Research

  • Journal of Translational Medicine

    Critical Limb Ischemia : According to preliminary research published in August 2008, data suggests the possibility of using menstrual blood derived stem cells to stimulate angiogenesis when injected into mice after induction of limb ischemia.

    Reference: Michael P Murphy, et al. Allogeneic endometrial regenerative cells: An "Off the shelf solution" for critical limb ischemia? JOURNAL OF TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE 2008, 6:45

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  • Journal of Translational Medicine

    Multiple Sclerosis : According to research published in February 2009 based on treatment of 4 patients with multiple sclerosis treated intravenously and intrathecally injections of menstrual blood derived stem cells that even with the longest follow up, of more than one year, there was no immunological reactions or treatment associated adverse effects. The preliminary data suggest feasibility and support further studies.

    Reference: Zhaohui Zhong, et al. Feasibility investigation of allogeneic endometrial regenerative cells. JOURNAL OF TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, 2009, 7:15

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  • Novel Cardiac Precursor-Like Cells from Human Menstrual Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Cells

    Myocardial Infarction : Scientists in Japan have discovered that cells taken from menstrual blood can be cultivated in the lab and used like stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue. According to the research menstrual blood stem cells after being put together in a culture with cells from the hearts of rats, about 20 per cent of the stem cells began beating spontaneously and eventually formed sheets of heart muscle tissue. This success rate is about 100 times higher than the 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of stem cells derived from human bone marrow.

    Reference: Naoka Hida, et al. Novel Cardiac Precursor-Like Cells from Human Menstrual Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Cells. STEM CELLS 2008; 26:1695-1704le

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  • Chronic ischaemic cardiomyopathy

    Heart failure remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries, and carries a 20% one year mortality. As such, successful cell-based therapeutic strategies for this disorder could have a substantial public health benefit. Bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells are easily obtainable and expandable multipotent progenitor cells, and have emerged as attractive candidates for cellular therapies for disorders of the heart and other organ systems.

    Reference: Karl Schuleri, et al. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells produce reverse remodelling in chronic ischaemic cardiomyopathy. European Heart Journal (2009) 30, 2722–2732

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  • In addition to human trials, recent early-stage animal studies demonstrate the wide range of potential uses of menstrual blood stem cells across a variety of therapeutic areas

    Ischemic Stroke : According to research published in the cover article of Stem Cells and Development in November 2010, transplantation of menstrual blood-derived stem cells, either intracerebrally or intravenously and without immunosuppression, after experimentally induced ischemic stroke in adult rats also significantly reduced behavioral and histological impairments compared to vehicle-infused rats, and thus support their use as a stem cell source for cell therapy in stroke

    Reference: Paul Sanberg, et al. Menstrual Blood Cells Display Stem Cell-Like Phenotypic Markers and Exert Neuroprotection Following Transplantation in Experimental Stroke. STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT, Volume 19, Number 4, 2010

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Doctor Speak

  • Worldwide research is continuing to prove that menstrual blood stem cells could play a vital role in regenerative therapy of the future. Moreover, researchers have found that they were able to obtain about 30 times more stem cells from menstrual blood than from bone marrow.

    Dr Duru Shah
    Gynecologist, Mumbai

  • The process of collecting the menstrual blood stem cells is quite simple, safe and can be done in the privacy of home. Every women should explore the possibility of banking her stem cells to safeguard herself from future life-treatening diseases.

    Dr Kamini A Rao
    Past President, FOGS
    Gynecologist, Bangalore

FAQs

  • What is the minimum number of cells required for therapy? What if I need more cells for multiple transplants?

  • Can the stored cells be used for therapy directly? If not, how will LifeCell help me at the time of transplant?

  • Who can participate in clinical trials?

  • What are the chances of clinical trials leading to successful product development?

  • What are the potential therapeutic applications of menstrual stem cells?

  • Who may potentially benefit from my menstrual stem cells?

  • What are the unique properties of menstrual stem cells?

  • What laboratory and manufacturing accreditation does LifeCell have?

  • How long can stem cells be cryogenically stored and still be viable?

  • How will I know whether my sample was successfully processed or not? Will LifeCell also tell me the number of cells harvested?

  • What if my sample is rejected? Will I get a refund?

  • How are the samples processed and stored?

  • Once LifeCell receives my sample, how long will it take to process and preserve my stem cells?

  • What happens if I don't collect the sample properly? Do I get another chance?

  • Are there any health risks in collecting this sample?

  • After I have collected the sample, how soon should I send it to LifeCell?

  • If I cannot collect the required amount, can I send in a smaller sample?

  • When should I collect the sample? How much should I collect?

  • Is the menstrual cup safe to use?

  • How do I collect my sample?

  • Why is the agreement limited to the time I reach 60 years of age?

  • Can any woman enrol for Femme?

  • What happens if I get pregnant after enroling for Femme? Can I use the purchase price to avail of LifeCell’s Baby Cord services?

  • Why should I enrol for Femme now?

  • I want to preserve my monthly miracle! How do I enrol for Femme?

Different clinical trials use varying dosage amounts (from a few million to 500 million!). The acceptable quantity is roughly 2 million mesenchymal cells per kg of body weight. Given an average weight of 70 kgs, it is estimated that 150 million menstrual blood derived mesenchymal cells will be sufficient for most transplants.

Stem cells are capable of expanding over 10,000 times. So should you need more cells, LifeCell can do additional expansion upon request.

The stored cells cannot be used directly for therapy as they have undergone only minimal expansion. It is not enough for a therapeutic dosage. When you need the cells for transplant, LifeCell at its own cost, will expand the cells and provide you 150 million mensenchymal stem cells. This process takes up to 90 days.

All clinical trials have their own guidelines, inclusion / exclusion criteria, based on factors such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Before joining a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study.

While the scientific support for cell based therapies is very strong, there is no assurance on the successful commercialization of these therapies. But the progress being made worldwide is very impressive, with several regulatory agencies giving the go ahead for development of stem cell based therapies. A few trials have also obtained fast-track development status from the USFDA.

Today, over 50 clinical trials using mesenchymal stem cells are underway in countries like the USA and Canada. Some have reached the stage III clinical trials as well. Finding potential uses for menstrual blood stem cells is still at a very early stage. However, there are all indications that these cells could be used in the treatment of various ailments like :

As of today, only the donor (that is you) can benefit from your menstrual stem cells. But chances are very high that it may also help genetically related family members in future.

Menstrual blood contains Mesenchymal stem cells. Menstrual Mesenchymal stem cells are unique because they are the only adult stem cell population that is shed regularly (during your periods), that multiplies in culture and can differentiate into other types of cells including heart, nerve, bone, cartilage and fat, according to early research. They can also be harvested in a totally painless, non-invasive and affordable way.

LifeCell meets the highest international quality standards. The company is a Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Tissue Practice Laboratory (CGMP/CGTP) facility, ISO 9001 and US FDA registered facility. It has successful accreditations from International Quality Management Organizations such as CAP (College of American Pathologists).

Stem cells have been cryogenically stored for more than 15 years, with no significant deterioration. You can reasonably expect the same, especially given that LifeCell maintains a state-of-the-art facility. Your menstrual stem cells will remain viable (ready for use) for several years, even indefinitely.

Once your sample is successfully processed and stem cells are preserved, we will send you a PRESERVATION CERTIFICATE confirming the storage of your sample along with a report stating the number of viable stem cells preserved. This generally takes about 6 weeks from the time of collection.

Your sample may get rejected if it has less than 2 million total nucleated cells or if the bacterial/fungal loads are higher than normal. The lab will inform you if your sample has been rejected. Your processing fee for Femme is non-refundable. However you can repeat your attempt to collect your menstrual cells. We also advice you to seek help from your gynaecologist to successfully collect your sample.

Upon receipt, the sample is first sterilized by treating it with antibiotics. Then the stem cells are isolated using a density gradient separation process. A portion of the cells are mixed with a cryo-preservation solution and stored. The remaining cells are subjected to an ex-vivo cell culture process for isolating a pure population of menstrual blood derived Mesenchymal stem cells. The stored cells are frozen through a controlled rate freezing process and maintained at below -150ºC for long term preservation.

Once our lab receives your Femme collection kit, your sample will be examined to see if it meets the acceptance criteria. If yes, it will be taken for processing. Processing usually takes upto 28 days to complete.

If for some reason, you've not been able to collect the sample properly, do let us know. We will send you another collection kit (at a charge). However, do speak to a gynaecologist who is familiar with the process and be familiar with the instructions before you start.

No. There is no known risk associated with collecting the menstrual blood sample.

For best results, the sample should reach us within 48 hours after collection. We will send you a convenient, pre-paid courier bill to dispatch the sample after collection. This is to ensure that there is no loss of time in transit. Alternatively you can contact our Customer Care or the local center who will ensure that the sample is dispatched to the laboratory.

Sometimes, a smaller sample may be enough. We can only tell you after our laboratory has received the sample and processed the same. For best results we suggest that you repeat the collection to the desired quantity before dispatching to our laboratory.

Period flow varies from woman to woman. You should collect your sample on the day of your heaviest flow. For some this could be the first day, for others the second. You are the best judge. Ideally, the sample should be 10 ml or more. This means, you should be wearing the menstrual cup for 3 to 4 hours.

Yes, in fact menstrual cups are far safer than tampons or pads. They are made of medical grade silicon, which is odourless and has anti-bacterial properties. It is latex free and BPA free. Moreover there is absolutely no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, like with tampons. The menstrual cup is used by thousands of women worldwide as an alternative to sanitary napkins and tampons.

After you’ve enroled with us, call us as soon as you get your next period. We will send you a Femme menstrual blood collection kit, which has a step by step guide and all the necessary materials for a successful collection. You will need to collect your sample using the Hygina Menstrual Cup. You can do it comfortably in the privacy of your home.

While there is no expiry date on these stem cells, the law does not allow for perpetuity agreements of this nature. At age 60, you will have a good idea of your health and can take a decision regarding extension of storage.

No. We don’t offer this service to women below the age of 18. We also advice you to opt for Femme as early as possible. For as you grow older, hormonal changes in your body could have a significant impact on the quality of stem cells stored.

Relax and celebrate! We will credit your account with the amount you’ve paid for Femme. All you need to do is pay the balance to subscribe to LifeCell’s Baby Cord services to preserve your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells.

Age affects your body. It affects the quality of stem cells produced by your body. Between 25 and 40 years of age, you are at your prime. Investing in Femme during this time will help you collect a good quality sample of stem cells. Also hormonal changes in women, as they grow older, especially the onset of early menopause (peri-menopause) could have a significant impact on the quality of stem cells produced.

Subscribing to Femme is very simple and convenient. Please call our Customer Support Team at 1800-102-5757 or SMS 'FEMME’ to 53456 or mail us at care@lifecell.in. Our Customer Care Executives will get in touch with you, give you all the information and guide you through the enrolment process. Once you enrol, you will receive the Femme collection kit during your next periods. The menstrual blood collection can be done in the privacy of your home. Please follow the instructions provided in the kit box to collect the sample and send it to us.