Modern achievements in medicine have opened new ways of treating multiple diseases, and stem cells are no exception.
They are widely used for treating knee osteoarthritis, sexual issues in men, age-related disorders, and more health conditions. In addition, these cells are utilized for improving diagnostic methods and making disease monitoring more precise.
Multiple kinds of research are currently being conducted to make stem cell treatment even safer and even more widely recognized all across the globe. Let’s learn more about the studies, practices, and ethical issues concerning this type of cellular therapy.
Some call them the body’s master cells and others state they are the body’s raw materials from which all other cells of organs and tissues are generated.
Under the correct natural conditions or in the lab, the stem cells are divided and form the daughter cells that either become the very fresh stem cells or turn into the specific ones, for instance, they become the cells of blood, bones, heart muscles, brain, etc.
The latest studies are confirming the ability of stem cells to help fulfill the following tasks:
Highlight the pathogenesis of any disease. Stem cells are used in regenerative medicine and can help doctors understand how a certain disorder occurs by watching how those cells transform into the cells of muscles, bones, nerves, or some tissues.
As the cells are meant to become some definite cells of organs, they replace the ill cells of those organs by turning them into healthy ones within the organ.
This is the main benefit of those cells as they bring a very innovative way of treatment of multiple diseases including cardiovascular ones, stroke, arthritis, type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and even cancer.
Test the efficacy and safety of drugs. Some types of stem cells can replace the role of investigational drugs. They can be used for determining the quality and safety of medications especially when it comes to production and testing the remedies for cardiac toxicity.
The testing is provided as follows: stem cells transform into the cells of a certain organ and then the action of a drug is monitored based on the results of interaction between those newly created cells and a drug itself.
Such an experiment helps experts to check either if the cells are damaged and harmed or if they recreate and recover.
For providing the therapy we use autologous stem cells which means that they are taken from a patient’s own adipose tissue and then cleared to be reinjected into the damaged tissue. Sometimes the adult-derived stem cells are also taken from the bone marrow.
Such cells can divide and create the same cells like the ones of the tissue they have been taken from.
However, the emerging evidence allows scientists to reprogram adult stem cells and help them become mesenchymal ones. This means they can alter the adult stem cells using genetic reprogramming and force them to transform into pluripotent material that can become any type of organ and tissue as well as embryonic ones.
Embryonic stem cells are obtained from embryos from 3 to 5 days old. This stage of embryo development is named a blastocyst and allows to get about 150 cells from a single item.
Such embryos are created in the lab using artificially inseminated ovicells. Such mesenchymal stem cells are pluripotent ones and can divide and become any type of organ or tissue.
This type of fertilization takes place within a test tube and such embryos have never been placed into the uterus of any woman. However, there are some religious communities that claim the ethical issues of such a method. We’d like to remind you that we never use embryonic material for our treatments.
Such stem cells are obtained from the amniotic fluid and the blood of the umbilical cord. Such material is also able to transform into specialized cells to heal the damaged tissues and organs like nerves, heart, bones, and more.
Amniotic fluid is the fluid that fills the sac and plays the protective function for a fetus developing inside the uterus of a woman.
Sometimes a doctor recommends a pregnant woman to test a fetus for abnormalities with the help of a procedure called amniocentesis when a sample of amniotic fluid is taken from the sac for analysis. Such a sample can also be used for obtaining mesenchymal stem cells.
Stem cell transplantation or SCT (sometimes referred to as bone marrow transplant) is a procedure of transplanting healthy stem cells to replace the damaged ones in a human body.
Such therapy is used for treating severe illnesses like cancer and is provided after the conditioning treatment which supposes the use of chemotherapy which prepares the body for transplantation.
After the infusion of stem cells into a patient’s bloodstream (engraftment), they migrate to the bone marrow and start to form new white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Stem cell transplants can be autologous ones (taken from a patient themselves) or allogenic ones (taken from a donor). A donor should also receive chemotherapy before giving their stem cells away.
There is also a syngeneic stem cell transplant which supposes that a donor is an identical twin of a patient. This type of transplantation is used very rarely since there are very few people who have twins with fully identical tissue types and genetic constitutions.
For now, you can feel free to address a team of our medical experts and schedule a free consultation to ask any additional questions and offer your suggestions concerning the therapy you may require. Be healthy!