Archive for the ‘Dog Stem Cells’ Category

Jan 10, 2020

Life is Better with Stem Cells: Ember’s Story

For our first blog of the new year, we thought we would try something a little different.  This week, we have a guest blog submitted by dog owner Virginia regarding her dog Ember and her stem cell story.  Ember received VetStem Cell Therapy after she was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia.  She’s feeling much better and…well, we’ll let Ember tell her story…

Hi,

My name is Ember and I am a 4-year-old Newfoundland. I’m writing this because I was asked to tell my story.

In my family we are first and foremost companions to our people, we live side by side with them.  But we have other jobs as well.  One is we do a lot of social and therapy work to bring smiles to people.  Our other career is to be “show dogs.”  Being social dogs, we like both our jobs.

But things changed for me when we discovered that I had bilateral elbow dysplasia confirmed by OFA x-rays.  Sometimes I would limp a bit, other times not.  When I was 2 and 1/2, I started limping and did not stop for months.  That was not fun, and I did not feel like playing with all my friends at home (I have a big family). 

Then on “My Lady’s” birthday her best friend (and my first home) gave her the gift of stem cell therapy for me.  She seemed excited; I did not know what she was talking about at all.  I just go with the flow so I wagged my tail. 

Before stem cell therapy, I was lame and really didn’t play as much as I wanted to.  It is over 5 months now from my injections and I feel a lot better!  I am my happy self, I play with my friends, even the puppy.  I am more active and can get in bed to sleep with my people at night.  I am not lame anymore.  My movement is so much better and I am pain free. 

I am very grateful to My Lady’s friend for giving such a thoughtful gift.  It has made a huge difference for me.  I want to say thank you to all the people who worked hard so this option could be made available for us dogs. 

Life is better with stem cells.

Love,

Ember

Ember
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Dec 6, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Adam Gassel, DVM, DACVS

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

In this week’s veterinarian highlight, we’d like to introduce you to veterinary surgeon and VetStem user Dr. Adam Gassel.  Dr. Gassel practices at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Irvine, California.  He received his DVM from Purdue University in 1991 and pursued an internship with Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles.  He then completed a surgical residency at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and became a board-certified veterinary surgeon in 2007.

Dr. Gassel’s surgical interests include TPLO (a surgery to stabilize the knee), portosystemic shunts, surgical oncology, and minimally invasive procedures, particularly arthroscopy and laparoscopy.  Dr. Gassel frequently incorporates VetStem Cell Therapy into his orthopedic surgeries for things like joint dysplasia/osteoarthritis and Fragmented Coronoid Process.  He has treated 125 patients utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy and is part of the VetStem Centenniel Club.

We recently asked Dr. Gassel a few questions about his use of VetStem Cell Therapy.  See his answers below regarding his specific experiences.

Why do you find VetStem Cell Therapy to be a valuable addition to your practice?

VetStem Cell Therapy is a valuable tool because of the ability of regenerative medicine (stem cells) to treat acute and chronic pain associated with tissue trauma and chronic degenerative joint disease.  We perform a variety of surgical procedures at our practice and I have been using stem cells primarily and as an adjuvant for my patients over the past 12 years.  VetStem Cell Therapy is a natural alternative to traditional medications used to treat chronic osteoarthritis, especially for patients that cannot tolerate the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  We can stabilize a torn cranial cruciate ligament and remove cartilage fragments from a damaged elbow, but we cannot replace the damaged cartilage that can result from the initial injury.  In my opinion, this is when regenerative medicine can play a vital role in treating chronic pain and inflammation associated with these injuries.  Ongoing arthritis can be a debilitating and frustrating disease for our patients and their families.  Regenerative stem cell therapy provides us with a safe and efficacious way of treating these patients to improve their quality of life.    

As a surgeon, do you primarily recommend stem cell therapy in addition to surgery or in lieu of surgery?  Please explain your answer.

This determination is made on a case by case basis.  There are a variety of procedures in which stem cell therapy is used in combination with surgery to provide an optimal outcome.  There are certainly cases in which stem cell therapy is used in lieu of surgery mostly due to patient factors.  However, I have also been educating clients on the benefits of stem cell therapy and to consider taking advantage of the Canine StemInsure program if their pet is under anesthesia for routine prophylactic surgeries (stem cells to be stored for future use).

What advice would you give to pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet?

Stem cell therapy is a safe and effective way to address both acute and chronic pain caused by a variety of diseases seen in our patients.  Adipose tissue (fat) provides a rich source of stem cells that can easily be harvested with a quick and safe surgical procedure.  Once isolated and re-administered to the patient, current literature supports the ability of stem cells to reduce inflammation and pain while helping to re-build bone and soft tissue.  Pet owners should understand that there are injuries and diseases that cannot be fixed with stem cell therapy alone and should keep an open mind when consulting with the specialist.  Overall, this “cutting-edge” therapy can lengthen and improve the quality of life of their pet. 

There you have it!  Thank you Dr. Gassel for taking the time to answer our questions!  If you are located in the Irvine area and looking for an experienced stem cell provider, contact Blue Pearl Irvine for a consultation with Dr. Gassel.

Dr. Adam Gassel DVM, DACVS
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Nov 8, 2019

November is Senior Pet Month

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

It is officially November, which happens to be Senior Pet Month!  We wanted to highlight senior pets in this week’s blog as we all know that senior pets may be more at risk of developing osteoarthritis.  While dogs and cats of all ages may develop osteoarthritis, studies have indicated that senior dogs are more often diagnosed with osteoarthritis, in part due to the age-related break down of joint tissues such as cartilage, ligaments, and bone.

There is also speculation that senior pets are more often diagnosed with osteoarthritis because symptoms become more prevalent as the disease worsens.  Therefore, owners are more likely to notice symptoms such as limping and stiffness as their pet ages, which often leads to a trip to the veterinarian for diagnosis/treatment.

Maverick, a Golden Retriever, was adopted at 8 years old with osteoarthritis.  Fortunately, his new parents sought VetStem Cell Therapy for his condition and he experienced an improved quality of life.

VetStem Cell Therapy Recipient Maverick

It is important to note however that dogs and cats may develop osteoarthritis at any age.  For instance, if a dog is born with joint dysplasia (malformed joints), he is more likely to develop osteoarthritis at a younger age than a dog born with properly formed joints.  One example is Jack who was showing symptoms of osteoarthritis before he was even a year old.

VetStem Cell Therapy Recipient Jack

The good news is, VetStem Cell Therapy has shown to help pets, both young and old, with osteoarthritis.  Stem cells have been demonstrated to regenerate joint tissues and reduce inflammation.  They also have pain blocking mechanisms that may lead to increased comfort for painful pets.  If your pet, no matter their age, has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or is showing signs of the disease, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Oct 25, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Jerrold Bausman, DVM

Posted by Bob under Cat Stem Cells, Dog Stem Cells

This week we’d like to introduce you to a longtime VetStem user, Dr. Jerrold Bausman of VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley.  Dr. Bausman received his DVM from Kansas State University after which he completed a small animal surgical internship and residency at Animal Specialty Group in Los Angeles.  While Dr. Bausman’s practice is focused on surgical cases, he frequently treats patients with osteoarthritis using VetStem Cell Therapy.  Dr. Bausman has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since 2007 and has provided VetStem services for nearly 70 patients including our favorite 3-legged mini Aussie, Mandy.  Another memorable patient was a cat named Small, who was treated for a fracture and osteoarthritis.  Small’s family came all the way from India to receive VetStem Cell Therapy.

We recently asked Dr. Bausman a few questions about VetStem Cell Therapy.  See his answers below.

What injuries/ailments do you typically treat with VetStem Cell Therapy?

I primarily treat osteoarthritis.  Next in line to that would be tendinopathies including traumatic rupture, avulsion or tendon laceration repairs.  More specifically – I treat hip arthritis, followed by elbows for OA then I’d say biceps or supraspinatus tendinopathies.

When is a patient not a good candidate for stem cell therapy?

In my opinion a patient is not a good candidate for stem cell therapy if they have an ailment that stem cells will not assist in.  Let me clarify with an example – cranial cruciate ligament tear.  I have some clients that think stem cell therapy will fix the CCL tear.  That patient is not a good candidate for CCL repair with stem cells.  That patient’s stifle will benefit from stem cells – but they are not going to fix the torn ligament.  Aside from that, it’s anesthetic risk.  I have some patients that are excellent candidates for stem cell therapy BUT are such anesthetic/surgical risks that I do not recommend harvesting (fat for stem cell therapy).  In these cases, I would consider PRP.

You’ve been providing VetStem services for over 10 years.  Why is VetStem your go-to stem cell provider?

VetStem is my go-to stem cell provider because in over 10 years I have never had a single bad experience with them.  And that spans the gamut from quality of product, product delivery and patient outcomes through quality of customer service.  You can always count on a friendly helpful person on the phone every time we call.  And lastly innovation.  I love that VetStem is leading the way in regenerative therapy.

Dr. Jerrold Bausman

We appreciate Dr. Bausman taking the time to speak with us about his use of VetStem Cell Therapy.  If you’re looking for a VetStem provider in the Los Angeles area, contact VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley for a consult.

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Oct 11, 2019

Golden Retriever Gets Relief from VetStem Cell Therapy

Seve is a senior Golden Retriever who, earlier this year, was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in his hips.  His owners noticed that his back legs would go out from under him and he seemed to be a little “gimpy.” 

After the diagnosis, his veterinarian, Dr. Cindy Echevarria of VCA University Animal Hospital recommended treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Seve initially received three stem cell injections: one into each hip and one intravenously in January 2019.

Seve had a great response to his initial treatment and his mom was very pleased.  You can catch up on Seve’s story here.

When we reached out to Seve’s mom in July, she reported that he was showing symptoms of discomfort again.  His back legs became a bit less stable and started to go out from under him again.  Fortunately, Seve still had several stem cell doses banked from his initial fat collection procedure.  The doses Seve had banked were available for treatment at the request of Dr. Echevarria.

In August of 2019, Seve received his second treatment utilizing his banked stem cells.  The same injection protocol was followed: one in each hip and one intravenously.  We recently spoke with Seve’s owner and once again he had a great response to the therapy.  His owner reported that he’s feeling much better.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, so Seve’s story is a good example to point out that it is not uncommon for arthritic dogs to require additional treatments to keep them feeling comfortable.  We emphasize that every patient is different in so many ways: from severity of the disease being treated, to lifestyle, to how they handle and show pain.  Thus, it is impossible to predict how each patient will respond and we think it is important that pet owners have the proper expectations when it comes to stem cell therapy. 

What we do know is that stem cells have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, and to regenerate joint tissues, all of which may improve the quality of life for an arthritic dog like Seve.  If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, speak to your veterinarian or contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

Seve
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Aug 30, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Kim Carlson, DVM, DACVS

Posted by Bob under Cat Stem Cells, Dog Stem Cells

This week, we would like to introduce you to one of VetStem’s most prolific users: Dr. Kim Carlson. Dr. Carlson practices in the Bay Area of California and recently opened her new surgical practice North Peninsula Veterinary Surgical Group in San Mateo, CA.  Dr. Carlson is a board-certified surgeon with a special interest in orthopedic surgery, oncologic surgery, trauma and wound management.

Dr. Carlson became credentialed to perform VetStem Cell Therapy in 2007 and has provided VetStem services for over 200 patients since!  Dr. Carlson also uses the Pall Veterinary Platelet Enhancement Therapy kit.  We asked Dr. Carlson a few questions about her use of VetStem Cell Therapy.  See her answers below.

Many of your stem cell patients receive VetStem Cell Therapy in conjunction with orthopedic surgery.  Do you recommend stem cell therapy with all of your orthopedic surgeries?  If so, why? 

Yes, I do.  Because of the regenerative power of stem cells.  Most patients having orthopedic surgery have some degree of OA or soft tissue injury.  The benefit of stem cell therapy is faster healing, more normal healing, decreased pain, reduced development of OA.  Stem cells have the ability to treat injuries and return patients to full function that didn’t have a good prognosis with traditional options.  Not only do I recommend stem cell therapy for my orthopedic patients but I also recommend stem cell therapy for my patients who are being treated with skin grafts or other wound treatments.

Please explain why VetStem is your go-to stem cell provider. 

Simple.  Quality control.

You have provided VetStem services for well over 200 patients.  What advice can you offer to pet parents who are considering stem cell therapy for their pet? 

It’s a great option.  I’ve treated two of my own pets.  If you don’t have pet insurance look into obtaining pet insurance that will cover stem cell therapy should you need it for your pet.  Not only can stem cells help your pet with their current injury but their cells will be banked for any potential future treatments.

If you’re located in the Bay Area and are considering stem cell therapy for your pet, Dr. Kim Carlson is a very experienced and knowledgeable surgeon and VetStem provider.

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Aug 16, 2019

Stem Cells for Immune Mediated Polyarthritis

In previous blogs, we have discussed stem cell therapy for non-standard indications, or what we call “compassionate use” cases.  These are cases where there is limited data to show that stem cell therapy is effective however what results we do have, may look promising.  Examples include kidney disease, canine back pain, as well as several other diseases/conditions for which stem cells may be beneficial.  One such indication is Immune Mediated Polyarthritis, or IMPA for short. 

While IMPA is a form of arthritis, it is not the typical osteoarthritis that stem cells are used for regularly.  Rather than being caused by a malformed joint, wear and tear or trauma, IMPA is caused by the patient’s own immune system.  It is important to note that polyarthritis can be caused by an infection in the patient’s body.  Distinguishing between an infection and IMPA is imperative because treatment options are very different.  In this blog, we will discuss stem cell therapy for the treatment of IMPA.

In patients with IMPA, the immune system creates an inflammatory response and inappropriately sends white blood cells to the joints.  This in turn causes inflammation, pain, swelling, and difficulty waking.  The reason it is called “Polyarthritis” is because many of the joints may be affected in patients with IMPA.  While this condition is more common in dogs, it can affect cats as well.  IMPA is similar to Rheumatoid arthritis in humans.

Immune mediated diseases can be some of the most challenging cases for veterinarians to treat.  There are few therapeutic options when it comes to regulating an aberrant immune system.  Common treatment options include immunosuppression, often with steroids.  As most of you know, steroid use comes with several negative side effects and is not ideal for long-term use in dogs and cats.

So how may VetStem Cell Therapy help?  Well, we know that stem cells play a key role in not only managing pain but also in down-regulating inflammation.  Perhaps most importantly for these cases, stem cells have demonstrated immunomodulatory characteristics and the ability to help balance a patient’s immune system.  The study of stem cells for immune mediated diseases in both animals and humans is ongoing. 

IMPA is not the only immune mediated disease being treated with stem cells, however.  Veterinarians have utilized VetStem Cell Therapy to treat an array of immune mediated diseases, and we continue to gather data and monitor patient outcomes.  Some additional examples of immune mediated diseases that veterinarians are treating with VetStem Cell Therapy include canine dry eye, inflammatory bowel disease in dogs and cats, as well as feline chronic gingivostomatitis.

If your dog or cat is suffering from IMPA or another immune mediated disease, speak to your veterinarian about the possibility of treatment with VetStem Cell Therapy.  Or you can contact us to receive a list of VetStem providers in your area.

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Jul 19, 2019

Veterinarian Highlight: Cindy Echevarria, DVM

This week we would like to introduce you to VetStem proponent, Dr. Cindy Echevarria of VCA University Animal Hospital in Dallas.  Dr. Echevarria has been utilizing VetStem Cell Therapy since early 2015 and has treated nearly 40 patients, including her own dog, Bella.  Dr. Echevarria also treated Stuart, the Lab with a soft tissue injury and Seve, a Golden Retriever with osteoarthritis in his hips.

We recently caught up with Dr. Echevarria to ask her some questions about how she utilizes VetStem Cell Therapy.  See her answers below.

At what point in the process do you recommend stem cell therapy for your patients (ie, when the injury/ailment is first diagnosed, after meds have proven unsuccessful/detrimental, etc.)

I usually recommend stem cell for all orthopedic injury cases, particularly ACL tears, and arthritic cases.  For cruciate injuries I find combining the TPLO or repair surgery with the collection part of the stem cell process to be easy on the pet and the owner since the recovery process goes unchanged.  Anything that does not inconvenience the owner further but helps the pet makes it easier to relay the benefits to the owner.  Since aftercare alone is a lot to take on for each procedure alone, being able to manage both at the same time saves the owner time and stress (versus doing the procedures independently).  Also, as discussed at the time of injury, once one ACL tears it is very common for the other to tear in the future.  Having the stem cells available in the future allows for re-infusion into originally affected limb and new limb if needed without having to collect additional cells.  Some owners do not have the funds to do all at once, but at least discussing the options with them helps them narrow down where their funds would be best utilized.

I also commonly bring it up for owners who are tired of what they perceive as over-medicating or “nothing works” idea.  Many of the cases I have done that were on medications have been able to be reduced significantly to none in some cases.  Although it can be mentioned as last resort if nothing else works, I feel like the sooner stem cell is used on the pet, the higher chances of success.  Including offering StemInsure when they are young (at time of spay or neuter) for those breeds that are prone to arthritis or those dogs (hunting, agility, etc) that are at higher risk of needing stem cell in their future.

I had a Newfoundland puppy that I did StemInsure on for her potential bilateral elbow dysplasia that her predecessor had and the fact of her size/breed overall.  2.5 years later she tore her ACL.  Her cells were already stored at that time and only had to be processed at the time of her knee repair.  Worked really well and the owners were pleased that that had even been offered back when she was a puppy.  It has been about 1.5 years since her TPLO/stem cell infusion and she continues to not need pain management.  She only takes Dasuquin (which I advise for all my patients with injuries or arthritis), regardless of stem cell.

What parameters make a patient a good candidate for stem cell therapy?

*are we on pain management and only minimal improvement?

*has the pet been on long term meds and liver/kidney values now an issue?  medications are more limited now

*are their neurologic deficits?   If yes, I generally do not proceed with stem cell.  I always offer a free initial assessment to see if stem cell would even be an option for the pet.

*does the pet have or has had cancer?  I usually do not proceed with stem cell.

*what other conditions might the pet have that would compromise the effectiveness of the stem cells or are they higher risk for anesthesia for the collection process? 

Advice for pet owners considering stem cell therapy for their pet.

There is so much benefit from stem cell aside from joint related ailments, that just reading about it and asking for testimonials goes a long way.  I am always open to calls for those interested or just want to know more about it.  I am also very real about the fact that it is intense and probably inconvenient for most the following 8 weeks after infusion, but it does get results.    

If you’re located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and are interested in VetStem Cell Therapy for your dog or cat, we recommend a visit with Dr. Echevarria.

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Jun 28, 2019

Translational Medicine: How Animals Are Helping Humans

VetStem was recently featured in a documentary about Regenerative Veterinary Medicine called Animal Pharm: Where Beasts Meet Biotech.  We’ll share more about this soon, but one interesting aspect of the film is the commentary on how advances made in veterinary medicine are translating into the human medical field.

It’s not an uncommon narrative: a new medial technology or drug emerges in the veterinary field and after research and outcome data are compiled, scientists and doctors begin to wonder how humans may benefit from the same technology.  Known as translational medicine, Animal Pharm takes a look at how we’ve begun to apply what we know about stem cell therapy for animals to human medicine.

As a leader in the field of Regenerative Veterinary Medicine, VetStem strives to remain one step ahead and we recently announced the launch of our human stem cell company, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. (PSC).  PSC was launched to advance and legitimize human regenerative medicine, which until recently, has been largely unregulated.  Recent regulatory action by the FDA, FTC, and the Federation of State Medical Boards has made it clear however that the only allowed use of stem cells will be through legitimate FDA clinical trials.

As such, PSC plans to launch FDA approved human stem cell clinical trials later this year.  The company recently announced their first Investigational New Drug application to the FDA for the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee.  If you are interested in more information, you can contact PSC here.

These are exciting times we’re living in.  Though our primary goal has been to improve the lives of animals, it was always in the back of our minds that the technology we’ve worked so hard to develop and advance might one day be able to help humans also.  We are excited to see this dream becoming a reality.

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May 24, 2019

Bodie Benefits from Routine Stem Cell Therapy

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Dog Stem Cells

Bodie is a beautiful Springer Spaniel who, according to his owner, is a natural hunter “gifted with an uncanny sense of smell, unmatched drive and very strong muscle structure” making him hard to beat in competition.  At an early age, Bodie began showing signs of discomfort and his owners noticed he had trouble getting up.  X-rays confirmed that Bodie had hip dysplasia, a condition that leads to osteoarthritis in the hip joints.

When Bodie was around three years old, he had his hips treated with VetStem Cell Therapy by Dr. Mitch Luce, owner of Live Oak Veterinary Hospital in Sonora, CA.  Later that year, he went back into tournament hunting and, after winning the majority of his tournaments, Bodie won the US Bird Dog Association Western States Nationals at four years of age.

After his big win, Bodie’s owners elected to retire him from competition and restricted his hunting activities in an effort to reduce his risk of injury.  Bodie began hydrotherapy and continued with stem cell therapy, receiving treatment once to twice per year.  Bodie’s dad, Charlie, was so committed to Bodie’s well-being that he built him an at-home underwater treadmill, which he still uses.  In the summer months, Bodie also swims in the pool for exercise.  Charlie stated that, “Exercise is key to dealing with his condition. We would walk every morning.”

Now nine years old, Bodie has started to refuse his morning walks.  His owner noted, “Hills are painful for him so we don’t force it.  Although his condition was first noticed in his hips, his right elbow and left front foot are now noticeably arthritic.”  Fortunately for Bodie, his owners continue to have him treated with his banked stem cells every year.  He also receives Adequan injections and a low dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug once or twice per week.

Despite his arthritis, Bodie is still full of life.  His owner tells us about his daily routine: “Bodie has a built-in clock and enjoys a sense of purpose.  He starts our day at 5:30 when he wakes us to feed his yard birds.  Breakfast quickly follows then exercise at 9.  He fills his day checking on his pen birds, playing with his brother and following in the garden, helping himself to carrots when they are in season.  Promptly at 2:30 he reminds us to feed his yard birds again.  Dinner is at 4:20, again promptly.  By 5 he’s collected the collars to be put away on the hall rack.  He then settles in for the evening.”

His owner also shared this video of Bodie (liver and white) “lecturing the fish at the hatchery.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY1hvlw5Ryk&feature=youtu.be

Bodie’s case is a good example of an osteoarthritic dog who benefits from continued stem cell treatment.  While some dogs with osteoarthritis have one stem cell treatment and do not require another treatment for several years, it is also the case that some dogs will require routine treatment for the rest of their lives.  This is important to note when considering stem cell therapy for your arthritic pet.  Each animal responds differently to stem cell therapy and we want pet owners to have the proper expectations.  If you are considering stem cell therapy for your pet, speak to your veterinarian or contact VetStem for a list of stem cell providers in your area.

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