Live Cell Therapy
Stephen Holt, MD, DSc, PhD, ND, LLD, et al., Distinguished Professor of Medicine (Emeritus), Scientific Advisor, Natural Clinician LLC, Little Falls, NJ, US, and Burkhard Aschhoff MD, Villa Medica, Germany

Cell Therapy has been practiced from time immemorial, culminating in the modern use of human stem cell transplantation. Live cell therapy is a specific form of cell therapy that has led to a variety of treatment concepts that involve the use of animal tissues. After some contentious arguments among physicians in Europe, a legal definition of live cell therapy was agreed upon in the law court of Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1977 (02.06.1977, AZ: 2U41/7512U462-74). This procedure is permitted at law in Germany, with tacit acceptance in Switzerland and Austria, endorsed indirectly by the Parliament of the Economic Union. Live cell therapy is not permitted to be undertaken in the US, except under strictly controlled experimental circumstances. In brief, fresh cells are obtained from a newly-sacrificed fetus (usually of a sheep) which has been quarantined for several weeks at the location of the clinic, where live cell treatments are performed. Within 20 minutes (approx) after slaughter, various organ tissues of the fetus are isolated and carefully processed to produce cell suspensions that are injected into a human recipient. The classic procedure was developed in 1927, by Paul Niehans MD, a Swiss physician, who modified the therapeutic approach by using freeze-dried cellular tissue (lyophilisat therapy). Extensions of cell therapy involve a variety of tissue or cellular extracts that are given by oral or topical means, e.g. thymus extracts. These forms of treatment are commonly referred to as “glandular therapies.” It is estimated that several million patients may have undergone live cell therapy or related procedures over the past 80 years in Germany, Switzerland, Russia and elsewhere. Clinical outcome studies have been described by several pioneers of cell therapy including: Paul Niehans, Burkhard Aschhoff, E. Michael Molnar, Siegfried Block, Franz Schmid, Peter Stephan and others. Much of the clinical outcome data on live cell therapy is described in an anecdotal, but beneficial, manner in large open-label patient experiences. The mechanisms whereby fresh cell xenotransplants may exert beneficial effects include their content of cell signaling factors and molecules that may initiate reprogramming of cellular functions (e.g. RNA mosaics causing alterations in DNA replication and transcription). There is no consensus opinion on how live cell therapy may work and conventional medicine has tended to reject this intervention. Early observations indicate that live cell therapy injections are followed within hours by alteration in circulating white cells and human progenitor cells. Stephen Holt MD has postulated that live cell therapy may exert its effect by releasing human adult stem cells from niches in body tissue, especially the bone marrow. The release of adult stem cells in the recipient of a live cell injection may be followed by homing and recruitment into organs that have diseased or ailing cells. Live cell therapy presents an interesting potential anti aging strategy that is widely practiced in an increasing manner in many developed countries outside the United States. (Reference: Holt S, The Birth of Biological Therapies, in press.)

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