REAL TRUTH ABOUT STEM CELLS FROM UMBILICAL CORD: The most famous Serbian doctor reveals do they really work or is it - "THE FRAUD OF THE CENTURY" (PHOTO)
The most famous Serb in the world of medicine, Prof. Dr. Nadezda Basara, a doctor who has transplanted stem cells in more than 2,000 patients, says: Don't waste your money on saving the stem cells from the umbilical cord. Only two children in the entire world had a successful transplant. Everybody can be donors of stem cells, without blood donations, for free
Keeping stem cells from the newborn's cord should be the beginning of a new health revolution, which will make our children safe in the future from a number of serious illnesses. In the last 10 years, in Serbia, but also in the region, there were almost no parents who did not think whether to pay a couple of thousand euros for the future of their child, hoping that they would never need stem cell samples in that same future. There were countless stem cell banks, countless companies that advertised themselves as the most successful in stem cell storage, at the same time there were countless reasons for and against taking samples, which caused additional confusion among parents. And after the recent collapse of the company in Montenegro where 2.000 samples were stored, the panic spread to Serbia as well.
The most famous Serb in the world of medicine, Prof. Dr. Nadezda Basara, a doctor who has transplanted stem cells in more than 2,000 patients, and she has published over 100 science works in various expert magazines on stem cells (which were quoted over 5.000 times), reveals for Telegraf in the great interview the real truth about saving stem cells from the umbilical cord of the newborn. Dr. Basara, whose percentage of successful transplants is at the highest world level of 87% in the last 6 years (the patients are monitored for 2 years after the transplant), besides being the head JACIE inspector of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), is the only internationally recognized hematologist and stem cell transplant surgeon from the Balkans.
- You have been warning pregnant women over media for years, but it is obviously more believed to the marketing campaigns then experts like your self. Why is that so?
- That is so because our people are naive, they trust the fake doctors and advertisements more than experts. I warned pregnant woman because I took that as an obligation to my people, who always saved something so they can help their child. Besides that, I work and live on the source of information, and I've known that leaving stem cells from the umbilical cord is unnecessary since 2002. So far, among the first one in Germany, European institute EUFETS AG, where I started working in 1997, had 7 cryotanks and they kept stem cells from the cord until it turned out that it was the question of economy. The ones to blame is the development of medical science (it was already known that scientists from England and Japan started working on reprogramming stem cells from the mucous membranes of a grown man, which resulted later in Nobel prize) and great preparedness of Germans to be potential donors of stem cells. Currently, Germany has 8 million potential donors, they are second in the world, right after the USA.
- Can you demystify the whole process of preserving stem cells and all mistakes about the subject?
- First of all, stem cells can be left from the cord for the future transplant, but the number is so few that only children and adults who have less than 60 kg can have transplantation, and it is often taken two samples from different but similar cords. Otherwise, the process of differentiation and multiplication of these cells is terribly expensive, as well as logistics, and sometimes, the price is higher than buying the transplant from a non-relative donor. With that, you don't have any certainty that the cells will last on -150 degrees, and the studies have shown that, during the time of reproduction of cells in-vitro, there are genetic changes and mutation of the cells. That type of transplant is still done in countries with a population of lower growth, but increasingly smaller. In Germany, it is not performed anymore for a simple reason: a donor can be found for over 85% of the patients in today's time in the world base of data from 30 million potential donors, and in the 15% of the rest the donor comes from family (mother, father, sister, brother), and that kind of transplant is rising in the world.
- Secondly, when companies which save the stem cells from cords realized that those cells are being used less and less, they came up with another strategy - the use of those cells as regenerative cells. Of course, in "normal" countries, that can't be advertised, because the experts and the university declared against that, and the people were informed. About informing, the health institutions in Germany have been intensively informing future parents since 2009 that preserving stem cells from the umbilical cord is not needed.
- What should we pay attention to, what are the things that are being advertised and that are potentially not true
- It is not true that they can be used to treat autism, paralysis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc. ie. for the field of regenerative medicine. In addition, it is not explained to the people that these methods have not yet been established and that there are other methods, such as reprogramming somatic cells. The medical institutions have failed in informing the people. It is regular in Germany, Austria, Switzerland there is information in waiting halls, ambulances, daily press, on internet pages of medical institutions, prepared by medical institutions, like the ministry of health, University Clinic, Doctor's chambers and society, about diseases that are being treated with stem cells, about what is the truth, should we preserve the cells or not and so on. That is not available to the people in Serbia. And of course, they will believe commercials, when those are the only things being served to them through media.
- What is the real purpose of giving stem cells and what is the real possibility of potential exploitation?
- Stem cells are given to replace sick cells and to enable the creation of new healthy blood cells. That is done by transplantation of stem cells as the only scientifically proven method. Everything else is just scheming because it was not proven in clinical studies.
- It often happens that when a sample arrives from the bank that it is not usable, and the companies charge the service and the taxes, why is that?
- The most common reason is bacteria contamination, which is understandable considering that the babies are mostly born through the vagina, and besides the disinfection of the cord/ The other reason is a small number of stem cells. Almost 30 percent of the samples were wasted because they didn't meet the requirements, over twenty years ago.
- Can you give us an example when stem cells from the cord cured or saved a child or a person they were intended and some cases where that didn't happen (or it was impossible)?
- I can't from my experience because in 20 years while working in Germany, I had only two patients transplants and they both had a lot of complications. The first case if the child has been a transplant in 1988, in Paris, and the transplant arrived from the New York bank. The child had no other donor. I called a colleague in Paris, prof. Dr. Rodha Vanderson, to give me precise data for an interview in 2013 or in 2014. He was in charge of the World Health Federation for Statistics, and I received a devastating data: Only two children had a successful transplant with their own stem cells from the blood of the umbilical cord!
- Are the members of the family really compatible regarding that and is it possible to use a single sample for another member of the family, as it is advertised?
- That is not used in practice because there is no need to apply it to family members.
- What really happened in Montenegro after shutting down the company Cryo-Save and are the 2.000 samples available to people who left the stem cells with the company?
- The company Cryo-save is famous international company and they are subject to European laws, so it's impossible for 2,000 samples to simply disappear! Since the Ministry of Health of Montenegro said nothing on this question, they gave permission to foreign companies and they are behind the taking out of the stem cells from cords out of the country, so the parents of Montenegro have nothing left but to join forces and to write the memo to Cryo-Save (I think that the center is in the Netherlands, and the labs are in Belgium) to ask to hire a representative of the parents to visit the folders and cryo-lager where the cells are being kept. They should meet their needs and to show where the samples are located and to demonstrate experimental taking out of the random samples. If that doesn't happen, and I don't believe in it, they should go to the Ministry of Health of Montenegro so they can do something. In all of the EU countries, there are institutions that regulate the work of the companies. For example, that is PEI in Germany (Paul-Ehlich-Institute).
- Can you give us your final advice and a message to everybody who gave samples so far and to all future parents who want to do it?
- My final advice hasn't changed: Don't throw your money on keeping the stem cells from the blood of the umbilical cord. If parents want to do something, they should register as donors of the stem cells to the Blood Transfusion Institute, and they don't even have to give blood, just a sample of the mucous membrane of the lips, and it costs nothing. In that way you will increase the number of donors, so the number in the future will be over 90% of the patients who will be able to get a cure using the identical stem cells from the donor from the world data bank.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Aleksandar Sasa Jovanovic)
Prof. Dr. Nadezda Basara is a long-standing QP (Qualified Person) - the most responsible person in front of the Medicines Act and State Institute PEI for the production and cryopreservation of stem cells and transplants produced in clean rooms under GMP norms. She has two specializations: internal medicine in Germany and clinical pharmacology from Belgrade, and sub-specialization in hematology and oncology. M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Belgrade and she became an assistant professor and professor of medicine in Germany as the only one who wasn't born and who didn't study outside of Serbia. She examines students at the final medical exams as well as specialists at the University of Kiel, and she is a mentor to the Ph.D. students.