Pinoy doctor may hold key to fountain of youth
by Dinna Chan Vasquez
THANKS to modern technology, humans have been given the chance to live
longer and look and feel better.
A Filipino doctor has partnered with a Hong Kong-based company to give his
countrymen hope in experiencing renewed health and strength with autologous
stem cell transplants. There is so much controversy surrounding stem-cell
research because of cloning issues but plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr.
Florencio Lucero believes that autologous transplants will not only help
Filipinos but also enhance medical tourism in the Philippines. In fact, he
said less than a fourth of his over 20 stem cell patients are Filipinos.
Stem cells are considered the basic building blocks of life, the basic cell
from which human bodies are made. They are formed at conception and
specialized to become all the different tissues of the body: muscle, nerve,
organs, bone, blood and so on.
Humans tap into their bodies’ stem cell reserve to repair and replace
injured or diseased tissue. Unfortunately, the reserve is finite and as it
becomes depleted, the regenerative power of the body decreases and humans
succumb to diseases, disorder and the ravages of aging.
Lucero explained that autologous stem cell transplants involve the
harvesting of dormant stem cells from 100 cc of a patient’s fat and
peripheral blood through liposuction. The harvested dormant stem cells are
incubated in stimulating growth factors, isolated and infused back into the
patient intravenously. The whole procedure takes up to four hours in the
operating room of the hospital under local anesthesia. It takes about an
hour to harvest, three hours to incubate and stimulate the stem cells and
infuse them back to the patient.
Thus, Lucero, one of the Philippines’ most reputable plastic and cosmetic
surgeons, said there are no moral or ethical considerations in autologous
stem cell transplants as the patient’s own stem cells are harvested from
abdomen fat and there is no issue with regard to matching of stem cells.
“The stem cells are from you and will be infused back to your body,” he
Lucero added that the best source from which to harvest stem cell from the
body is fat because it is rich in mesenchyme stem cell and more than 100
times more stem cells can be harvested as compared to bone marrow.
He said autologous stem cell transplants hold great promise against a wide
variety of degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
diseases, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, spinal cord injuries and even aging
“Aside from improvement from the disease, its beneficial side effect is rejuvenation
in terms of looking younger, feeling stronger and in some patients increased
libido. According to highly respected scientists worldwide, we can counter
the effect of aging itself and will one day enable us to live and be healthy
to an age of 120 to 130 years,” said Lucero.
The transplant is an exclusive collaboration of Lucero and Dr. Bill
Paspaliaris, chief executive of StemTech Ltd., Hong Kong, the provider of
the technology for the transplant.
Paspaliaris holds a Ph.D degree and is also a Doctor of Medicine. He had
training in clinical pharmacology and regenerative medicine. He is a
clinical research scientist involved in the development and promotion of
adipose-derived stem cells and their clinical use.
For information about autologous stem cell transplant, call Asian Plastic
Surgery Center at 726-1111 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org