With its growing popularity in the country, the so-called stem cell therapy, which was recently approved by the Department of Health (DOH), is now available in Davao City.
Dr. Luz Acosta, a Davao-born physician specializing in Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Reconstructive Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery and recently Stem Cell Treatment, conducts the procedure after acquiring equipment from Australia and the USA. She is supported by a team that includes cardiologists, internists, and anesthesiologists who administer the laboratory tests and cardiopulmonary clearance to determine if an individual can safely undergo stem cell therapy. Having trained in this discipline abroad, she recently decided to offer this treatment after it was approved by the DoH.
As a founding member of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine that was only established last January 18, 2013 with DOH Sec. Dr. Enrique Ona as its honorary chair, Acosta is joined by doctors Jose Sabili, Melchor Santos, Christian Mancao, Leo Olarte, Bu Castro, Oscar Tinio, and Almond Derla as well as Mr. Rico Colayco as organizers of the society.
"This means that the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine is the regulating body for the practice of stem cell treatment in the country," Acosta says. "Stem cell therapy is legal and safe for every medically cleared patient who wants to undergo such treatment to be rejuvenated and treated of his/her illnesses and diseases."
Acosta said that based on what was stipulated in the approved directions for stem cell therapy, the stem cell could just come from the person himself and not from the other sources like black sheep or aborted fetus, adding that sources of stem cells are fats, blood, bone marrow and umbilical cord.
"It could take five to six hours for one to undergo stem cell therapy. Harvesting is done in the first two hours, then another one to two hours for stem cell processing and activation, and the last one to two hours for treatment of stem cells back to the same patient," she said.
Popular personalities who have already publicly admitted that they had undergone stem cell therapy are former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former Senator Ernesto Maceda, who said that they spent millions to pay for the treatment.
But Acosta said that it could be a lot cheaper here than abroad, as the cost of treatment will be in accordance to the guidelines of the Phil. Society for Stem Cell Medicine.
She said there have been very good clinical outcomes from stem cell treatments on autism, auto-immune diseases, cerebral palsy, diabetes, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, nerve damage, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury and stroke.
"But we have to clarify here that we are not claiming stem cell therapy as a cure for cancer, though it can alleviate pain and improve patients' wellbeing while undergoing cancer therapy," she said.
Dr. Luz Acosta's clinic is located at Room 401-402, Medical Arts Building, San Pedro Hospital along Guerrero Street, Davao City.