Cryo-Cell International Inc. has announced its discovery of breakthrough stem cell technology and its launch of the world's first-ever service provided for women to store their own menstrual stem cells.
The new service, called C'elle(SM) (pronounced "C-L"), enables women to collect menstrual flow containing stem cells, which can be cryogenically preserved in a manner similar to stem cells from umbilical cord blood and may one day serve as a potential source for promising regenerative therapies to treat heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders like spinal cord injury, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, in addition to cosmeceutical applications such as anti-aging therapies, to name a few.
However, realistically, it may take several years for these menstrual stem cells to be developed into potential widely-available commercial therapies. The C'elle service is based on Cryo-Cell's intellectual property, for which patent applications are pending, related to the procurement, processing, isolation and cryo-preservation of these unique menstrual stem cells.
The unique C'elle service is being offered following Cryo-Cell's discovery of new scientific evidence that menstrual flow, which results from the shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium) during menstruation, contains millions of stem cells that have many properties and characteristics similar to those of both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.
Dr. Amit N. Patel, Director of Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at the McGowan Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, along with other independent research laboratories, studied these menstrual stem cells, which have demonstrated the capability in vitro to differentiate into neural, cardiac, bone, cartilage, and adipose cells, and possibly other cell types.
Dr. Patel's preliminary findings were presented on October 21, 2007 at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposia of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, in a seminar entitled "Novel Cell Sources for Myocyte Repair and Replacement."
"This is the first discovery of such a multipotent, highly prolific and readily accessible source of stem cells -- even one menstrual cycle has the potential to produce millions of stem cells," said Dr. Stephen Noga, Director, Medical Oncology/Hematology, Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, and Director, Cellular Therapeutics Program, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.
Dr. Noga continued, "Stem cells isolated from menstrual blood may show significant promise for future use in clinical regenerative medical therapies. This brings us one step closer to tissue and organ regenerative approaches. They are adult stem cells, but they share some of the same features of embryonic stem cells in their ability to multiply rapidly and differentiate into other cell types of the body. Current research is very preliminary, but given their properties, we believe these menstrual stem cells demonstrate compelling promise to transform regenerative medicine in the coming years."
Dr. Gerald Elfenbein, a Professor of Medicine at Boston University, former director of the Cancer Center and Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, R.I., and former division chair of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Fla. believes the impact to the research and medical communities is significant. "I've been in the stem cell transplant world for more than three decades, and this finding follows in a long tradition of bench-to-bedside research," he said. "This discovery has the potential to offer significant benefit to the research community by accelerating the pace of study, and I look forward to seeing the possible clinical results we can achieve in the future."