The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) awarded a P16.4 million grant to Makati Medical Center’s team of doctors and scientists for a study on the use of stem cells as a treatment to wounds caused by diabetes. This makes MakatiMed the only hospital in the Philippines to receive a DOST grant for research on umbilical cord-derived stem cells.

The proposed study, “Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Intramuscular Transplantation of Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Diabetic Foot Ulceration”, received the funding from DOST’s Research and Development Management Division of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

The research aims to examine how stem cells from umbilical cord tissues, which are normally discarded after giving birth, can potentially accelerate the wound healing process of patients suffering from the complications of diabetes. The study also projects that using Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSC) will reduce the need for invasive and painful cell extraction procedures such as bone marrow aspiration and adipose tissue liposuction, thus may cut the high cost associated with generating cell-based treatments.

“We at MakatiMed always aim to give hope to our patients through our services,” says Jose Maria C. Avila, MD, the study’s principal investigator and co-director of MakatiMed’s Center for Regenerative Medicine. “Receiving the support of DOST is a great boost to our cause and we hope that this will pave the way for more innovative cellular treatments.”

Also part of the research team are co-investigators Victor L. Gisbert, MD; May H. Ortiz-Sison, MD; R.J. Gerard J. Panlilio, MD; Teresita E. Dumagay, MD; and Jayson S. Santiago (Junior Scientist); as well as Rodmar C. Pulido (Project Consultant); Benjamin Maligalig (Project Statistician), Kimberly Joy R. Sermon, RMT, MBA-H (Project Manager), and Christian Carl B. Camacho, RPh (Project Monitor).

For more information, please contact MakatiMed Center for Regenerative Medicine at +632.8888 999 local 3614, email stemcell@makatimed.net.ph and mmc@makatimed.net.ph, or visit www.makatimed.net.ph.

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