Dr. Rafael Gonzales, PhD

Dr. Rafael Gonzales, PhD

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Dr. Rafael Gonzales, PhD

Speaking at Live it to Lead it
November 14-17, 2019
Newport Beach, California

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  • Everything you need to know about stem cells
  • All about stem cell treatment options
  • How to maximize your stem cells naturally

About Dr. Rafael Gonzales, PhD

Dr. Gonzalez obtained his PhD and BS from the University of California, Irvine where he studied, and his thesis addressed interactions of the immune system following spinal cord injury. In addition to his expertise in degenerative disorders involving the spinal cord, he has extensive experience in stem cell culture and biology from human embryonic, pre-natal and adult sources. Presently, Dr Gonzalez is responsible for the development of clinical stem cell applications for several disease/trauma states. Moreover, he works on clinical development of immune based therapies using natural killer cells. Dr Gonzalez has been in the stem cell field for greater than 17 years and has several scientific publications. In addition, he has taught, spoken and led many conferences nationwide in the regenerative medicine sector.

TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Pompa:
Welcome to an exciting webcast. Gosh, I’m so excited to introduce to you Rafael Gonzalez, and he’s one of the most respected scientists in the field of stem cells and the new frontier of exosomes, and a man who has been a blessing to me in so many ways professionally. I can say this, if I have a question about stem cells, exosomes, deep science, you know, need testing on something. This is the guy, and I can tell you in our community, most people know Rafael and he has such a great respect.

Dr. Pompa:      
Well, at the seminar you’re going to be blessed. We’re doing a whole section here on the future of medicine and I’ve discovered so much in the last three years about stem cells, but I can tell you that this man right here is responsible for so much of the knowledge that I’ve acquired, and I can’t wait for you to hear this because many of our docs are adding stem cells into their practice in some aspect. But you know, it’s just an education. I mean, I think everybody needs to know what’s happening right now with the future of medicine. And Rafael, welcome. I appreciate you being here.

Dr. Gonzales:     
Thank you very much. Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it. I’m excited actually to come out there and talk and speak and share my knowledge first and foremost, and then also integrate, find ways to integrate this type of technology with … The practitioners are out there with the individuals as you know, integrate this type of technology with everything that you do. Because we know that one thing on its own does not work.

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah.

Dr. Gonzales: 
And we know that you’ve got to have a clean system. You have to understand what’s transpiring in your body. I mean as we we’ve discussed this before several times. This is complete personalized medicine. And the smart approach to make this work is to find the different aspects and understand what’s happening, what’s the pathology and what’s the problems. But this field of cell therapeutics in general, whether it be exosome-based stem cells or what we had discussed, NK cells, immune modulation. We know first and foremost, let’s get that immune system healthy, and this is one of the tools and the steps to actually get this done. So it’s pretty neat. It’s a very, very interesting tool.

Dr. Gonzales: 
And every day we see all of these new things that are transpiring out there. All different problems. We’re consistently on a immune defense and consistently on a medical battle it seems like with everything that [inaudible 00:02:40] out on a daily basis and nice thing is that this is one of the great tools that we can use or many tools that we actually have that we can actually use to help individuals get better and be their best.

Dr. Pompa:   
Yeah. With that said, I mean, there’s so many things that are misunderstood that I hear even practitioners talk about around stem cells. The cool thing is, is we’re going to open it up to the audience, because I want people to be just firing questions off of you and myself and whoever else we bring into this conversation. Because I want to clear the air. I really want this to be around the new science of what’s going on with stem cells, exosomes. And this is an area that you, I mean you and I have done some work and I’ll kind of talk about it more because we’ll have more data at this point, but natural killer cells, you know. I mean, who know … Nobody knows about this, what’s going on.

Dr. Pompa:    
So, let’s kind of excite them a little bit about that before we even get more into exosomes and stem cells. And I do want to give them a little bit of what to expect here, because this is such new science. Natural killer cells. You and I right now are in the process of some pretty cool experiments right now regarding myself and Marily. And there’s such a story around what happened with Merily with this. But anyways, and you’ll have to come to the seminar to hear more and we’ll have some live testing behind me, trust me on this. So anyways, talk about that, natural killer cells. Man, this can be a big deal for Lyme, for autoimmune, for arthritis, gut issues. What is it? Tell us a little bit.

Dr. Gonzales:   
Yeah, absolutely. So you know these are part of your innate immune response or your immediate immune response. And they basically deal with three different things. And one of them being dealing with viruses, secondarily dealing with cancer. And if you look up actually natural killer cells on clinicaltrials.gov, you’ll see greater than 750 different clinical studies being done on this. But lastly, and probably the most important aspect that we focus on is the immune system. And what they actually do is they are in charge of wiping out senescent cells in our body. Age cells. So if we can wipe out an age cell in our body, what is our body forced to do, and what does it have to do?

Dr. Pompa: 
Right.

Dr. Gonzales:  
It’s forced to regenerate. It’s forced to bring in something younger from the bone marrow and it’s forced to work the correct way. We now know based on a ton of evidence [inaudible 00:05:09], that these senescent cells secrete these what’s called senescent associated factors that are actually detrimental, that actually believe it or not, cause cancer, dementia, heart disease, et cetera. Simple senescence is, I mean, you know, gray hair, wrinkles, fibrosis of the lung, the liver, all of that. Yeah, we got to work to get rid of it all of that stuff on me too. Get some hair growing possibly back there too.

Dr. Gonzales:   
But anyway, these are things that we’re working hard on and these are things that we’re going to discuss actually at the seminar and we’re going to get into a lot more detail, because this is a very, very powerful tool. Every single disease has an inflammatory and immune mediated component to it, and if we can actually improve our own systems to make them function correctly, we’re golden. We’re good to go.

Dr. Pompa:    
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, let’s talk about stem cells then. We’ll kind of back into exosomes a little bit. Many people watching this are probably like, “exo what?” Well, put it this way, a year ago practically nobody knew. So a lot has happened in a year. There’s more and more exciting science coming out and you’re behind a lot of it. You know, actually, it’s funny how I found you [inaudible 00:06:16]. I read studies, I dig … When I’m interested in something I dig, dig, dig, and your name actually was on many of the studies that I did. I don’t know, someone said, “Oh yeah.” And he was here in San Diego, and I was like, “Oh, I’ve got to meet him.” That when I first saw you on many of these studies I was reading, so I was obviously interested in your work.

Dr. Pompa:   
A lot of that work was on some of the cord stem cells, the umbilical cord stem cells. Which again, I think that there’s a lot of misunderstanding around this. So talk a little bit about this because there’s autologous stem cells, where my son just yesterday, he broke his back and I’ll tell that story too because you gifted exosomes for this because of what Daniel was going through. So they took his own stem cells from his bone, from his pelvis, and then they mixed your exosomes in it and they put it in his fracture sites, the vertebral body. And actually Dr. Harry [Adelson 00:07:23] actually ended up doing his whole spine.

Dr. Pompa:    
But you know that you were part of this miracle that we’re seeing with Daniel who broke his back, shouldn’t even be walking, shouldn’t even be alive. So thank you for that first off.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Yes, you’re welcome.

Dr. Pompa:
And that all just happened yesterday by the way. So I’m like [inaudible 00:07:37]. I was more worried about him going into this. They’d put him out, because they were doing so much and going into the vertebral bodies. Anyways, bottom line is though, talk about of some of these early studies that you did on the cord cells. So we have autologous, meaning coming from us and allogenic meaning from a different source. For example, a umbilical cord kind. Kind of just open that up a little bit.

Dr. Gonzales: 
Yeah, absolutely. So we actually just started producing a pure mesenchymal stem cell line, because what you’ll hear out there a lot is stem cell, stem cells, stem cells. But as Dan now knows, and he’s experienced that, this word is used sort of openly out there. And the vast majority of a lot of these things, the products that you’ll see out there or what people are selling are not actually true stem cells. They’re a milieu or a [gamesh 00:08:29] of different cells and tissues and they’re not a pure. These, what we discuss actually, use a pure mesenchymal stem cell population that we’ve actually culture expanded. Meaning we’ve grown this up in Petri dishes and we test and we make sure everything is fine. There’s no genetic problems with it. It grows well. And then we test this quite a bit versus your standard, you know, a healthy 40 year old bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell, a pure stem cell population too, and look at the secretome, what’s being secreted from it. Look at their actions, see how they grow.

Dr. Gonzales:  
And we found that these younger … And I mean it makes sense. These younger cells are a lot more potent. They secrete a lot more and they’re a very, very vibrant source. If you look at it, I mean a baby has to develop completely normal. Children are much less susceptible as we know, to cancer than we are. Once you have an autoimmune disease, there’s a lot of evidence out there that shows that autologous cells are not effective, meaning the cells from you are not effective. These young naive cells have to basically … that are the cord blood and the cord tissue has to sustain a new life and it has to sustain a new, healthy, vibrant life that doesn’t have any genetic deficiency, that doesn’t have any type of disease or hasn’t even been exposed to these type of diseases that we’re actually … or these different mutations and everything that transpires during adulthood.

Dr. Gonzales:     
So it’s a fantastic source. I mean, we spent over nine years developing this thing, this product that we have that we’re going into clinical studies with for autoimmune diseases, because we all know, right now I think there’s over 300 autoimmune diseases and every day there’s new ones popping up.

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah. You know, and I have to say, I got your stem cells and you know, and I’ve read everything. I was like, you know, I really want to do this because again, it’s taking a young cell, it goes in, as it starts sending messages to our cells to become younger cells. I remember reading the study where they actually sewed two rats together and there’s a word for that. It was an old rat and a young rat, and obviously they’re going to share blood when they actually sew their arterial supply together.

Dr. Pompa:      
But the young rat actually started taking on old characteristics, but the old rat became young, you know?

Dr. Gonzales: 
Yes.

Dr. Pompa:  
I mean it’s like … So that’s kind of what’s happening when we’re taking on these young cells is it’s telling our cells to act young, to be better, be better cells, function better. But when I read that, I got very excited about it. However, then I started reading that all cells aren’t created equal, meaning where you get an [inaudible 00:11:05], it took you eight years to develop this cell line and that’s why I flew to Cancun, and I’m like, “This is what I have to do. This guy’s got it going on.” So talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Gonzales:    
Yeah, I mean it’s just a lot of vigorous study. Studies are looking at what’s secreted from the cells, how the cells interact, how the cells work. Ideally finding the right time to actually use the cells, which is also a really, really important aspect of, do you take them on really, really young and naive? Do you wait? Because at a certain point if you, I mean just as we have cells, just as they duplicate in our body, just as they age in our body, when we grow these things up, they actually duplicate and they become aged.

Dr. Gonzales:    
I mean we’ve actually looked at [inaudible 00:11:45] measurements on the cells, differences in old versus young. At what point do we actually take them? I mean it’s been abundance of data. Even working, you know, we spent a lot of time looking at extracellular matrix because we need that without that collagen, without that [hyaluronic 00:12:01] acid. We know that our bodies don’t function well, our cells don’t function well and signaling in the body can’t transpire well either. So we spend a lot of years before we say, “Okay, we have something that we’re confident and positive is ready to go and ready to be used.”

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah. Well here, this was the [inaudible 00:12:22], I put Daniel’s thing up yesterday, right on my Facebook and then here was one of the comments. I’ll let you respond. It said, “I would do research …” Remember they saw what Daniel went through, the procedure, right? And it said, “It did not work for one. I would do research. It did not work for one, a patient of mine for his damage, knee, cartilage. Other patient, just 25 year old got an autoimmune disease.” So in other words, that’s some of the things that are out there, meaning they got stem cells, they got an auto immune disease, they got stem cells that didn’t work. Comment on that.

Dr. Gonzales:     
Well, first and foremost is, remember this is never a cure all. This is never a guarantee. It’s sort of like the same exact aspect of you take a Tylenol and maybe your headache will go away. Maybe it won’t. Maybe you need to use Ibuprofen. Who knows? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The patient has to be set up and the expectations have to be clearly defined of what we believe and what you know, individuals … For instance, with all the experience that we’ve had, we know what works and what doesn’t work. This autoimmune, getting an autoimmune disease from stem cells, that sounds really, really unusual.

Dr. Pompa:   
I’ve never heard that. In all my digging, I’ve never heard. That’s what my comment back was, it’s like, “Okay, I’ve never heard … I’ve heard of it not working.” Because again, your point, right? I’m bringing this into my work because you put good cells into a toxic body. How’s that going to work out, right? I get that. But autoimmune, I said, “I’ve never heard that.” Of all my reading I did.

Dr. Gonzales: 
Yeah. That’s why I like what you have … And you and I have discussed, I mean, to have the individual that comes in with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and tells you, “I want stem cells. It’ll make me better. There’s evidence out there that’ll make me better.” But then you ask that first question, “Do you smoke?” And they tell you yes. I’m like, I’m not going to put a bandaid on something.

Dr. Pompa: 
Yeah.

Dr. Gonzales:    
Because the problem is going to persist because you don’t quit smoking. If you don’t make those changes that are necessary to help this. Because you have to make those changes that are necessary. But as far as autoimmune, I’ve never heard of that. I’d be interested actually to know what type of cells they actually used. What product they used. Because like we just said a little while ago, some of these things that are called stem cells are really not stem cell. Because I mean I’ve seen these individuals that are using just umbilical cord tissue that’s just ground down and they’re saying that there’s cells in there, there’s really no cells in that at all. It’s at best a matrix of tissue derived [inaudible 00:14:47], and that’s what it is. We need a lot more information than somebody got an autoimmune disease or another person who it didn’t work.

Dr. Pompa:
Right. I can tell, I can speak for myself and I’m going to release a lot of the data that you and I ran pre and post. You know, my cellular age just keeps getting younger. And I can tell you my cellular age was not good due to my sickness. You know, I mean I started a major deficit versus my physical age, my actual age actually, versus my cellular age. And every way I can measure it I’m measuring it and I’m getting younger. And we looked at my senescent cells and I’m going to share the results. Look, the reason I wanted to do this piece on the future of medicine, I feel like we are at the most exciting time ever, ever. And so few doctors are doing this, know about this, and I want to change that, you know?

Dr. Pompa: 
And I’m blessed to be hooked up to you. I mean, one of the top in the research that we’re able to do these things. But my goal is, you know, I don’t want to just do it for me. I want everyone to know. I do. My goal is for you all to be doing this. Every doctor that comes, I want you to see what I see. I want you to feel what I feel. I want you to bring it to your patients. I mean, this is why I’m doing it, and Rafael, I know that’s your heart, man. Everyone I speak to talks about, “Gosh, he has a heart.” You know? I’m like, “That’s exactly the Rafael I know.”

Dr. Gonzales:  
[inaudible 00:16:14] the same thing. Yeah. I’m all about helping. I mean, if I can help, if we can help somebody live a better day, which is what I say, “Live a better day, live a better week, live a better month,” then I think we’ve done quite a bit.

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah. All right. Let’s quickly move into exosomes, which is if stem cells are the future of medicine. Cell’s in general, a future of medicine. We talked about natural killer cells. Exosomes, there’s a completely different future here, and maybe it’s the future of stem cells. But again, there’s a lot of bad information. Oh, there’s a lot of bad exosomes out there too. Start with what is an exosome, and we’ll get more into this, you know, obviously at the seminar. But again, I mean, exosomes have made a huge transformation.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Yeah.

Dr. Pompa:     
I can tell you, your exosomes are some amazing, amazing exosomes, that I’m begging you to bring to the world as well, and we’ll talk about that at the seminar.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Yeah. So, basically it’s a method of communication for cells. Cells have to communicate with each other. It’s the only way they survive. I mean it’s required for survival. Somebody has a heart attack and your body is forced to survive. Your organ is forced to survive. And the way this is done is basically one cell produces an information packet inside of itself and then it secretes this thing out. But it’s secretes it out in a protective type of mechanism. So it actually produces very similar to a cell, a lipid bi-layer. It pinches off the lipid bi-layer off the cell and then it transports to wherever it needs to go, so it can be engulfed or taken in the information that’s needed. It can be taken into another cell. The more stress, the more of these things secrete out, the more information needed, the more disease, the more the cell produces this.

Dr. Gonzales: 
And it’s not only from a stem cell, it’s from almost any cell type. I mean, even cancerous cells secrete this to make sure that they survive and they secrete, of course, a cancerous signal to help them survive so they can compete with all the other cells that are around and with disease.

Dr. Gonzales:
In the case of stem cells, it’s the way that stem cells communicate and we now know that, you know, everybody thought originally stem cells regenerate an organ. That’s not the case. The case is basically these cells secrete these packets of information that are exosomes or other factors that are secreted. And then it causes an indogenous change in our own body. So our own body makes that physical change because of what’s been spewed out by the cells and the cells say, “This is a bad environment. I need to adjust and survive to this environment that I’m here. Let me secrete out these factors that I’m secreting out. And then a change can be made in that area so I can survive.”

Dr. Gonzales:   
Ultimately, it’s sort of like self survival, or they should actually make one of those shows, cell survival or something like that. But that’s what it ultimately boils down to. Packets of information that are designed to heal, repair, and help the cell survive. [inaudible 00:19:13]

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah. Yeah. It’s extraordinary actually. But you know, again, you have tested a lot of the exosomes out there. Maybe it’s viability or it doesn’t have the impact, you know, obviously there’s ways of testing what’s in the product, how many exosomes they actually have. But again, so the product is very important and one that you developed has, we’ll just say billions and billions, 110 billion I believe [crosstalk 00:19:49] per five cc’s, which is extraordinary with hyaluronic acid and other matrix that the body needs.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Yep. Naturally occurring matrix that’s actually in there.

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, exactly. Which is really cool, because typically you would use an exosome, because they’re so small. You’d put them into, say a shoulder or knee, and they would go around very quickly. So they were putting it with PRP to almost a scaffolding to keep it there. Your exosome has this matrix that can keep it there even without PRP. So it’s another game changer. And again, I’m sure you’ll talk more about it.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Yeah, absolutely. We’ll discuss any more detail when we’re there actually at the conference.

Dr. Pompa:   
Yeah. But one of the things too, is I’ve heard this is another exosome myth. To your point, every cell makes exosomes. So bad cancer cells makes bad exosomes, right?

Dr. Gonzales: 
Correct.

Dr. Pompa:   
I’ve heard people say, “Well, I don’t want to do exosomes or give exosomes, because it can cause cancer.” What is the reality on that?

Dr. Gonzales:   
That’s a … What is that, myth or fact whatever? Let’s go with myth. And the reason being is because cells, first and foremost, it has to have the cancerous signal in there. The vast majority of all these stem cell based ones have actually a lot of this tumor suppressor gene, p53 or others, that are actually in there. And you can actually see by looking at RNA, you analyze RNA to see if that’s actually in the product. It’s one thing that actually does, so it actually designed to suppress a tumor response, a tumorigenic response. There’s genes out there, and there’s really no oncogenes that are actually in there, because it’s not of onco origin, meaning it’s not a cancerous cell. It’s not designed to activate, any form of cancer or anything like that.

Dr. Gonzales:  
To the contrary, it’s designed, a lot of these factors if done the right way, we have to discuss that. If done the right way, if used the right cells, it’s supposed to be anticancer, because it helps control modulate the immune system. So it helps increase the immune response against these types of problems. Because remember, the only reason why we get cancer is because one or two ways, genetically you can get it. You know, if you have genetic predisposition, you can get a genetic [inaudible 00:22:07] genetic problem and you find a mutation.

Dr. Gonzales:  
But your immune system is designed to pick these signals up and to see these problems and to correct them right away, which is here we go into the NK cells, which is what they’re supposed to do. If the immune system is not operating the right way, then we can’t pick up that signal and exosomes actually help with this, because they help modulate the immune system. There’s an abundance of evidence that shows that.

Dr. Pompa:
Again, future of medicine, is there a time where we’re going to be able to design these exosomes with different, because they carry messenger RNA meaning information. Are we going to be able to design them for more specific things to shut off autoimmune? Maybe it’s this exosome to upregulate a different process of cell function. Is that possible?

Dr. Gonzales: 
Yes, yes. Stay tuned. That takes a lot of research-

Dr. Pompa: 
Yeah.

Dr. Gonzales:   
… of course. But basically very, very similar to … I mean, we now know that cells, I can coerce a cell to secrete out almost anything I want it to. There’s two methods of doing it. It’s basically you insert a signal and you can actually make it spew it out. Or secondly is, it’s sort of like you feed a dog an amazing diet. In this case we feed the cell an amazing protein and if we cut off that production or feeding it that, the cell says, “What’s going on here? I need to produce this on my own so I can survive.” And it’s already incorporated that sort of, that mechanism, that sequence that it actually needs to produce it, and now know goals on its own and actually produces this.

Dr. Gonzales:
So, this is a method that we work with. And we can coerce cells to do quite a bit of things. It’s pretty interesting. I mean we can coerce them to produce different types of proteins. Specifically, let’s say focusing on neurological disorders where one of the things that years ago was they thought it was the panera of everything, actually a brain derived neurotrophic factor, a growth factor. We can actually add this to cells and we have evidence that if we added to stem cells, we can produce more later on then when we remove it. And it tells themselves to spew it out. So it’s interesting stuff like that. And actually just to modifying a cell to produce this stuff to [inaudible 00:24:28] produce this stuff. There’s a lot of groups actually working on that. We’ve started to work on something like that and looking at particular things like what you just said, autoimmune disease.

Dr. Pompa:
One of the things I’m mad at you about is when my wife got your cord cells right, that you worked eight years on. They worked so well that she was in menopause, hadn’t had a period in a quite some time, and right after that injection she got young again. She started having her period again. So I already complained about that to you, but anyways … It really did, I mean it brought her back.

Dr. Gonzales: 
We’ve heard that quite a bit and that has a lot to do with the lack of vascularity and these cells all secrete things such as vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet derived growth factor that can help increase the blood flow. If you don’t have the correct blood flow there’s no way you can [inaudible 00:25:21].

Dr. Pompa:
Yeah, well it’s been transformative. Look, the future of medicine. You know, one of the things as a health center of the future, all of our elite offices, I believe, they need to be doing this. At least the exosomes. Some of the more complicated stuff, my doc send that stuff to you in Cancun. Listen, you need to hear this. You know, we’ve just touched on it. Wait till you see the future of medicine, what we have in store for you. We’re bringing you into this conversation, but the link’s right here to join us, at Newport on November 14 through the 17, really the 18th, because we do an extra day on Sunday of some really cool stuff, but join us. No doubt.

Dr. Pompa: 
And we’ll put Raphael’s contact here as well. Raphael, I love you man. You changed my family’s life.

Dr. Gonzales:   
Likewise.

Dr. Pompa:  
I just so, so appreciate your research. I so appreciate that you’re in our world bringing this. We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you for being here today.

Dr. Gonzales: 
Thank you very much. And don’t forget to tell everybody that they’re going to beautiful Newport Beach.

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah. Oh, it is.

Dr. Gonzales:  
Not a bad place to go at all. It’s amazing.

Dr. Pompa:  
Some of my favorite restaurants are literally right across the street.

Dr. Gonzales:   
Beautiful place, beautiful area, beautiful weather. You cannot, I mean, you can’t go wrong.

Dr. Pompa: 
Yeah. And you know, one of your labs and research is right down the road in San Diego, so it’s not far for you.

Dr. Gonzales:  
[inaudible 00:26:39]

Dr. Pompa: 
Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Because, technically you just got a whole new lab going on. How’s it going by the way?

Dr. Gonzales:   
It’s going great. Everything’s going great and amazing work is progressing.

Dr. Pompa:  
Yeah. Awesome. Well, we’re glad we could be a part of it. I’m glad we can be a part of it in any way. Anything we need to test. That’s what we’re doing. We’ll bring in the future of medicine, and Raphael, you’re leading the way, so thank you.

Dr. Gonzales: 
Thank you guys. Pleasure talking with you. Thank you. We’ll see you soon.

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