Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

DDD is a progressive condition that only worsens over time without medical intervention.

The exact cause of DDD remains unclear and varies from person to person but a failure of the cartilaginous endplates and / or chondrocyte cells is thought to give rise to its occurrence. Cartilaginous endplates are gateways for nutrient transportation into discs while chondrocytes are cells that produce collagen and proteoglycan in order to maintain the structural integrity of a discs outer casing – the annulus fibrosus.

The annulus fibrosus is the tough but malleable outer casing of a disc. It prevents the nucleus pulposus from herniating (bulging) or leaking. Nucleus pulposus is a gel-like substance found inside the annulus fibrosis. It is the shock absorber of the intervertebral system and consists mainly of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycan protein. Its primary function is to retain three times its weight in water and maintain 80% water composition inside the annulus fibrosus. Hyaluronic acid and proteoglycan, a genetic protein that makes up 70% of the nucleus pulposus, are tasked with binding with water molecules to maintain internal disc pressure and disc height.

In some cases, cartilaginous endplates simply fail to provide sufficient nutrients for critical cell processes.

In others, chondrocytes begin dying (apoptosis) for reasons thought to be genetic. This ends up causing the annulus fibrosus to weaken then bulge or rupture. A lack of chondrocytes can also cause proteoglycan proteins to diminish in size and fail to bind correctly with hyaluronic acid. This ends up reducing the amount of water in discs which can also cause the annulus fibrosus to decrease in height and eventually bulge or crack and leak. There have been noted incidents of chondrocytes malfunctioning and depositing collagen I in the nucleus pulposus which causes fibroids (scarred tissue) to form.


How Our Products Can Treat Degenerative Disc Disease

We use products derived from human baby umbilical cord tissues in all our therapy programs - Wharton's Jelly MSCs (wjMSCs). Our products are special because they can:

  • prevent further deterioration of the nucleus pulposus [1,15,16].
  • encourage accumulation of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycan [1,2,5].
  • inhibit formation of fibrosis in the nucleus pulposus [3].
  • alleviate pain and discomfort [4,5,12,13].
  • retain water in nucleus pulposus [4,5,15].
  • differentiate into chondrocyte-like cells [6].
  • differentiate into nucleus pulposus-like cells [2,7,8,9].
  • modulate the immune system [7,10,11].
  • reduce inflammation [7,10,11].


Treating Degenerative Disc Disease

A 2006 study by researchers at Tokai University School of Medicine, Japan, noted a 91% increase in disc height as well as an 81% increase in MRI signal intensity after transplantation of bone marrow MSCs (bmMSCs)in rabbit models over a six-month period. The study concluded that bmMSCs were able to successfully regenerate intervertebral discs [1].

The first human trial using MSCs was conducted in 2011 by Centro Médico Teknon, Spain. They explored the efficacy of bmMSCs in treating lumbar disc degeneration. In as little as three months, all participants reported an 85% decrease in pain and disability. While the trial noted that disc height did not increase, it found that water content in the nucleus pulposus had significantly increased in a year [4]

In 2014, the General Hospital of Armed Police Force in China transplanted wjMSCs into two patients with chronic discogenic lower back pain. Both patients reported an immediate improvement in pain and functionality. Their Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) remained decreased two years post-therapy [12].

That same year, Mesoblast Limited, an Australian-based regenerative medicine company, transplanted mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) into 100 patients. Phase I of this clinical trial began in 2014 and monitored patients over a two-year period. At the end of 12 months, patients reported that a single injection into degenerating discs reduced lower back pain and improved function for the entire duration. They also reported lesser use of opioids for pain relief, greater disc stability and required less surgical and non-surgical intervention. A Phase II clinical trial, involving 100 patients, is ongoing and will end in 2019 [13].

A collaborative pilot study in 2015 by the Rocky Mountain Associates in Orthopedic Medicine and the Orthopedic Stem Cell Institute injected bMSCs directly into degenerated discs of 26 patients. At the end of 12 months, their average Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) reduced from 56.5 to 25.0 while the average Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score reduced from 79.3 to 33.2 [14].

Later that year, the CHA University in South Korea found that treatment using human wjMSCs in rabbit models of intervertebral disc degeneration significantly restored disc water content after just 12 weeks. Researchers transplanted wjMSCs directly into the affected disc and found that repair and restoration was exacted via cell signaling (paracrine) mechanisms [15]

Navy General Hospital, China established that wjMSCs were able to significantly ameliorate and halt progression of disc height reduction in canine models of intervertebral disc degeneration. Apart from that, they observed that wjMSCs also promoted disc matrix formation of aggrecan and type II collagen, protein critical in providing discs with structure and support [16].   


Cyrona’s Program

Achieving high standards in our work is of paramount importance to us. Depending on a patient’s needs, we combine our premium grade Passage 2 wjMSCs with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and/or rehabilitative medicine. 

Learn more about our Products and Programs.


Why Choose Cyrona?

  • Latest cellular research and technology.
  • Unique, tailored therapy outlines.
  • Products that meet international standards.
  • Microbiology & clinical team with extensive experience in advanced medicine.
  • Board-certified physicians geared towards patient safety.
  • Fact-based information from clinical studies and trials.
  • No outlandish promises of a one-stop-cure or false improvement rates.


Therapy Packages

All our therapy packages come inclusive of:



  • Premium grade Passage 2 wjMSCs.
  • Treatment by qualified specialist(s).
  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA).
  • Airport transfer.
  • Transportation to & from therapy session(s).
  • Accommodation.
  • Hospital room for therapy.



  • Premium grade Passage 2 wjMSCs.
  • Treatment by qualified specialist(s).
  • Certificate of Analysis (CoA).
  • Transportation to & from therapy session(s).
  • Hospital room for therapy.


How Do We Proceed

All our therapies are charged based on the number of wjMSCs and supplementary infusions required for the patient’s specific condition. As no two people are alike, our specialists review each patient’s medical reports before tailoring a therapy catered to addressing his or her individual needs.

You may chat with one of our Customer Care Representatives or send an e-mail detailing the patient’s condition to one of our Liaison Officers. It would expedite the process if you can provide us with:

  • Imaging results (MRI scan / CT scan / X-Ray).
  • Hematology reports (blood test).
  • Doctor’s assessment reports.
  • Pictures or videos of the patient (if relevant).

Upon getting in touch with us, a Liaison Officer evaluates and assigns the case to the specialist best equipped to treat the condition. A therapy, unique only to the patient, is drawn up and a price quoted accordingly.

Should you decide to proceed with therapy, our specialists require that all patients have Cancer Marker Screening performed in their country of residence before travelling to us for therapy. If the patient has had Cancer Marker Screening within the last 3 months, you may e-mail those results to us. In the event that the patient’s Cancer Marker Screening results are not satisfactory, our specialists will refuse to proceed with therapy. It is for this reason that we requests that patients have Cancer Marker Screening performed in their country of residence prior to travelling to us.

One week prior to arrival, a deposit payment is required in order to arrange accommodation and transportation.

Full payment is required to be made one-day prior to therapy commencement.

Post-treatment, our specialist will provide the patient with a post-treatment protocol as well as what to expect on his or her journey towards a better, and hopefully, healthier new life.


Kindly get in touch with us for the sources listed throughout this article.

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