I was sitting in the audience as Sheldon Jordan, MD, told of his amazing recovery from a terrible accident, all thanks to a revolutionary new treatment that may be the most exciting breakthrough I’ve heard of in years. Here’s Dr. Sheldon in his own words:
“Four weeks ago I was involved in a very severe motorcycle accident where I almost died. I had eleven rib fractures. I suffered a fractured dislocation of my ankle, and my foot was just hanging like loose skin. I also had a compound fracture of my clavicle, lacerated my liver, kidney and adrenal gland and lost a third of my blood.
“I was a week in the hospital and had six hours of surgery.
“Three days after surgery I had 26 billion exosomes given to me intravenously – by myself (5 ccs of fluid). Now, if anyone’s had a rib fracture – and I had eleven – then you know that coughing, laughing, taking a deep breath, lying down, driving a car and feeling the bumps on the road – they all cause intense pain.
“But for me, in two weeks the pain was gone. Something that’s unheard of in a 60-something-year-old man like me. I’m at four weeks after the injury and right now I probably can walk.” [At the time he spoke, he hadn’t tried yet.]
“I took X-rays of my right ankle that shows the fracture has completely healed. But I’m not walking right now because I haven’t had a chance to talk with my orthopedic surgeon. But the X-rays (of the ankle) don’t even show a fracture line. It looks like it’s completely healed on X-rays four weeks later. Anyone ever hear of anything like that? No!
“I also have a plate and screws in my clavicle which was broken like a tea cup – into multiple little bone islands. What I want to do is create new bone there so I’m going to take exosomes and try to inject them in among the islands and see if I can get the bone to regrow.”
He added, “. . .it’s a story I’ve never seen before after such a severe acute injury.”
Dr. Jordan is a clinical faculty member at UCLA and has a private practice in Santa Monica. He has the advantage of being at the cutting edge of new medical strategies and was able to put his knowledge to work when he desperately needed it himself.
The cutting-edge strategy he decided to try was exosomes, a brand-new offshoot of the burgeoning growth of stem cell therapy.
Remember that word “exosomes.” You are among the first to hear about it, but in just a few years it may be as common as aspirin.
In spite of the usual foot dragging by the government and medical authorities, stem cell and related therapies have gained a large following from doctors and patients — because results like Dr. Jordan’s are by no means unusual. Exosomes are just the newest twist.
Studies on how stem cells repair the body now show exosomes might be just as effective — or even more effective — for fighting off aging and helping the body’s organs repair and regenerate themselves.
What are Exosomes?
Exosomes are derived from flotsam in the body that was once considered to be useless junk.
Work in this area started about fifty years ago, when scientists first discovered what seemed to be tiny little pieces of cell membranes floating in the body. They thought the membranes were cellular garbage.
But now a growing number of researchers believe this “garbage” may revolutionize medicine and lead to anti-aging treatments that will be breathtaking in their effects.
Exosomes are extremely small, fluid-filled sacs containing various proteins that cells use to communicate with each other: signaling proteins. And just as you wouldn’t drop a letter in a mailbox without first putting it in an envelope, cells put their messenger chemicals into exosomes – containers that protect their contents with a special type of membrane.
The most exciting exosomes for anti-aging researchers are the ones produced by stem cells. It appears that inside these little message packets are the secret codes that stimulate the body to repair itself in stunning ways.
According to Douglas Spiel, the medical director of Kimera Labs (a regenerative medicine biotechnology company in Florida), and who practices medicine in New Jersey, exosomes have such great potential for fighting aging that “I believe in our very near future, we’re going to be able to have an anti-aging longevity serum. We can give you younger patients’ exosomes.”1
The exosomes Dr. Spiel is talking about are produced by stem cells taken from the amniotic fluid of newborns – a product that is being distributed by Kimera Labs.
The FDA, Stem cell Therapy, and Exosome Therapy
These types of exosomes from Kimera and other companies, says Duncan Ross, a founder and the head of Kimera, are both highly effective and perfectly legal. That last point is a big one in the United States, where stem cell treatments take place under a cloud of vague or not-so-vague threats from the Food and Drug Administration, especially when they involve “foreign” cells from a donor.
The FDA more or less tolerates autologous stem cells – those taken from the patient herself and then reinjected back into her bloodstream. But if the cells are donor cells – taken from a third person and administered to the patient, the FDA considers them a drug, and therefore subject to FDA approval.
But regulators have told Dr. Ross that donor exosomes are not a concern of the FDA. That opens the door to patients obtaining this treatment in the United States without going abroad.
Dr. Ross points out that since the fluid they use does not have any cells in it – just the exosomes made by stem cells – the FDA basically considers it an acceptable therapy outside of the regulatory system. They are “cell secretions,” as Dr. Spiel puts it.2
Dr. Ross notes that while Kimera uses amniotic fluid with stem cells in it to produce the exosomes, the stem cells are taken out before the exosome-rich fluid is given to patients.
Among his patients, says Dr. Spiel, treatment with exosomes has proven to be extremely effective – “Parkinson’s patients who come in on canes who within three to four months can run and catch footballs. Alzheimer’s patients who have shown cognitive changes in as little as two weeks. I have seen motor changes in spinal cord injuries in two days. We’re seeing really remarkable findings and we’re seeing them in autoimmune disease in my practice.”3
Studies have also begun to supply evidence that exosome treatment may turn out to be a medical game changer because of its potential to:
- Reverse cellular aging in the body’s stem cells: Lab tests at Johns Hopkins show that exosomes may be able to revive older senescent (inactive) stem cells and restore their regenerative capacity for repairing the body.4
- Slow the entire body’s aging process: A study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that exosomes in the brain’s hypothalamus (the brain’s aging-control center) “led to the slowing of aging” in animal tests.5
- Reduce fatal heart problems during diabetes: Tests at the University of Alabama are exploring the possibility that exosomes spur immune cell cleanup of dead coronary cells and lower the risk of heart failure after heart attacks in people with diabetes.6
- Prevent or treat birth defects: Research at University of California – Davis indicate that adding exosomes to surgical treatment of spina bifida may stimulate better healing and lifetime benefits for kids with birth problems.7
From all the research I’ve seen, and hearing the experience of medical professionals working with stem cells and exosomes, I’m convinced that a medical revolution is underway. And while stem cell treatment has had some remarkable successes, exosomes – the secretions from those stem cells – may turn out to trump them.