Letter to the Press

To Whom it May Concern:

Our clinic does not, nor have we ever, actively advertised in the Vancouver, BC, or Canadian marketplace.

We do not, unlike many other clinics, make claims that we can cure any condition. We do not claim that the treatment is fully effective, and that the range of response patients get from their treatment is highly variable. We treat only ~14% of the patients who inquire – many patients we feel are inappropriate because their condition is too advanced and the therapy is unlikely to have an impact on their condition, or we feel that a patient’s expectations are unrealistic. This clinic has performed ~300 procedures, with no infections or significant complications.

There is much noise and confusion regarding “stem cells”, and there are hundreds of thousands of articles regarding the efficacy of stem cell therapies for a multitude of conditions. We know that stem cells work. The first bone marrow transplant for leukemia was in 1956. Autologous stem cell therapy has been the standard of care and commercially available in veterinary medicine for horses and big animals since 2003.
You need a better understanding of exactly what it is WE do. Stem cells work. The question that needs to be asked is, are the clinics doing these treatments ACTUALLY delivering stem cells.

We harvest tissue from a patient’s fatty tissue, what is technically known as the Adipose Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF), which is comprised of Mesenchymal Stem cells (which can differentiate into bone, fat, muscle, and cartilage) and Hematopoietic stem cells (which differentiate into the blood cell lines). The SVF is also a concentrate which is rich in cell signalling proteins and particularly a cell line known as T regulatory lymphocytes, which play a critical role in down-regulating immune system activity which is a key component in autoimmune disorders such as lupus and MS. Published results from Freedman et al in 2016 from a study on MS patients (which utilized Mesenchymal stem cells) at the University of Ottawa showed a dramatic improvement in 69.6% of the patients treated. Thousands of other papers on mesenchymal stem cells, be they from fat, bone marrow or other source consistently show two things: 1. Safety. 2. Efficacy – highly variable, but overall a trend towards improvement of orthopaedic, neurologic and autoimmune disorders.

Stem cells ARE NOT A DRUG, particularly if they come from the same patient. Blood drawn from a patient and then stored has far more manipulation and additives than an SVF harvest that we perform and then deliver back to a patient.

This treatment is far from perfect, but having been in medicine for 25 years I cannot recall any other intervention that I have seen that can dramatically improve a number of conditions. Certainly more trials are needed. This is how medicine evolves. We welcome greater oversight of this industry, as we would like to sort out the clinics which provide legitimate benefit in a ethical and responsible manner, from those that do not.

We would encourage you to educate yourself more about what we do, and to temporize any article you write to reflect the fact that not all clinics make promises they can’t keep, and that there are medical practitioners who truly believe that it is in fact unethical NOT to provide this therapy when conventional medicine has failed so many Canadians with chronic debilitating conditions.

-Dr. Martin Braun, Dr. Jonathan Brock & Vancouver Stem Cell Treatment Centre

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