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Stem Cell Therapy

MAVI TOURS - Medical Aesthetics

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are stem cells that have self-renewal, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, signaling, and differentiation properties. The self-renewal capacity of mesenchymal stem cells is characterized by their ability to divide and develop into multiple specialized cell types present in a specific tissue or organ.

These cells can be sourced from a variety of tissues, including adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow, umbilical cord tissue, blood, liver, dental pulp, and skin. The number of cells to be injected and the number of sessions to be undertaken depend on the type and age of the patient, to be decided by the doctors.

Source of Stem Cells

1.1 Autologous stem cells: Autologous stem cell therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic treatment that utilizes an individual’s cells. These cells are harvested, expanded outside the body, and then injected back into the patient’s body. This approach minimizes the risk of systemic immunological reactions, incompatibility, and disease transmission associated with grafts or cells not cultivated from the individual. So far, this form of therapy has been successfully employed in bioengineering skin substitutes, aiding wound healing, countering chronic inflammation, treating burns and pressure ulcers, and improving postoperative healing. Additionally, it is used in the treatment of certain types of cancers.

1.2 Allogeneic stem cells: This is a procedure in which stem cells are transplanted from a donor to a recipient. These could be:

  • Related donor: A close relative who is an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) match can donate stem cells through a blood sample or a bone marrow sample.

  • Unrelated donor: An unrelated donor may be a strong HLA match, and your doctor will have resources for finding unrelated donors.

  • Umbilical cord cells: These are cells collected after birth from the cord attaching the fetus to the placenta, which provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Umbilical cords are stored and preserved. You might have a family member who has preserved umbilical stem cells that are a close match for you, or you could receive umbilical stem cells from an unrelated match.

You doctor will decide what type of stem cell treatment you may require based on your disease, age, type, and stage of your disease.

Stem cell therapy can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Orthopedic issues, such as joint, cartilage damage and spinal cord: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the capability to differentiate into various tissue types, including musculoskeletal tissues. These MSCs can be used to treat various orthopedic issues, including the treatment of damaged bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and intervertebral discs.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)-Children under 12 years: Stem cell therapy for autism can reduce the characteristics of autism, helping improve behavior, anxiety, social skills, communication, speech, and the ability to focus. This treatment aids in mitigating symptoms and addressing other challenges.

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): In kidney disease, stem cell therapy aims to reduce inflammation by modulating the immune system. Additionally, it promotes the replacement of damaged kidney cells with new ones, thereby assisting in the restoration of the kidney's filtering function. This therapy also contributes to an increase in the GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate), which estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli each minute. Glomeruli are the tiny filters in the kidneys responsible for filtering waste from the blood.

  • Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injuries: Stem cells have shown promise in treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and stroke. Stem cell therapy has the potential to slow down, regress, and even stop the progression of Parkinson's disease. The success rate of the treatment depends on the patient's age, the duration of the disease, and the patient's overall condition.

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis: Stem cells possess the ability to transform into cells of damaged organs upon contact with those organs, making them valuable in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Similarly, they are used to address damaged nerves and muscles. Stem cell therapy has demonstrated the potential to slow down, regress, and even halt the progression of autoimmune diseases. The success rate of the treatment depends on the patient's age, the duration of the disease, and the patient's overall condition.

  • Vascular/Heart diseases: Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into new heart muscle cells and blood vessels. This helps repair and regenerate damaged tissue in heart failure. Certain purified stem cell components of normal body fat, when combined in the right proportions and transplanted into the body, will grow into new blood vessels.

  • Eye diseases and retinal disorders: Stem cell treatments appear to offer hope to people with few options to recover vision. This includes people with forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Stem cells offer a unique opportunity to create new, healthy RPE cells to replace the damaged ones and restore vision in these patients.

  • Reproduction and infertility for both female and female: Infertility affects one in seven men of reproductive age worldwide. One treatment for male sterility is spermatogonia stem cell (SSC) therapy. This involves transferring sperm stem cells in the testis to a test tube, culturing them, and nudging them into becoming fully fledged sperm. Stem cell therapy can be beneficial for females experiencing infertility, helping in creating oocytes generation and ovarian cell production. This can significantly increase overall fertility.

  • Hair Care: Stem cell therapy for hair is a non-invasive, regenerative treatment that involves the use of stem cells to stimulate hair growth. Stem cells are cells that can differentiate into different types of cells, and they have the potential to regenerate damaged tissues and can help in the growth of hair.

  • Burn recovery: Stem cell therapy accelerate the  wound healing  process through a series of pathways that seek to promote neo-angiogenesis, collagen deposition and granulation tissue formation. They alter our immune response by decreasing the severity of the inflammatory cascade. This may decrease the risk of infection.

  • Osteoarthritis: Most stem cell treatments use a person's own MSC’s from their bone marrow or fat. Research shows these treatments are very safe for osteoarthritis. Some stem cell treatments use stem cells donated from other people's tissues. MSC’s can turn into cartilage, bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments, or fat, depending on the type of tissue that surrounds them.

  • Skin conditions and wound healing: Stem-cell-based therapeutic strategies have been proposed to treat these wounds. They have shown considerable potential for improving the rate and quality of wound healing and regenerating the skin.

  • Cosmetic applications for anti-aging: Together with anti-aging genes, a stem cell infusion can create a sophisticated shield that can prevent or slow the effects of aging. Increased wear and tear of the body's natural stem cells increases cellular damage and accelerates the natural aging process.

  • Fibromyalgia: Stem cell therapy is a newer treatment option promising in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. By using expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), stem cell therapy can help reduce inflammation and calm the immune system, significantly improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

There are different types of stem cells, including:

Adipose Tissue-Derived MSCs (ADSCs): Adipose tissue-derived MSCs are obtained from the fat tissue of the body, they can be rapidly acquired in large numbers and with high cellular activity through a liposuction procedure.

Characteristics of ADSC’s:

  • Invasive harvesting procedure.

  • Declining effect of age on cell quantity and quantity.

  • Lower potency to differentiate into nerve cells.

  • Lower proliferative potential.

  • Good immune modulatory properties.

  • No allogeneic cell rejection.

  • No ethical issues.

  • No risk of tumorigenicity.

Umbilical Cord Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs): UC-MSCs can be sourced from a variety of areas including Wharton’s Jelly, cord lining, and peri-vascular region of the umbilical cord. As a commonly discarded tissue, the umbilical cord contains a rich source of mesenchymal stromal cells, which are therefore obtained non-invasively.

Umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate into different cell types and have the greatest proliferation rate of the three mentioned types of stem cells (adipose, bone marrow, cord tissue). The MSCs are taken directly from an area of an ethically donated human umbilical cord.

Characteristics of UC-MSC’s:

  • Non-Invasive harvesting procedure.

  • Unaffected by  age on cell quantity and quantity.

  • Higher potency to differentiate into nerve cells.

  • Higher proliferative potential.

  • Good immune modulatory properties.

  • No allogeneic cell rejection.

  • No ethical issues.

  • No risk of tumorigenicity.

Bone Marrow-Derived MSCs (BM-MSC’s): Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs), which are classified as multipotent adult stem cells, are widely used in the treatment of various diseases via their self-renewable, differentiation, and immunomodulatory properties.

Characteristics of BM-MS’s:

  • Invasive harvesting procedure.

  • Declining effect of age on cell quantity and quantity.

  • Lower potency to differentiate into nerve cells.

  • Lower proliferative potential.

  • Good immune modulatory properties.

  • No allogeneic cell rejection.

  • No ethical issues.

  • No risk of tumorigenicity.

MSC’s are widely used in the treatment of various diseases due to their self-renewable, differentiation, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. In-vitro (performed in a laboratory setting) and in-vivo (taking place in a living organism) studies have supported the understanding mechanisms, safety, and efficacy of MSC therapy in clinical applications.

The treatment process involves the isolation/ culture of the stem cells to be injected or transplanted into the patient. The goal is to promote tissue repair, regeneration, or immune system modulation, depending on the condition being treated.

Most of the  countries have regulations and ethical guidelines governing the treatment with stem cells. These regulations are in place to ensure patient safety and ethical standards.

The potential benefits of stem cell therapy include the regeneration of damaged tissue, reduced inflammation, and improved function. However, there are also risks, such as immune rejection, tumor formation, and the potential for unexpected side effects.

Stem cell therapy represents an exciting and evolving field of medicine with the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many diseases and injuries. However, it's important to approach stem cell therapy with caution, ensuring that it is administered by qualified medical professionals and that ethical and safety standards are upheld. Patients should consult with healthcare providers and specialists to determine the suitability of stem cell therapy for their specific medical conditions.

Stem cell therapy in Turkey is becoming increasingly popular, as the country boasts numerous medical facilities and clinics that offer cutting-edge regenerative medicine treatments. These therapies can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including orthopedic issues, neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases, and more. Here's some of the details  about stem cell therapy.

  • Regulations and Accreditation: Turkey has made significant strides in the regulation of stem cell therapy. The Turkish Ministry of Health regulates and monitors medical practices in the country to ensure safety and efficacy. When seeking stem cell therapy in Turkey, it's crucial to choose a facility that complies with these regulations and maintains necessary accreditations. Some treatments requires the prior approval and monitoring by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

  • Insurance: Medical insurance law for foreigners getting medical treatment in Turkey will be mandatory starting 1 January 2024.

  • Advanced Medical Facilities: Turkey is home to many state-of-the-art medical facilities andclinics that offer stem cell therapies. Hospitals and clinics are equipped with modern  technology and staffed by highly trained medical professionals.

  • Cost: Stem cell therapy in Turkey is often more affordable compared to many Western countries. However, the cost can vary depending on the type of therapy, the medical facility, and the specific condition of the patient to be being treated.

  • Turkish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (TUCRIN): TUCRIN along with SomeTurkish Universities, hospitals and researchers are actively involved in stem cell research and clinical trials, contributing to the advancement of stem cell therapies.

  • Consultation: Before undergoing any stem cell therapy in Turkey, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if the treatment is appropriate for your condition and to discuss potential risks and benefits.

  • Treatment Centers: Turkey has numerous medical centers and clinics that provide stem cell therapy for leg and hip issues. These facilities are often equipped with state-of-the-art technology and staffed by skilled medical professionals.

  • Research Institutions: Turkey is home to several research institutions, universities, and medical centers that have established stem cell research laboratories and departments. Some notable institutions in Turkey conducting stem cell research include Hacettepe University, Istanbul University, and Koç University.

  • Basic Research: Turkish scientists and researchers are involved in fundamental stem cell research, studying various types of stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and adult stem cells. They investigate their properties, differentiation capabilities, and potential applications.

  • Clinical Research: Clinical research in Turkey focuses on using stem cell therapies for various medical conditions, including orthopedic issues, neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune diseases, and more. Clinical trials and studies are conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of these treatments.

  • Collaboration: Turkish researchers often collaborate with international stem cell research centers and institutions to share knowledge, technology, and expertise. Such collaborations help advance the field of regenerative medicine.

  • Public and Private Funding: Stem cell research in Turkey receives funding from both public and private sources. The government provides financial support for research projects, and some private organizations and foundations also contribute to stem cell research initiatives.

  • Public Awareness and Education: Efforts are made to raise public awareness about stem cell research and its potential benefits. Education and outreach programs help inform the public and address any misconceptions or ethical concerns.

  • International Conferences and Workshops: Turkey hosts and participates in international conferences and workshops related to stem cell research. These events provide a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration with researchers from around the world.

  • Clinical Application: Stem cell therapy is being explored in the treatment of various medical conditions in Turkey. This includes orthopedic treatments for joint problems, neurological disorders, cardiac conditions, and more.

It's important to note that stem cell research is a rapidly evolving field, and Turkey, like many countries, is actively contributing to advances in regenerative medicine. If you are interested in stem cell research or therapies in Turkey, it's advisable to connect with reputable research institutions and healthcare facilities to stay updated on the latest developments and explore potential opportunities for treatment or participation in clinical trials.

Turkey had established regulations governing the use of stem cell therapy in medical practice. However, please note that regulations and policies can change over time. It's essential to consult the latest sources and, if you are considering stem cell therapy in Turkey, to verify the current regulatory environment with healthcare authorities, clinics, and relevant government agencies. Here are some key aspects of stem cell therapy regulations in Turkey.

  • Regulation by the Turkish Ministry of Health: Stem cell therapy in Turkey is subject to oversight and regulation by the Turkish Ministry of Health. The Ministry establishes guidelines and standards for the use of stem cell therapy in medical practice.

  • Accreditation and Licensing: Medical facilities and clinics that offer stem cell therapy should adhere to specific standards and obtain the necessary licenses and accreditations to provide these treatments. These accreditations help ensure that the facilities meet the required medical and safety standards.

  • Ethical Considerations: Stem cell research and therapy in Turkey are guided by ethical principles. The use of certain types of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, may be subject to stricter ethical regulations. In contrast, the use of adult stem cells is generally more widely accepted. The risks related to stem cell therapies needs to be explained to the potential patients properly particularly if it is related to embryonic stem cell therapy.

  • Informed Consent: Patients receiving stem cell therapy should provide informed consent after receiving comprehensive information about the treatment, potential risks, and benefits.

  • Regulations for Stem Cell Sources: Regulations may dictate the sources of stem cells used in therapy. For example, the use of a patient's own stem cells (autologous) may have different regulatory requirements compared to stem cells from other sources.

  • Clinical Trials: Clinical trials involving stem cell therapy should follow established regulations and guidelines to ensure patient safety and ethical standards.

  • Reporting and Monitoring: Healthcare facilities providing stem cell therapy marequired to maintain records, report adverse events, and monitor patient outcomes, contributing to transparency and safety.

  • Import and Export: If stem cells or stem cell-based products are imported or exported for therapeutic purposes, there may be regulations governing these activities to ensure quality and safety.

  • Collaboration with International Bodies: Turkey may collaborate with internationalorganizations and research entities to align its stem cell therapy regulations with global standards.

Please keep in mind that regulations can evolve, and the information provided here is based on the current information available. It's important to consult with medical professionals and regulatory authorities in Turkey to obtain the most up-to-date information on stem cell therapy regulations and guidelines in the country if you are considering such treatment.

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