Guest: Dr. Jason R. Williams MD
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Jason Williams is a medical doctor and board-certified radiologist and pioneer in minimally invasive, image-guided cancer therapies. He’s been interviewed by numerous media outlets.
Segment overview: In this Health Supplier segment, Dr. Jason R. Williams is here to talk about Precision StemCell, an outpatient imaging and image guided treatment facility located in Bogota, Colombia that has the ability to harvest stem cells from both fat (adipose) and bone marrow.
Health Professional Radio
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. And we’re here today in this Health Supplier Segment with Dr. Jason Williams. And we’re here to talk about Precision Stem Cell, Dr. William’s company located in Bogota, Colombia. And his research into stem cells has actually transcended the discussion that was quite prominent several years back – all the controversy about stem cells. Dr. Williams talked about stem cells that can be obtained from fat and bone marrow. How are you doing today Dr. Williams?
Dr. Jason Williams: I’m doing great Neal. How are you doing?
N: Great, doing well. You’re the CEO of a company called Precision Stem Cell. It’s an outpatient imaging and image guided treatment facility located in Colombia. Could you talk a bit about how and why you started Precision Stem Cell and why you’re operating in Bogota?
J: Sure. Now we’re expanding, now we do some work in Mexico as well. And we’ve kind of focused a little bit more on research. But to give you an idea of kind of how we first got into it that was I’m always interested in stem cell research and I thought that it was for the future. But for me I do a lot of bond procedures. People with neck pain, back pain, I do injection and to a lot of patients who had surgery, and then I had the unfortunate problem of getting a couple of herniated disc in my neck myself. And I really looked at it and I thought … pelvic patients who had surgery, certainly a lot of times it doesn’t work as well as we hope and see the metal in them … and I thought if we could fill this stem cell to regenerate some of the disc and repair this problem that would be much better. And then when I had my own trouble it kind to pushed me to really, to look at it because I didn’t want to have surgery and I wanted to look at the options that maybe considering to stem cell. And so I’ve got involved in looking at that and we learned that some methods for people who are taking fat and can isolated stem cell from fat, and if we could inject it into joints and use it to help regenerate certain areas. And that’s the work that we kind of got into. And we started doing a few athletes, we treated some NFL players and other people, we had some really good results with it. At the time we were in the United States and we didn’t really know the FDA then will have the guideline on whether the doctor say that’s okay or not.
N: Uh huh.
J: And now even still in United States they’re checking the clinic whether you’ve been currently using this technique to treat joints and all sorts of conditions. But it kind of really advanced when some of the athletes we treat Neal, a football coach who had Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
N: Uh huh.
J: And this is so this is nervous system, so I was working great for athletic surgeries… and would you consider treating him with it? And so I looked at it and thought about it for a while and decided that we will give it a shot and how it did for him. And we treated him and he did very well and actually there’s in the newspaper the public story about and it kind of became known, which was good and bad.
N: Was he treated with his own stem cells?
J: Yes he was.
N: And is that the standard or is that how it has to be?
J: … at the time the FDA seem a little bit of okay if you were using the patient’s own stem cell but then they …. the idea of from the donor cell. Now things are kind a changing and there are stem cell company who sells product in the US … from placenta, and the FDA looked at that very much like donor tissue, like blood like donor or grafts for ACL replacements and those things. And so that’s kind of become accepted, and certainly when you’re using donor tissue it’s easier, you don’t have harvest from the patient. And we do now in the United States when we do stem cell procedures we usually use it from donors, were using either from a company because we know that they’ve already dealt with the FDA, and we don’t have to worry about it. We’re just using their product like a drug. But on the other side, we were doing a lot of work with the patient’s own stem cell and when we’re testing the results in the patient with ALS, we’re really curious as to why the patients were improving, because they were getting better quickly. And we know that wasn’t because they were regrown nerves, we thought that something else was going on, and so but more and more we’re looking to it now … a lot more, with the stem cell producing growth factors that help repair various issue the autoimmune conditions that have are often the problem that you see. With that patients with stroke, the growth factors can help with some of the nerves heal. And there is that kind a were we stated those thing, like we kind a get away from doing a lot of the patient care and started to focusing much more on research, and so we don’t treat any patients now, we’re still kind of much more in the research phase.
N: Now how does Precision Stem Cell get the word out to other physicians who may be extremely interested in these new developments? That’s my first question. And second question is how does you’re company get around the negative press that fat gets in on itself?
J: Sure, yeah. And obviously the first thing with stem cell is that patient who are can’t still have the idea of embryotic stem cell. So when some of the stories are filling the newspapers when we’re treating athletes and things like that. And people send this kind of upset… how could you do this type of work that harming embryos and babies, but they didn’t understand that obviously, that’s not what we do. And of course using fat definitely have been shown that there is a fair number of stem cells that can be obtained from fat and I think more and more if you educate the patient on it, educate all the physicians and they see the work, they see that there’s definitely a real possibility. And I think it’s much more accepted now and obviously fat stem cell is usually easy to get and people are glad that you take it. (Laugh)
N: (laugh) Absolutely. Now I also understand that your company deals in stem cells that are obtained from bone marrow as well. Is that better, worse or are the results about the same?
J: It’s different for different situations. I mean some will work like if we’re trying to treat the person who have arthritis and you want to help regenerate cartilage. If you would read the controversy, we’re will seeing good results with better, one of the thing with fat, was that a number of stem cells that you can get is so much more than with bone marrow. And that’s why we kind of leaned more towards fat for that type of purpose for doing orthopedic conditions that we require that we’re actually getting much more cell to get a better effect than bone marrow. Bone marrow in United States is much more accepted because we don’t have to do any processing, I mean you take it and you and spend it down but you don’t have to do the process that like what you have to do with fat. But fat we have to dissolve the fat, we’ve got to separate the cell…and the FDA who doesn’t like that, even though I know that there are clinics in the United States that they’re doing it now, but the FDA they have kind of ruled that if you’re gonna take it that you have to be minimally manipulating the tissue. And they think that’s a little bit too much and so that’s one of the things that for me one of the reason that we located our clinic in Colombia and now we do a little bit more work in Mexico, is that this country is more accepting of this type of work. We also have more options here, stem cell laboratory and banking done here. And the FDA they talked to me in a very nice way, they weren’t rude about it. They just said “Hey we don’t like want you’re doing, so we would just like you to not do it.”
N: (laugh) Oh, in a nice way yeah?
J: In a nice way. So not wanting to create any more trouble, that’s when we started looking at some work outside the country. And also at that time we started focusing much more on research with that, and we want to look at substances that the stem cells produce, and wanting to see if can we duplicate that so that maybe we don’t even have to use stem cell. Maybe we can duplicate it by either giving the substance directly or using a gene therapy. And that’s where a lot of the work, particularly in ALS where we were looking more gene therapy. We thought stem cell where kind of the band aid but gene therapy is kind of trying to hold the promise for future cure.
N: Now as we wrap up, what is the ultimately goal of Precision Stem Cell as a company, as an organization? And how significant is the involvement of likeminded researchers in the United States who maybe travel back and forth in order to glean information and new processes from your company?
J: Sure, yes. So obviously since we kind of focused with a lot more on research and we do work with several researchers in the United States. But the problems in things with stem cell are … fact that they produce these healing growth factors and there’s been other researchers in the US and outside the United States as well that showed that administering stem cell can actually do very good for antiaging – they extend life expectancy of animals. And these healing properties that we really want to try to understand more and try to make it more effective. And we hope that what we’ll do it will lead to stem cell therapy that is more control and right now you’ve got a lot of different clinics offering stem cell and some may have something that’s good and some do not. And so that I think it needs more oversight, to make sure that patients are getting something that’s best quality. But the other thing is that we can’t look at stem cell as a kind a…I mean a lot of patients we get contact to them with all sorts of conditions and lot of them we don’t have any evidence that the stem cells are gonna help, but the patients they truly believe that the stem cell really is the answer for them and we need a lot more research to show this.
N: Now where can we get more information about your company Precision Stem Cell and get in contact with you?
J: Sure so we have a website precisionstemcell.com and patients can go on there and can get the information about some of the treatment that we offer, and we have the contact information on there as well.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, our Health Supplier Segment. We’ve been talking with Dr. Jason Williams President and CEO of Precision Stem Cell. It’s an outpatient imaging and image guided treatment facility located in Bogota, Colombia. And it has the ability to harvest stem cells from both fat and bone marrow. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Williams.
J: Thank you Neal, I appreciate it.
N: Thank you so much. Transcript and audio of this Health Supplier Segment are available at hpr.fm and also at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.