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Stem Cell Therapy For Spina Bifida

A combination of stem cells and extensive therapies giving the patient real chances of improvement

What is Spina Bifida?

During a fetus’ development in the womb, there is a group of cells called the neural tube that are responsible for forming the spinal cord and the brain.1 Typically, this should close during development and then be covered by the spine bone to protect the delicate spinal cord. Sometimes, however, it does not close all the way, causing the back bone to be incomplete.2

Children with spina bifida may experience other symptoms such as apnea, in which the child can forget to breathe, along with other respiratory problems, incontinence in the bladder and bowels, paralysis in the lower extremities, developed curves in the spine, and talipes (or clubfoot) which results in malformed or underdeveloped feet.3 Another common side effect, and sometimes what alerts parents to the problem, is hair growth or a dimple (sacral dimple) around the site of the spinal cord opening. This site is called the occulta, meaning “hidden” as the skin covers the spinal opening.4

There are three main types of spina bifida:

  • Spina bifida occulta (SBO): This is both the most common and most mild form of spina bifida. Also known as “hidden spina bifida,” many people will not even be aware that they have it until they have an X-ray for other reasons because it often does not have symptoms.
  • Meningocele: A sac of spinal fluid pushes through an opening in the back. This can have little to no symptoms, or create problems with continence in the bladder and bowels.
  • Myelomeningocele: This is the most severe form of spina bifida, as there may be multiple locations in the spine that have openings with sacs of spinal fluid poking out. Unlike meningocele, these sacs of spinal fluid also contain part of the spinal cord and nerves, which are usually damaged.

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Matheus’ Stem Cell Journey

Matheus was born with his spine open due to spina bifida (myelomeningocele) and during the subsequent procedure to correct it suffered hydrocephalus and Arnold Chiari malformation. However after undergoing stem cell treatment the improvements have been “countless” in the words of his mother.

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Stem cell therapy for spina bifida

Stem cells are regenerative in nature, able to differentiate into different types of cells the body needs to use, allowing the body to heal in ways it couldn’t on its own. By injecting stem cells into the injured site of a spina bifida patient, the stem cells can help to heal the opening of the spinal cord. In particular, while the prenatal surgery has been a great way to improve brain development, patients have still struggled with physical movement and incontinence. Stem cells have shown an ability to increase the physical capabilities of spina bifida patients, including muscle strength, incontinence, feeling and sensation, and general motor function.5

Another study published in August of 2018 has shown that stem cell therapy for spina bifida has been successful in two patients, aged 14 and 11. Though the study was small, it was promising in that both patients were unable to defecate or urinate on their own until after their stem cell treatments. After treatment, both patients were able to control their bowel movements as well as their urine. A larger study will be done in the future to confirm the efficacy of this treatment, however, this has been a promising breakthrough for spina bifida patients.6

What Makes our Treatment for Spina Bifida Effective?

At Beike, we have created a comprehensive therapy program to best suit patients with spina bifida. Our treatment consists of Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UCMSCs) and Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells (UCBSCs), with simultaneous physical therapies to help guide the stem cells to the needed area. Umbilical cord-derived stem cells are actually more than just mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), and also include hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), and others. These adult stem cells are able to differentiate into different types of cells, such as osteocytes (bone), chondrocytes (cartilage), myocytes (muscle), fibroblasts (tendon/ligament), adipocytes (fat), hepatic stellate cells (liver), endothelial cells (blood vessels), all blood cells, connective tissues and more. Studies also show that they can create neurons and glial cells.7 8 9 10

Potential improvements after the treatment

The purpose of the treatment is to promote healing of the original spinal cord/brain injury in order to restore neurological function. Thus, various kinds of improvement are possible after our treatment and our past patients have experienced the following*:

  • Improved motor function
  • Increased sensations
  • Improved development
  • Improved mental abilities
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Reduced epilepsy seizures
  • Enhanced bladder & bowel function

Our patients have seen excellent results after spina bifida stem cell therapy. Below are graphs of our patients’ improvements in both satisfaction and their quality of life:

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Did Stem Cell Treatment improve quality of life?
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Are you currently satisfied with treatment outcome?

Here is a more comprehensive and specific view of the symptoms felt by patients and the improvements they’ve had in each. Of course, not all patients have all symptoms, so some of them were considered “not applicable”:

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Witnessed Improvements in symptoms 6 months after treatment

Patient Stories

Find out more about patients previously treated with Beike stem cell protocols. The families participating in these blog posts talk about their stories and present their own view of the treatment, including thoughts regarding the daily therapies, the stem cell injection themselves as well as improvement noticed during and after treatment.

matheus-spina-bifida-stem-cell-treatment

Stem Cells Brings Countless Improvements in Spina Bifida

Matheus was born with his spine open due to spina bifida (myelomeningocele) and during the subsequent procedure to correct it suffered hydrocephalus and Arnold Chiari malformation. However after undergoing spina bifida stem cell treatment the improvements have been “countless” in the words of his mother. Within a week they have … read more

Lotta with her plush elephant

Stem cell therapy for Lotta (4) with spinocerebellar ataxia “absolute success”

In February, Lotta (4) was diagnosed with spastic spinocerebellar ataxia. For mother Sandra the world collapsed. For some time she had noticed that Lotta had difficulties walking and her sight got worse and worse. But the diagnosis of spastic spinocerebellar ataxia came as an absolute shock. Especially because the doctors … read more

5 Improvements After Stem Cell Transplant

A Difficult Start  Zuzanna was born with cerebral palsy (CP), a condition that results after damage to the cerebral hemispheres. This damage happens before, during, or shortly after birth. Zuzanna, lovingly referred to as Zuza, has spent her life dependent on her family, quadriplegic and also epileptic. Before hearing about … read more

Our Treatment Program in Details

Beike is unlike any other stem cell treatment provider in the world, the reason? Since 2005, we have been developing and optimizing our stem cell treatment protocols with the concept that only a very comprehensive solution can allow our patients to truly benefit from stem cells. We believe that stimulation through various therapies is necessary to enhance stem cell regenerative response, therefore our protocols include daily therapies to support the stem cells. Finally, we provide a wide variety and large quantities of stem cells in order to adapt to each patient specific condition and deliver maximized regenerative potential.

Our stem cell therapy program for spina bifida consist in 6 to 8 simple and minimally invasive injections of umbilical cord derived stem cells. The stem cells are transplanted using two separate methods: by intravenous way using a standard IV drip system, and through intrathecal injection performed after lumbar puncture. These two delivery methods allow for increased efficacy while ensuring safety and minimum inconvenience for the patient.

  • 15 to 23 Days Stay
  • IV & Intrathecal Injections
  • UCBSC / UCMSC Cells
  • Daily Therapy Program
  • 120-400 Million Cells
  • Nutrition Program

Stem Cell Quality and Quantity Ensured

StemCellPack

Different types of stem cells for different needs

Beike provides stem cells from two separate sources: umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Umbilical cord related samples are donated by healthy mothers after normal births and are sent to Beike Biotech’s laboratories for processing.
After reviewing the patient’s full medical information, our doctors will recommend which source of stem cells should be used for treatment. Our treatment protocols may include one or multiple types of stem cells in combination depending on each patient’s specific condition.

Highest International Stem Cell Processing Standards

Beike Biotechnology is processing its own adult stem cells in its internationally accredited laboratories. The company has full control over the processing and quality control of all stem cell products, ensuring perfect safety and highest quality. Processing methods and facility are accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the highest international standard in the industry.

American Association of Blood Banks AABB accreditation logo

Patient Videos

Below are video interviews recorded during treatment with Beike stem cells. The families showcased in these videos talk about their personal stories and their experience of the treatment including the improvement noticed. The improvements mentioned in these videos are typical, however it does not guarantee that all patients may have the same improvements.

Why Choose Beike?

Experience: With more than a decade of practice, you are ensured to be advised and treated by competent professionals.

Safety: Accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and following highest international standards, our stem cell processing methods and laboratories ensure that you receive the best stem cell quality available.

Diversity: Multiple types of stem cells having different capabilities are available to adapt to each patient’s specific condition. We do not use the same type of stem cells for all patients.

Extensiveness: A complete supportive therapy program is provided daily to stimulate patient’s freshly transplanted stem cells. The best improvement can only be obtain by supporting your stem cells.

Support: A full follow-up program is provided after the treatment and you will be asked to take part in it at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Access to our team after the treatment is very important as you may receive further advice to maximize improvements.

Beike-Biotechnology head office building located in Shenzhen China

Learn More About Us

Founded in July 2005, Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology is a national high-tech enterprise specialized in clinical transformation and technical service of biological treatment technology of strategic emerging industries.

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More about Spina Bifida


Diagnosis

90% of spina bifida cases are discovered during an ultrasound before 18 weeks of pregnancy. Diagnosis is commonly done through a blood screening to test for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in the mother’s blood. Babies create this AFP protein that commonly reaches the mother’s bloodstream, but if the level of AFP is too high it could be a sign of spina bifida.

To determine the reason for high levels of AFP, a doctor will have an ultrasound done to confirm the reason. If further testing is needed, a doctor can perform an amniocentesis test in which a part of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is tested. If that fluid has a high concentration of AFP as well, it could be because the skin that should cover the spinal cord is not there and is causing a leakage of the baby’s spinal fluid.11

MRI and CT scans are also possible tools for post-natal diagnosis.1213

Conventional Treatment

When a mother learns that her baby has spina bifida, an in depth diagnosis is conducted to determine exactly how severe the spina bifida is for the child, and what treatment options are available or necessary. After a complete diagnosis, the mother can choose if she wants to terminate the pregnancy or proceed with or without treatment. A common method of treatment is to have prenatal surgery. During this surgery, the neurosurgeon will remove the abnormal sac of skin from the nerve tissue, then moves the exposed nerve tissue back into the spinal canal.14 However, if for whatever reason the mother does not choose to have fetal surgery, babies born with spina bifida can still have postnatal surgery. The surgery is almost exactly the same and with the same goal, just done later for what could be a combination of medical and personal reasons. Mothers will typically have a cesarean section birth so as not to risk further damage to the child and keep the myelomeningocele intact, and surgery will be done within the first two days of the child’s life.15

If the child suffers from hydrocephalus, which is common among myelomeningocele patients, doctors will often insert a shunt tube, which will drain fluid from the brain into the abdomen, which can then absorb the fluid. This can help with the symptoms of hydrocephalus, but can have its own complications and will often need to be replaced multiple times throughout a patient’s life.

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