Updated: May 2
DISCLAIMER: At Docere Clinics, we do not treat COVID-19 under any circumstance. The following discussion is purely theoretical toward the future use of stem cells and exosomes.
With the current world wide scare surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians, government bodies, and regulatory agencies are frantically searching for treatments to stop the spread of the virus and successfully treat the most severe cases of this disease. Recently, China has discovered a very promising treatment.
How Coronavirus Attacks and Damages the Body
When a person is infected with the Coronavirus, most of the damage that occurs in the body is actually not from the virus itself, but from the inflammation caused by the body’s own immune system trying to fight it off. The body aches, pains and fever are a direct result of your immune system responding to the infection. It has recognized the virus as a hostile invader and signals to the rest of the body that something is wrong by releasing inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.1 These are meant to rally the immune system to eradicate the infection but in many cases of Coronavirus they have a tendency to overreact, causing a much greater amount of inflammation than normal. Too much inflammation can cause collateral damage throughout the body, especially in areas like the lungs where the virus concentrates the most. If this damaging inflammation in the lungs persists past a certain point, it leads to pneumonia that can slow the absorption of oxygen into the bloodstream and begin to suffocate every tissue in the body and drastically lower blood pressure. This can eventually lead to Acute respiratory distress syndrome and eventually septic shock when the blood pressure and oxygen levels drop to dangerously low levels and organs stop working properly or fail completely. In the most severe cases of this illness, this is the process that eventually leads to death.
Current Therapies Being Used to Combat Coronavirus
Several approaches are currently being looked at for approval in various countries for severe cases including anti-viral drugs, and a vaccine that is currently in development to try and stop the spread of the disease. However, several functional and regenerative medicine based therapies are gaining attention as possible viable options to help individuals with severe cases recover fully. This is exciting because most of these therapies carry far fewer side effects than pharmaceutical interventions. Perhaps one of the most viable and safe therapies that is starting to be seriously considered is Stem Cell Therapy. (1) Stem Cells have been thoroughly researched for a variety of clinical applications over the past decade or so, and have shown some very promising outcomes in many infectious diseases including now the Coronavirus. (2) Stem cells have been shown in many scientific studies to enhance the body’s natural ability to overcome infectious disease through various mechanisms of action. (3) Stem cell therapies can help the body repair the damage that a pathogen has caused to the tissues and help rebuild the immune system to hopefully prevent future infections (4). Stem cells help to reduce inflammation, modulate the immune system, and recruit other cells to injured areas that repair existing damage.
For more info on the power of stem cell therapy you can watch a free documentary featuring Dr. Mark Hyman, Dave Asprey, Jim Kwik, and more called The Stem Cell Solution... www.thestemcellsolutionfilm.com.
What is Stem Cell Therapy and How can it help the body in fighting infectious disease
Stem cell therapies are a class of medical procedures that involve injecting live stem cells, which are nature’s infant healing cells, into various places in the body to directly stimulate the regenerative process.
In the case of COVID-19, stem cells have been shown to be very helpful in assisting the body to fight many infectious diseases (See reference 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12). When injected into the body, stem cells tend to seek out areas of inflammation and secrete signals, called exosomes, that drastically reduce cytokine activity in the affected area which will shut down the excessive inflammatory process that is causing the illness to progress. (13) They then secrete more exosomes and other signals, called growth factors that recruit other cells to come repair the damage that has occurred to the previously inflamed tissues. Other pharmaceutical based interventions, such as steroid injections, will reduce inflammation in the short term but totally shut down the immune response and leave the body more vulnerable for the infection to progress afterward. Stem cells have the ability to modulate the immune system, or set it to exactly where it needs to be. Not overactive, but not under-active either. The signals that they secrete can actually activate and strengthen the immune system overtime, while simultaneously reducing inflammation and accelerating the healing process. Overall, they enhance the body’s ability to adapt to this foreign invader and allow it to fight it off more efficiently without harming itself.
The Promise of Stem Cell Therapy in the Possible Treatment of Coronavirus
Recently a 65-year-old Chinese woman who fell seriously ill after being infected with the coronavirus made a startling recovery after being given stem cell therapy, according to a new study by Chinese scientists. The patient had been near death in the intensive care unit at Baoshan Hospital in Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, for nearly two weeks after contracting the virus. A team of researchers from Kunming University led by Dr. Hu Min were overseeing the study and published a paper outlining this account. According to these researchers, just four days after being given her first shot of umbilical cord stem cells, the woman was back on her feet and able to walk.
Recently, an internationally known Australian based biotech company called Mesoblast Limited has been seeing so much potential for stem cells in curbing COVID-19 that it’s now suggesting repurposing one of its lead product candidates Ryoncil (remestemcel-L) for treating it. The product is a patented Umbilical cord derived stem cell preparation, and the company announced last week that they are planning to test it in patients with acute respiratory distress caused by the virus. The announcement came after researchers in China published a small study of Ryoncil in seven patients with pneumonia caused by COVID-19, all of whom improved after receiving the cells.
Could Exosomes be an Even More Efficient Option Than Stem Cells?
If stem cells are the future of medicine, exosomes could be the future of stem cells. As I stated previously, exosomes are not cells at all. They are communication molecules that stem cells use to message other cells to orchestrate a healing response. When first discovered they were thought to be cellular rubbish, but now scientists have discovered that they are the active healing component, or currency of the stem cells that are responsible for catalyzing the healing process.
Knowing that stem cells exert their biological effects by releasing exosomes, it might be reasonable to consider the use of pure exosomes as an even more viable an efficient therapy for Coronavirus patients than stem cells themselves. There are many reasons for this. First of all, exosomes are much more abundant and readily available than stem cells. Because most stem cells come from donors, there are a limited supply of them. Exosomes though, being just the excretions of these cells, can be produced in much greater numbers. This makes them a much more practical option for meeting a possible worldwide demand. They are also a more viable treatment option from a regulatory standpoint as well. Because they are not actual cells and therefore do not contain any foreign DNA, They are much more easily accepted by most regulatory agencies around the world. They also might be even safer and better tolerated by a large number of people, being that they contain no foreign genetic material.
Are Exosomes Available to the Public?
Currently, exosomes are available to the public but need to be administered by a doctor. Exosomes, being in the realm of stem cell medicine, can be found at specific stem cell clinics around the country. Docere Clinics which uses Kimera Exosomes is one of the few medical clinics nationwide that is currently performing these treatments.
It is important to understand that no Pharmaceutical drug, treatment, or therapy is at all a replacement for fully investing in your health and preemptively building natural resilience to infections and diseases of any type. The most basic approach to achieving this is to embrace and optimize what are called the four pillars of health. These are exercise, nutrition, sleep, and mindset. Investing in your health and embracing these four pillars will offer an enormous amount to protection for you that you can be confident in. Amazing medical interventions, like stem cell therapy, can then act as the “icing on the cake” during extenuating circumstances where the body needs an extra boost or some leverage to fully overcome a disease process.
1. Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19).
StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Mar 8. Cascella M1, Rajnik M2, Cuomo A3, Dulebohn SC, Di Napoli R4.
2. Modulating the stem cell niche for tissue regeneration. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Aug; 32(8): 795–803. DOI: [10.1038/nbt.2978] PMCID: PMC4422171 NIHMSID: NIHMS685157 PMID: 25093887. Steven W Lane, David A Williams, and Fiona M Watt.
3. Mesenchymal stem or stromal cells: a review of clinical applications and manufacturing practices. Transfusion. 2014 May;54(5):1418-37. DOI: 10.1111/trf.12421. Epub 2013 Oct 16. Sharma RR, Pollock K, Hubel A, McKenna D.
4. Mesenchymal stem cells-derived extracellular vesicles in acute respiratory distress syndrome: a review of current literature and potential future treatment options. Clin Transl Med. 2019 Sep 12;8(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s40169-019-0242-9. Shah TG1,2, Predescu D1, Predescu S3.
5. Mesenchymal stem or stromal cells: a review of clinical applications and manufacturing practices. Transfusion. 2014 May;54(5):1418-37. DOI: 10.1111/trf.12421. Epub 2013 Oct 16. Sharma RR, Pollock K, Hubel A, McKenna D.
6. Transplantation of ACE2- Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves the Outcome of Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia. Aging and disease 2020, Vol. 11 Issue (2) : 216-228 DOI: 10.14336/AD.2020.0228
Zikuan Leng1,5, Rongjia Zhu2, Wei Hou3, Yingmei Feng3, Yanlei Yang4, Qin Han2, Guangliang Shan2, Fanyan Meng1
7. Umbilical cord-derived CD362+ mesenchymal stromal cells for E. coli pneumonia: impact of dose regimen, passage, cryopreservation, and antibiotic therapy. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020 Mar 13;11(1):116. doi: 10.1186/s13287-020-01624-8. Horie S1,2, Masterson C1,2, Brady J1,2, Loftus P2, Horan E3, O'Flynn L3, Elliman S3, Barry F2,4, O'Brien T2,4, Laffey JG1,2, O'Toole D5,6.
8. Human mesenchymal stromal cells reduce influenza A H5N1-associated acute lung injury in vitro and in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 29;113(13):3621-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1601911113. Epub 2016 Mar 14.
Chan MC1, Kuok DI2, Leung CY2, Hui KP2, Valkenburg SA2, Lau EH2, Nicholls JM3, Fang X4, Guan Y2, Lee JW5, Chan RW6, Webster RG7, Matthay MA5, Peiris JS1.
9. Allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of E. coli endotoxin-induced acute lung injury in the ex vivo perfused human lung. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22;106(38):16357-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0907996106. Epub 2009 Aug 31.
Lee JW1, Fang X, Gupta N, Serikov V, Matthay MA.
10.Antibacterial activity of human mesenchymal stem cells mediated directly by constitutively secreted factors and indirectly by activation of innate immune effector cells. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2020 Feb;9(2):235-249. doi: 10.1002/sctm.19-0092. Epub 2019 Nov 8.
Chow L1, Johnson V1, Impastato R1, Coy J1, Strumpf A1, Dow S1,2.
11. The efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after allogeneic HSCT: A multicenter prospective cohort study.
EBioMedicine. 2019 Nov;49:213-222. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.09.039. Epub 2019 Oct 23. Chen S1, Zhao K1, Lin R1, Wang S2, Fan Z1, Huang F1, Chen X3, Nie D4, Du X5, Guo Z6, Lin D7, Xuan L1, Xu N1, Sun J1, Peng Xiang A8, Liu Q9.
12. Mesenchymal stem cells have significant anti-infective effect on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis vascular graft infections.
Eklem Hastalik Cerrahisi. 2019 Dec;30(3):201-11. doi: 10.5606/ehc.2019.66162.
Canbeyli İD1, Kabalcı M, Çırpar M, Tiryaki M, Oktaş B.
13. Therapeutic Advances of Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Regenerative Medicine. Cells. 2020 Mar 13;9(3). pii: E707. doi: 10.3390/cells9030707. Yin L1, Liu X1, Shi Y1, Ocansey DKW1, Hu Y1, Li X1, Zhang C1, Xu W1, Qian H1.