Regenerate. Repair. Restore.

Stem Cells Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, uses human mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MCSCs) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.        

Stem cell treatment has been found to be promising for various autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and it has shown to help improve the following RA symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling, warmth and redness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

What do we know about rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints. It causes the destruction of the articular cartilage, resulting in pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the synovial membrane (the healthy tissue membrane that surrounds the joints).

The immune system is supposed to protect healthy tissue from foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and germs. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, resulting in inflammation and thickening of the synovium, eventually destroying the cartilage and bone within the joint.

As the tendons and ligaments holding the joint together get damaged, the joint is no longer supported. In approximately 40% of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation can affect more than just the joints. This condition also affects non-joint structures such as the skin, eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, nerve tissue, bone marrow, the heart, and lungs.

Although the exact cause of the disease is unknown, researchers believe it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of developing other serious health problems, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infections
  • Lung disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis

Despite advances in FDA approved treatments, the following issues continue to exist:

  • Up to 30% of patients fail to respond to current treatment options
  • Even with the resolution of inflammation, joint injury may persist
  • Joints that have already been damaged will not heal, but further damage may occur

What are researchers investigating? Can stem cell therapy improve the symptoms of RA?

Researchers are focusing on developing treatment options that would not only treat the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, but also repair and replace the damaged tissue while reducing inflammation and preventing future tissue damage. Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis has been found to be safe.4,5 In two clinical trials, 225 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were investigated for the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells. Results showed patients treated with mesenchymal stem cells had better efficacy than those patients in the control arms. 4,6,7 Research is ongoing, but with the urgent need for more effective treatments for Rheumatoid arthritis, particularly for those patients with the more progressive forms of the disease, the Stem Cells Transplant Institute believes the potential of all types of cell therapies must be explored. As of March 20th, 2019, ( showed 6 ongoing clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis in Human Body Illustrated

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
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins
  • 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
umbilical cord donations
Intravenus Administration

How Are the Stem Cells Collected?

Our clinic focuses on obtaining healthy stem cells exclusively from umbilical cord blood donors. We collect the placenta once the baby is born, with the parent’s informed consent. Additionally, we follow strict ethical guidelines and collect stem cells from reliable and reputable sources.

How Are the Stem Cells Administered?

Our nursing staff administers the stem cells through an intravenous and intra-pulmonary route. For the most effective outcomes, intravenous administration is preferred.

About the Stem Cells Transplant Institute

Our clinic is located in Costa Rica, which is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for stem cell therapy. At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we have a skilled team of doctors and medical professionals who collect and administer stem cells to treat autism and other conditions. Every patient receives the most cost-effective and top-notch care from our dedicated team.

Scientific References:

  1. Xin Yan, Yurong, Cen, Qin Wang. Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate experimental rheumatoid arthritis through microRNA-regulated IκB expression. Scientific Reports | 6:28915 | DOI: 10.1038/srep28915 (2016)
  2. Straub, R. H. Rheumatoid arthritis: Stress in RA: a trigger of proinflammatory pathways? Nat Rev Rheumatol 10, 516–518
  3. De Bari. Are mesenchymal stem cells in rheumatoid arthritis the good or bad guys? Arthritis Research & Therapy (2015) 17:113
  4. A.G. Kay et al. Chapter 8 Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in Rheumatoid ArthritisP. Van Pham (ed.), Bone and Cartilage Regeneration, Stem Cells in Clinical Applications,149-176.
  5. Iyer SS, Rojas M. Anti-infl ammatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells: novel concept for future therapies. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2008;8(5):569–81.
  6. Alvaro-Gracia JM, Jover JA, Garcia-Vicuña R, Carreño L, Alonso A, Marsal S, et al. Phase IB/Iia study on intravenous administration of expanded allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells in refractory rheumatoid arthritis patients (abstract). Arthritis Rheum. 2013;65(Suppl 10):2644. doi:10.1002/art.2013.65.issue-s10.
  7. Wang L, et al. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell therapy for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: safety and efficacy. Stem Cells Dev. 2013;22(24):3192–202. doi:10.1089/ scd.2013.0023.