Suzanne Somers tries new stem cell treatment
NEW YORK (WABC) -- In 2001, Suzanne Somers announced she had breast cancer, and now a decade later, she is among the first in the US to try an experimental breast reconstruction surgery using stem cells.
In many ways, Somers made herself a guinea pig.
"This is the first clinical trial," says Somers, "so I was the first woman to legally re-grow her breast using stem cells."
The procedure is called Cell Assisted Lipotransfer. Fat is sucked out of the stomach, half is harvested for stem cells, which are then added to the remaining half, and re-injected into the breast. Suzanne says a lumpectomy and radiation left her breasts lopsided.
"This clinical trial that I started after completion will make this subject to being FDA approved, and paid for by insurance," says Somers.
But critics say that depends on the results. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have tested Cell Assisted Lipotransfer in hundreds of women in Japan for cosmetic breast enlargement. The results are promising, but the long term outcome and side effects of the procedure are still unknown.
Suzanne Somers is not one to hide from experimental treatments. She is known for her extreme anti-aging regimen on top of daily Human Growth Hormone injections. She also takes up to 90 supplements a day.
"I take estrogen, progesterone in a cyclic manner," admits Somers. "I just recently added in testosterone, because I was finding my libido not quite what it's been. Every day I take DHEA. I take prognenalone (PH), which also stirs up your sex hormones."
Only time will tell if her latest experiment with breast surgery will prove to be successful or not.
There are 3 big unanswered questions with this procedure. One is will the new cells survive and is there enough blood supply? Another is how will the breast look down the road, cosmetically. Lastly, how will the injected fat cells reprogram themselves and become cancer cells? The initial trial here will involve 100 patients.
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