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Creating the Second Life

ICON Magazine, September 2010 Issue

Article by Ariel Wong (Exclusive report from Kyiv)

In the quest to explore the world’s most advanced and unique anti-aging medicine, “Icon” followed the doctors from HesCell Clinic to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and managed to get an exclusive interview with Ukraine’s fetal stem cell research center, EmCell Clinic, bringing back for our readers some insights into the era’s most advanced anti-aging medical technology.

Moving Towards a New Era in Anti-Aging

In this age of abundance, people’s definition of anti-aging is no longer limited to health; it also includes the preservation of appearance, mental and physical abilities. Based on the general concept that people not only want to live longer, but also to live better, “anti-aging” has become a hot topic of discussion.

In anti-aging medicine, aging is defined as a process that is continuous, universal, progressive, intrinsic and deleterious; it will reduce life’s capability of adjusting to external environments. Interestingly, the five elements of this process can be acronymed into CUPID, the God of Love, whose eternal youth and beauty are such contrast to the transience of human life. However, with the breakthroughs and advancements in medical research, aging is no longer a process that is unstoppable. Fetal Stem Cell Transplantation (FSCT), a subject that has been actively discussed by global media in the recent years, is gradually gaining the recognition as an innovative anti-aging therapy.

An Innovative Medical Therapy

Speaking of “stem cell transplantation”, perhaps more than half of our readers are able to form a general idea: it is about injecting adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood stem cells into a recipient’s body for treatment purpose. However, the number of adult stem cells in an adult’s body is limited and their differentiation ability is specific, while umbilical cord blood stem cells could potentially be rejected by the body; therefore, the efficacy of the therapy is limited. Nevertheless, it is already considered a very advanced medical therapy.

While we are still contented with the results of these therapies, a group of medical experts in Ukraine has already been developing an innovative “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy since the 1990s. The ‘material’ used in the stem cell transplantation is human embryo. Perhaps you would feel confused and uneasy, and are even opposed to such an act; however, positive discussions by the international medical community and media sector in the recent years and academic and clinical reports have provided support towards efficacy of the therapy. It is foreseeable that the “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy will gradually develop into an important branch in medicine.

The “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy was developed by Dr. Alexander Smikodub, a professor at Ukraine’s National Medical University, through many years of clinical research. The initial objective of the research was to seek treatment for chronic diseases. In the process, he discovered that human fetal stem cells are not only very effective in treating chronic diseases; they also show excellent results in anti-aging. Therefore, he decided to pursue a two-way development for the therapy: one to treat chronic diseases; the other to prevent aging.

First-Class Anti-Aging Technology

In 1994, under the approval and legal protection of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the world’s first ever human fetal stem cell research center, EmCell Clinic, was officially established. Dr. Alexander Smikodub and his top medical team performed “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy for patients from all over the world, achieving both the effects of treating disease and anti-aging.

Although this innovative medical therapy was increasingly recognized by the Western society at that time, it is still a very foreign in Asia. In 2004, EmCell Clinic commissioned HesCell Clinic in Malaysia as its only medical representative in Asia, with the goal of communicating the proper information on “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy to Asian people who require medical assistance.

“Icon” was fortunate to be invited by HesCell Clinic as the Asia’s first Chinese media to go to Kyiv, Ukraine, for an exclusive interview with EmCell Clinic.

Ever since I completed the interview on “fetal stem cells transplantation” (FSCT), I have been asked numerous times regarding the differences between FSCT and Swiss Medical Cosmetic. The fact is, the Swiss Medical Cosmetic is more focused on external appearance, whereas Ukraine’s FSCT focuses on treating the causes of diseases. For an advanced medical therapy that is capable of treating various chronic diseases, no doubt it can also be used effectively for anti-aging. As both therapy methods have different objectives and appeals, they are not really comparable to each other.

After my interview with EmCell Clinic’s physician-in-charge, I have obtained a deeper understanding of anti-aging. To many people, anti-aging is about maintaining a youthful appearance. However, have we ever thought that the real meaning of anti-aging is actually far beyond that? The preservation of youth should be from the inside to the outside. Some people might think this is too much to ask; it is already a great blessing to be able to maintain a youthful appearance. Thanks to a group of medical experts who put in so much hard work into their clinical research, it is now possible for people to maintain both physical and psychological youth.

“Fetal stem cell transplantation has very excellent effects on anti-aging. After being injected into the recipient’s body, the fetal stem cells will differentiate into new cells of various parts in the body, which helps to restore the physiological function and activity. As a result, a person is able to regain the spirit and vitality of a young person, mental agility and a youthful appearance,” said Dr. Alexander Smikodub Junior, who currently manages EmCell Clinic. “We have received many patients who are healthy people; they came here simply for the purpose of anti-aging. Some of these people are leaders or top executives in their companies. They have huge responsibilities and often have to make important judgments and decisions. Working under such high pressure for a long period of time will definitely accelerate the aging process. Our therapy can quickly and effectively slow down their mental aging process, and off course, the aging of appearance can also be delayed and restored.”

Among all current anti-aging technologies, the “fetal stem cell transplantation”, which stresses on the concept of “treating the root cause”, is indeed a very ideal way to help maintain the vitality of life.

At the Forefront of Medical Treatment

Among the States of former Soviet Union, Ukraine’s development capacity is only second to Russia’s. Ukraine is deeply influenced by the Russian social and cultural system; hence, its development in the medical field has always been comparable to Russia’s. Ukraine has retained a good healthcare system and strong medical research institutions, which laid a strong foundation for Ukraine’s great achievements in the medical field today.

In terms of academic exchange, Ukraine’s medical profession has extensive contacts in Europe and America which play an important role in raising the level of the local medical practice. The National Medical University of Ukraine is the country’s top medical unit; its subsidiary, EmCell Clinic, has conducted more than 210 clinical researches involving the application of fetal stem cells since its inception; it has also received the Most Innovative Work Award granted by the Scientific Committee of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Medical Innovations and Technology (SMIT) held in Oslo, Norway. EmCell is currently the world’s only specialized clinic in fetal stem cell transplantation. The therapy developed by Dr. Alexander Smikodub has brought modern medicine beyond the traditional boundaries of medical treatments, creating a solution which is far more effective.

Medical Professionalism

Within 16 years, EmCell had treated more than 6000 people who are from different countries such as the United States, Italy, German, China, Poland, Russia, Taiwan and Malaysia. Some of these people had chronic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and blood disorders, while others seek for anti-aging treatment. Overall, after receiving the treatment, these people would experience significant improvement in terms of physical function, mental state, medical condition or appearance.

It is inevitable for the outside world to be skeptical about the source of the human fetal stem cell used in the transplantation. During the interview, I have also expressed my concern with the issue. “In fact, all of the human embryos that we use were donated by the obstetrics and gynecology department of the National Hospital. These human embryos were legitimately and ethically obtained. At the same time, before using them on a human body, we will conduct a series of rigorous screening procedures, for example we only choose embryos donated by healthy donors, and all embryos must go through chromosome test to avoid causing potential infection or genetic disease. Based on our many years of clinical experience, fetal stem cells will only have medical effect on the recipient at a cell-level, and will not affect an individual’s gene structure. ” Dr. Maria Demchuk, a senior doctor who has worked at EmCell Clinic since its inception, responded positively to my question which I thought would be too sensitive to mention.

Among the medical trend of the 21st century, the “fetal stem cell transplantation” therapy is regarded as a therapy with infinite potential, which seeks health benefits for mankind within the standards of ethics and sciences. Although it is not panacea for all diseases and it cannot revive the dead, it can certainly offer us life extension, and give us enduring good looks, which is a glorious achievement in the development of human civilization.