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What Does Stem Cell Therapy Cost?

What Does Stem Cell Therapy Cost?

Monday, October 04, 2021

Stem cells are the building blocks of life. They are found in every part of the body and play an important role in maintaining health and healing wounds. Stem cells are also used in medical treatment such as bone marrow transplants.

Regenerative medicine with stem cells is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to treat a wide range of conditions including arthritis, brain injury, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Lyme disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, and even cancer.

There are several factors to consider regarding the costs of stem cell treatment. These include the type of stem cell being used, the medical condition being treated, the number of stem cell injections needed to achieve therapeutic effects, the geographic region where the treatment takes place, and the medical providers of stem cell treatment.

In this article, I will discuss the average cost of stem cell procedures based on these factors.

Alternative treatments like stem cell procedures are often paid out-of-pocket by patients since health insurance typically does not cover stem cell therapy, however, some stem cell clinics will provide financing options.

For this reason, it is even more important to be well informed, to understand the benefits of stem cells, any risks involved, and the variations in the effectiveness of stem cell types for treating different conditions. 

The Type of Stem Cell is Important

Autologous Stem Cells

Autologous stem cell transplants (Autologous meaning "derived from self") involve the collection of stem cells from one part of the patient's body, processing it, and then reinfusing it back into another part of the patient's body.

Often the stem cells will be sourced from the patient's own bone marrow or fat tissue. These types of stem cells go under many names - adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, autologous bone marrow stem cells, peripheral blood stem cells, adipose stem cells or just multipotent stem cells.

This harvesting process and the associated laboratory processing can increase the cost of this form of stem cell treatment significantly. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see a single stem cell injection (also known as "stem cell shots") cost anywhere between $5000 and $10,000 in the United States.

Variations in the Healing Potential of Stem Cell Types

One very important thing to note is that the stem cells in our body age like the rest of us. So, mesenchymal stem cells harvested from the tissue of a 65 year old patient will be less effective than that of a 25 year old patient.

This is why many patients dealing with degenerative diseases will seek treatment options like a stem cell transplant from other types of stem cell sources which are non-autologous (not from themselves), such as umbilical cord, embryonic, or fetal stem cells. Not only are they "younger", but the patient avoids having to undergo a cell harvesting procedure, since the stem cells come from donors rather than the patient themselves.

Non-Autologous Stem Cells

Non-autologous stem cells are those that contain DNA that does not match the patient who will be receiving the stem cell transplant. 

  • Umbilical stem cells are mesenchymal stem cells that are derived from the umbilical cord tissue. Their genetically determined function is to repair skin, conjunctive tissues, muscle, and tendon damage.
  • Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of a 100-200 cell blastocyst. They are often called the "mother of all stem cells" because all stem cells originate from them.
  • Fetal stem cells are taken from a 6-week old aborted fetus and are considered unethical for this reason. They contain a variety of adult stem cells. Treatment with fetal stem cells is considered an experimental procedure.

Stem Cell Therapy Cost for Chronic Systemic Diseases

The cost of stem cell treatment that requires a whole-body approach is usually in the upper end of the range. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy treatment can range from $20,000 to $100,000 for whole body treatment. They are typically offered for diseases or conditions like:

Cost of Stem Cell injections

Local stem cell injections are direct injections into a particular area of the body and make up a part of what is referred to as Stem Cell Therapy. In the United States, this type of treatment is usually priced at the lower end of the scale. The cost of an adult stem cell injection is typically between $5000 - $10,000 USD. It can be a good option for treating a knee joint, knee pain, shoulder joints, ligaments, tendons etc. Pain relief from single injections of this stem cell type normally last only 2-6 months.

What about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP Therapy)?

This procedure was offered before stem cell treatment or in conjunction with it. It uses blood extracted from the patient to create a platelet-rich plasma which is then injected into the injured area. This helps repair damaged tissue and speed up healing.

As an example, PRP therapy treatment for knees costs $1,000-$2,500 per knee depending on the number of treatments needed.

Stem Cell Treatment Facilities Outside the USA

Strict regulations surrounding stem cell therapy in the United States has many people seeking alternative stem cell types in other parts of the globe. For example, despite many peer-reviewed publications on the benefits of pluripotent stem cells, treatment with them is still unavailable within the USA. For this reason, and the lower stem cell therapy cost, many will find treatment locations in Mexico, Panama, or the Cayman Islands to be a viable option.

Why choose Stemaid Institute in Los Cabos, Mexico for stem cell therapy?

  • Stemaid Institute uses only pluripotent stem cells which are the only type able to signal repair in all 200+ cell types of the body.
  • Peer-reviewed studies confirm the beneficial effect of pluripotent stem cells for a wide range of conditions.
  • Stemaid Institute does not harvest stem cells from the patient, avoiding the risks associated with this medical procedure.
  • A single injection or IV of pluripotent stem cells is around $1000-$1500 USD, instead of $5000 to $10,000 for the less effective adult/mesenchymal stem cell therapy available in the USA.
  • We culture the stem cells in our own laboratory, so they provide consistent results, instead of patient-derived stem cells that are inconsistent and become less effective as one ages.
  • The stem cells are never re-frozen prior to application, so they do not degrade or die due to being shipped frozen from elsewhere - as is often the case with umbilical cord stem cells.
  • For the cost of 3 or 4 multipotent stem cell injections in the USA, you could fly to Los Cabos, Mexico, stay in beautiful accommodation by the beach for 2-4 weeks, and receive 12-24 pluripotent injections at our stem cell clinic for a few hours each day, 6 days per week, all the while receiving other included regenerative medicine and alternative therapies like ozone, chelation and physical therapy to help improve your condition. 
  • It's just a couple of hours flight from Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix.
  • It's Cabo - who wouldn't enjoy spending time there!

Author: Brigitte Hanly, PhD

Brigitte is the CEO, Chief Scientist and co-founder of Stemaid Institute. She holds two PhDs in chemistry and bio-chemistry and is an expert and pioneer in the application and use of pluripotent stem cells and their exosomes for treating degenerative diseases.