Stem Cell Therapy
According to researchers stem cell therapy, a relatively new form of therapy, has answers for many disease conditions that are untreatable with other methods. It has thepotential to drasticallychange medical treatment by reproducing specialized cells for various tissues in the body.
They are collected from various sources and are transplanted into a diseased person. They reproduce specialized cells to repair or treat the recipient’s disease conditions. These include heart muscle, brain tissue, liver tissue or skin, and blood cells. Stem cells can be saved and used afterward to produce specialized cells when required.
Stem cell therapies
Several stem cell therapies are used nowadays are
- Adult stem cell transplant: Stem cells received from bone marrow
- Adult stem cell transplant: Stem cells from peripheral blood
- Umbilical cord cell transplant: Stem cells from umbilical cord blood. The umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants havefewer chances of rejection in comparison to bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.
- Embryonic stem cells -Stem cells from early-stage embryos. But these are associated with great controversy on religious and moral grounds because the technique used to create and use of stem cells requires the destruction of a human embryo and therapeutic cloning.
The most common therapy in use today is bone marrow transplant.This is used to treat a variety of blood cancers like leukemia. It can be performed by using bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.
Uses and Benefits of stem cell therapy
- Neurological diseases - Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy
- Blood-borne Cancers- Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma
- Organ cancers - Malignant Melanoma, and Breast,Prostate, and Lung Cancers
- Heart Diseases -Myocardial Infarction, Atherosclerosis, Congestive Heart Failure
- Musculoskeletal Conditions and Injuries -Spinal cord, and bone and joints
- Hormonal, Immune and Circulatory Issues-Auto-Immune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,and Muscular Dystrophy
- Chronic infections- Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C
- Cosmetic and Reconstruction Treatments-Breast reconstruction, Facial implants, Rejuvenation therapies
Risk and complications associated with stem cell therapies
The dangerous side effects of using stem cells have not been fully investigated. Foreign cells transplant in recipient body can trigger a violent attack by the immune system. Stem cells can start growing in unpredicted ways or places forming wrong tissues in wrong places.
Plenty of uncertainty is associated with stem cell therapy and is generally not available in western countries. Therefore, people travel overseas to avail it. Medical tourists must be careful regarding unrealistic claims of miracle cures.