View Full Version : Installment 84 - Ask the Doctor with Dr. Glenn Terry/GARM

12-27-2015, 05:41 PM
About Dr. Glenn Terry and GARM

Dr. Glenn Terry is a world leader in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Terry's impressive CV can be accessed here:
The Global Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (aka GARM) was formed in 2013 with the goal of providing safe and effective elective treatment and/or management options for patients diagnosed with select chronic disease states and/or acute injuries in a restorative resort environment. GARM believes in the use of adult autologous stem/stromal cells with biocellular medicine to help the body heal itself the way in which nature intended.
The GARM clinic is located in Roatan, Honduras. http://www.garm.com.hn/index.html

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“Ask the Doctor” answers provided by:

www.garm.com.hn (http://www.garm.com.hn) | info@garm.com.hn | 011-504-2408-3544 | (305) 515-7801

Q: I am trying to figure out what it is that is done in foreign lands that our doctors cannot do in the U.S. that seems to make their stem cell therapy more successful. Can you enlighten me?
A: ​In 2015, the FDA stated that the biologic material (SVF = stromal vascular fraction) separated from harvested adipose tissue (fat) was considered a “drug”. As such, it should only be injected into areas of like tissue (i.e., SVF from fat injected into fat) as sometimes done in plastic and cosmetic procedures. Therefore, several physicians who employ this technique for regenerative purposes in other tissues have moved offshore to avoid conflict with the FDA’s guidelines. Others may ignore the FDA’s position; some use concentrated PRP as a stem cell product. However, PRP may contain precursor stem cells in low concentration, but certainly not enough to validate passing it off as a legitimate “stem cell” therapy option.

Q: (a)Can you explain the TESS targeted enzyme signaling system in terms that even a dummy can understand? (b) Is this something that all patients at your clinic would benefit from or just specific conditions? (c) Is it administered just one time to be beneficial?
A: (a) TESS is GARM’s acronym for the way this naturally occurring enzyme exerts its effect. Simply put, variations of TESS target and signal the immune system to act (as demonstrated in some types of cancer and certain viruses), or not (as demonstrated with certain autoimmune disorders). (b) Thus, variations of TESS are recommended for very specific conditions. Of course, the patient’s immune system, health, and comorbidities may play a role in the effectiveness of the selected TESS treatment option. (c) The TESS products are not “one time use” products. The recommendation is daily usage and patients are provided with a strict usage schedule to follow.

Q: Do you accept patients for stem cell therapy who are taking prednisone daily? Are stem cells affected by Prednisone? Is treatment outcome does dependent in any way, (i.e., 5 mg vs higher dosage)?
A: Since stem cell treatment outcomes may be adversely affected by daily steroid usage; the dosage does play a role. Daily prednisone use adversely effects both stem cells, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative processes. Thus, daily steroid use poses a relative contraindication to successful stem cell treatments.

Q: Recently, on Stem Cell Pioneers, this statement was made about your process. “We believe that this is due to our process. We have used this process for 4 years but have recently ‘fine tuned it’ to the point that allows us to treat COPD without having to dilute the SVF. Our process delivers the highest number of cells in the industry without any drugs or chemicals.” Can you be more specific? What does diluting do to the cells, what is SVF, etc?
A: The method employed by the GARM Clinic has evolved over the past 4 years to give the therapeutic advantage of isolating the stem cells from the SVF (SVF - stromal vascular fraction is the bioactive product separated from the lipoaspirate by centrifugation.

Lower viscosity – by isolating cells liberates a higher concentration of ​​​suspended stem cells per mL.
This is safer than diluting the SVF in order ​​​to improve the safety of its IV injection

Maximum cell numbers – verified by flow cytometry

The increased number of available cells is the issue that sets this method apart from other methods. More cells = potentially a more predictable, better result.

Q: What is biocellular medicine? How is this incorporated into your stem cell treatments?
A: Biocellular applications combine SVF (stromal vascular fraction) separated from lipoaspirate with concentrated platelet rich plasma. This biocellular mixture may be utilized for targeted injection purposes used in musculoskeletal treatment options.

Q: Do you treat all patients in your Roatan clinic or do you also have a clinic in the U.S.? Many orthopedic patients and lung patients are being treated in the U.S. I am wondering what benefit it would be to be a patient with either of these problems to make a trip to Honduras. It can be difficult to travel, but I would make the effort if I could see an advantage to offshore treatment vs what can be legally done in the U.S.
A: We currently treat all of our patients in the GARM clinic in Roatan, partly due to FDA restraints in the U.S. In addition, we are able to keep costs down vs costs we would incur in the U.S., which results in a tremendous savings for the patient. The GARM Clinic is located in a private, high-end resort, known as Parrot Tree Plantation. This Caribbean resort provides a restorative environment for patients to recover and enjoy the amenities of the Caribbean with their loved ones. To address the travel issues, there are many direct flights from the U.S. to Roatan on most days of the week. The flights range in duration from 2-3.5 hours. The GARM Clinic provides a patient concierge service to reduce the burden and stress of planning and travel. The trip should be seamless and enjoyable for all (even the experience at the GARM clinic has been rated a quite positive by patients and their families, see http://www.garm.com.hn/testimonials.html.

To learn more about the clinic, one can view this video as it appears on Roatan Travel Network: https://youtu.be/-H_nExNlDXw

Q: If a patient has more than one condition (COPD and pulmonary hypertension), what treatment would you recommend? I am not sure if pulmonary hypertension would respond to stem cell treatment of would you recommend doing stem cells for the COPD and a pharmaceutical drug for the pulmonary hypertension? I am just wanting an honest opinion about the healthiest outcome I could hope to have from treatment.
This is a complicated situation. COPD is frequently associated with pulmonary hypertension. Both conditions have an inflammatory pathway that stem cells MIGHT help. The published articles in this area are few and definitely additional research is needed; thus, pharmaceutical treatment for the pulmonary hypertension should still be employed.
A: The autologous stem cell treatment protocol utilized by the GARM Clinic can help patients with COPD as well as pulmonary hypertension; the early results in COPD patients are promising.

Q: I noticed that that GARM website indicated that you have clinical trials from time to time. Who can participate? Do patients pay for participation? Have you published any results from these clinical trials yet? Do you have any coming up in 2016?
A: The conditions treated by GARM’s clinical protocols have inclusion and exclusion criteria. If a prospective candidate meets those criteria, he/she is accepted as a candidate for enrollment. Currently, most of GARM’s treatment protocols are patient funded. GARM does, however, absorb many of the purely clinical research related costs. Being a young company, GARM has only “anecdotal” results; GARM tracks specific patient results related for each diagnostic and treatment protocol. Once GARM reaches statistical relevance among in a specific treatment group, it will attempt to publish its results. GARM holds itself and its researchers to extremely high standards.

Q: What is your protocol for treating both types of diabetes?
A:The treatment protocol for diabetes consists of a one-day procedure. Using only local anesthesia and conscious sedation, we isolate the stem cells and infuse them into the pancreas via catheterization which is very similar to the procedure for placing a cardiovascular stent. For the implantation purpose, an interventional cardiologist is utilized. The patient stays one night in a luxurious private suite in a private hospital, and is free to leave the following day.

Q: (a) Do you expand the stem cells you harvest? (b) Does a person’s age matter? (c) What if they are super skinny – is it possible to get enough fat out of such a person? (d) Can you bank their cells if they want to have future treatments?
A: (a) We can expand the stem cells if necessary but usually we are able to obtain enough cells to negate the need for expansion. (b) Age influences the regenerative capability of the available stem cells; keep in mind physiological age is more important than chronological age. Even with advanced chronological age, stem cells may prove effective in treatments. General health (which can be affected by physiologic age) can also affect the numbers of available stem cells per mL of harvested adipose tissue. (c) Thin people may require smaller diameter instruments and a larger harvest area. As long as the person has greater than 5% body fat, it is possible and safe to harvest enough fat to yield positive results. Less than 3% body fat may be a contributor to chronic disease. (d) Yes, a person’s stem cells may be cryopreserved and “banked” safely for years if desired.