish between, these foreign invaders, and the body’s healthy tissue.

The immune system sends autoantibodies to attack and destroy the healthy tissue.

Approximately 10% of lupus patients will go on to develop the more severe systemic lupus erythematosus.

Lupus is a chronic disease that can range from mild to life threatening.

No two lupus patients are alike, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe, and temporary to permanent. 

Inflammation caused by lupus can affect your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Some patients experience a sudden onset of symptoms, while others may have symptoms that develop slowly.

Current FDA approved treatments decrease inflammation and/or the level of autoimmune activity. Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms and if organs are involved.

Patients with more severe symptoms will be given corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, a monoclonal-antibody or Rituxan.

Patients are rarely cured using standard treatments and life-long treatment is often required.

Prescribed medications are costly, treatment will usually change, finding the right combination of medication can take years, and there is a risk of serious adverse events with all of the treatment options.

Lupus disease

What are researchers investigating and can stem cell therapy improve the symptoms of lupus and SLE?

Physicians in China have evaluated the safety and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell treatments in more than 200 patients unresponsive to standard treatments.

Overall results showed 75% of patients responded to treatment and some patients experienced a reduction of symptoms for up to 24 months.

In a 5 year follow up of 81 patients, 54% of patients continued to achieve complete or partial remission of the disease.

After 6 years, researchers continue to find stem cell therapy to be safe and effective with no severe treatment related adverse events.1-4

Umbilical cord stem cells have been found to be safe in patients with immune disease.

According to ClinicalTrials.gov (https://clinicaltrials.gov) there are currently 8 studies being conducted using hUC-MSCs in patients with SLE and an additional 39 clinical trials in other related autoimmune diseases.

Image from Clinicaltrials.gov 3.20.19 

What is the recommended treatment protocol for SLE at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute?

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends the use of hUC-MSCs for the treatment of Lupus and SLE. For optimal results we recommend a 2-day treatment that will include:

  1. 1cc vial of 30 million mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood
  2. Antioxidant therapy with vitamin C and glutathione
  3. Ozone therapy
  4. Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)

What are the advantages of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells?

  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • hUC-MSC have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult autologous stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They are young and very adaptive
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • Umbilical cord stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days
  • Eliminates the need to collect stem cells from the patient’s fat or hip bone reducing pain and recovery time
Stem Cells Collected

How are the stem cells collected?

We use only umbilical cord stem cells that are derived exclusively from umbilical cord donations. 

The umbilical cord stem cells from are collected after informed consent has been given by the parent, or parents, and only after the delivery of the baby.

The collection follows strict ethical protocols ensuring the stem cells are from safe, reliable sources using a non-invasive, simple and painless procedure.

Once collected, the cord blood is then screened for disease.

About the Stem Cells Transplant Institute

Costa Rica has one of the best healthcare systems in world and is ranked among the highest for medical tourism.

Using the most advanced technologies, the team of experts at The Stem Cells Transplant Institute believe in the potential of stem cell therapy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

We are committed to providing personalized service and the highest quality of care to every patient.