Stem Cell Therapy
What is stem cell therapy
When the stem cells are used as part of treatment of any disease, it is called Stem cell therapy. It is the part of the Regenerative medicine where aim of using stem cells is to repair, replace or regenerate dying or degenerating cells. It is a new and most upcoming treatment for various intractable diseases.
What are Stem Cells
Stem cells are basic building blocks or cells of the body which has the capacity of making cells of the same type or even of different types. These are usually present in bone marrow but also found in several other tissues like blood , fat, inner lining of nose, umbilical cord, dental pulp and so many other tissues.
Types of Stem Cells
Basically stem cells are of two types, one which you can get from your own body or Autologous Stem cells. The other one is which you get from other persons or donated tissue, these are called Allogenic stem cells.
Stem cells can also be classified according to source of Stem Cells, like;
1 Embryonic stem cells, which are derived from Embryo
2 Fetal Stem Cells, derived from foetus
3 Adult Stem cells, which are derived from adult tissues like bone marrow, peripheral blood, wharton’s jelly, dental pulp, nasal mucosa, adipose tissue, skin and cord blood.
4 Induced pluripotent stem cells or IPSCS
Clinical applications or uses of Stem Cells
Stem cell therapy as part of regenerative medicine is one of the most upcoming medical treatments or therapies being used globally for intractable diseases. Stem cell therapy has been recently approved as adjuvant therapy in nonresponding COVID 19 or corona virus infection cases by ministry of health of UAE. Not only in UAE but also in US, AUSTRALIA, CHINA and several European countries, the trials have started regarding use of stem cells as lifesaving drugs in corona virus infection or COVID -19 cases.
The preliminary reports have shown extremely good outcome in the covid 19 cases where umbilical cord derived stem cells were given. It shows that stem cell therapy has very important role in the management of critically ill patients and it can also be applied in other Lung conditions like COPD, Lung fibrosis and ARDS ( post injury or sepsis).
Stem cell therapy is also approved for GVHD or graft versus host disease globally. Some companies have also got approval for use of stem cells in Buerger’s disease and cartilage injuries
Potential applications or uses of Stem Cells
1 Muscular Dystrophy/ DMD/ LGMD
2 Spinal cord injury
3 Arthritis Knee
4 Rheumatoid poly arthritis
5 Motor neurone disease/ MND
6 Amyotropic lateral sclerosis/ ALS
7 Lung fibrosis/ ILD
9 Cartilage injuries
10 Partial baldness/ hair regrow
11 Anti aging
12 uncontrolled diabetes type 2/ DMT2
13 AUTISM/ ASD
14 Cerebral palsy with global developmental delay
15 Developmental delay in Down Syndrome
How does Stem cell therapy Works
Stem cells repair and regenerate the body tissue by the paracrine effect, where lot of growth factors are released for repair. Simultaneously dorment stem cells of the body are activated to take charge of decaying cells.
The injected stem cells are attracted to the injured or diseased parts of the body by the chemical signals released by injured tissue. These stem cells accumulate in the injured area and make the cells of that local area and thus repair the tissue.
Benefits of Stem cell therapy It works when usually medicines fail to work These cell therapies are largely safe if performed by knowledgeable and experienced doctors Stem cells can be easily and repeatedly available , whether surgeon uses Autologous or your own stem cells or donated or cord derived stem cells.
Usually umbilical cord derived stem cells are safe and more efficacious then bone marrow stem cells.
Future applications of Stem cell therapy
IPSCs or induced pluripotent stem cells will be more used in the future at it would be more engrafted and give definite remedy for very intractable diseases. Japanese scientists have already started its clinical trial in the cases of Parkinsonism and the initial results are very encouraging and patient is safe and healthy.
Secondly a combination of stem cells and gene therapy would be more popular specially for diseases like Duchenne muscular Dystrophy.