Stem cell therapy now in Davao

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By Anthony S. Allada

With its growing popularity in the country, the so-called stem cell therapy, which was recently approved by the Department of Health (DOH), is now available in Davao City.

Dr. Luz Acosta, a Davao-born physician specializing in Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Reconstructive Surgery, Cosmetic  Surgery and recently Stem Cell Treatment has offered herself to conduct the procedure  after acquiring equipment and machine from Australia and United States of America.

“I also have a team of cardiologist, internist, anesthesiologists among others to conduct necessary laboratory tests, cardiopulmonary clearance to see if  an individual is  safe to undergo stem cell therapy,” Acosta said in an interview Friday afternoon in her clinic at Room 401-402, Medical Arts Building, San Pedro Hospital along Guerrero Street.

She said that she already underwent trainings workshops abroad on stem cell therapy but she just only entertained the idea of doing it here in the city after the approval of the DOH to make it legal.

Acosta said she is a founding member of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine that was only established last January 18, 2013 with DOH Sec. Dr. Enrique Ona as its honorary chair. Dr. Jose Sabili,  Dr. Melchor Santos, Dr. Christian Mancao, Dr. Leo Olarte, Dr. Bu Castro, Dr. Oscar Tinio, Dr. Almond Derla and Mr. Rico Colayco organized this noble society.

“This means that the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine is the regulating body for the practice of stem cell treatment in the country.  Stem cell therapy is legal and that this is very safe to every medically cleared patient who wanted to undergo such treatment to be rejuvenated and treated of his/her illnesses and diseases”, she said.

Acosta said that based on what was stipulated in the approved stem cell therapy, the stem cell could just come from the person himself and not from the others like black sheep or aborted fetus, adding that sources of stem cells are fats, blood, bone marrow and umbilical cord.

“It could take five to six hours for one to undergo stem cell therapy. The first two hours is harvesting, then another 1-2 hours stem cell processing and activation and the last 1-2 hours treatment of stem cells back to the same patient,” she said.

The most popular personalities who already admitted in the public to undergo stem cell therapy were Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Former Senator Ernesto Maceda, who said that they spent millions to pay for the treatment.

But Acosta said one could just pay much cheaper here. The cost of treatment will be in accordance to the Phil. Society for Stem Cell Medicine.

She said there’s very good clinical outcome with Stem Cell Treatment on  autism, auto-immune diseases, cerebral palsy, diabetes, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, nerve damage, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury and stroke.

“But we have to clarify here that we are not claiming  stem cell therapy as a cure for cancer, though  it can alleviate pain and improve patients wellbeing while undergoing cancer therapy,” she said.

Acosta said they are not treating those patients with hepatitis and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

While she was interviewed, she received a call from an american cosmetic surgeon-friend who invited her to attend a forum on cell-assisted (synonymous to stem cell) surgery in Bangkok, Thailand sometime in March this year.

“I really used to travel abroad to discover and learn more especially that I devote most of my time now on stem cell therapy and cosmetic surgery ” she said. (ASA)

 

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