Do you know what is cell therapy? Namely, the potential of stem cells, multipotent and pluripotent cells, has been actively researched worldwide for years in pretty much all fields of modern medicine. Since these cells have a capacity of developing into any form of more mature and differentiated cells, scientists are testing various experimental stem cell techniques to take advantage of that potential and patent it into effective treatment. Currently, cell therapy is being used for treating blood, skin and eye conditions, but neural stem cell therapy, myocardial stem cell therapy and many more indications are being vividly tested and investigated in clinical trials.
Approved stem cell therapies
Probably the most famous and widely utilized implementation of stem cell therapy is in the hematology. The large scale of blood diseases, including various types of leukemia, anemia, and bone marrow diseases are being successfully treated or at least effectively controlled by blood stem cells. Transplantation of stem cells is also therapy option for many diseases of the immune system. Cancer treatments based on chemotherapy or radiation often cause depletion in the total blood cells to count by damaging marrow bone and blood cells production. This is another indication for stem cell therapy. Cultivation and stimulation of stem cells in specific lab environment allow scientists to create skin grafts, which are used to treat patients with skin defects caused by burns or cancers or various surgical interventions. Finally, ophthalmologists are taking advantage of stem cells as well, since this therapy is used for reparation of the damaged cornea. These fields of stem cells implementation have been proved as efficient, safe and better in cost-benefit ratio compared to the classic treatments available for mentioned conditions.
Experimental stem cell techniques
Along with abovementioned officially approved stem cells therapies, there are numerous techniques and indications currently being clinically tested. All of these therapeutic strategies are considered to be experimental until they pass through every phase of lab and clinical trials successfully. Although the results are yet to be seen, the expectations are high and the effects are rather positive so far. The major medical field that relies a lot on the potential of stem cells therapy is neurology. Application of neural stem cell therapy seems to be a promising approach for treating Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s chorea and spinal cord injuries at any level. Aside from neurology, other branches of medicine are exploring stem cell therapy as well. Myocardial infarction could be treated this way if pluripotent cells are used to create brand-new myocardial tissue. A similar method is being investigated for muscle and tendon injuries, as well as for degenerative conditions of cartilages.
Cord blood stem cells
Sampling blood and stem cells from the umbilical cord after baby’s birth is a well-known procedure and the banks preserving this blood are founded in many countries. Although the number of diseases potentially treatable with these stem cells is somewhat limited, this therapy is still being used due to its great advantage: these cells carry the lowest risk of being rejected by the immune system.