How Stem Cells Can Heal The Body
“Stem cells from the patient’s body when isolated and administered at an appropriate time and at the right place, with the right dose, is expected to help the patient in various ways”
Stem Cells In The Body
All humans are born and develop from a small tiny structure called an egg. The cells in the egg have a tremendous potential to develop, multiply and form different cells that are functional in the body. These cells are called mother cells or in scientific terms, they are called stem cells. And all human beings have these stem cells preserved in the body. It is these cells that help us in every day wear and tear and also for tissue repair.
The Body Can Heal Itself
Most of the cells in our body have a definite lifespan that need to be replaced by new cells. The stem cell reserves in the body make up for this and it is done without our knowledge! In fact, any cut or injury, external or internal is healed by the body’s innate mechanism. Our intelligent body recognises the signal of injury and recruits the required stem cells. These stem cells transform themselves into the cells that are required for the repair of the injury and it is always many types of cells in various permutations and combinations.
Where Stem Cells Reside
Bone marrow can be considered as the manufacturing unit of stem cells as it is continuously making blood cells and keeps our circulatory system working perfect all the time. Circulating blood is another source of stem cells, because it works as a courier, carrying cells and other essential enzymes, hormones from one organ to the other in the body. The body converts all the extra material into fat which gets accumulated around the belly. This fatty tissue works like a fixed deposit of stem cells.
How Stem Cells Combat Diseases
Stem cells either from the donor (allogenic) or from the patient (autologous) are being used for more than 50 years and especially for treatment. Blood cancers and other blood-related diseases can be cured using a perfect matched donor stem cells obtained from bone marrow. Patients suffering from organ cancers like breast cancer etc. are given autologous stem cells as a supportive treatment along with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Protocols for these treatments are standardised globally and considered as standard-of-care. In recent years, umbilical cord blood derived stem cells are being used as an alternative to bone marrow, especially in the paediatric age group. People fall victim to numerous degenerative diseases which occur, as the repairing stem cell system from the body fails slowly with age. Stem cells from the patient’s body when isolated and administered at an appropriate time and at the right place, with the right dose, is expected to help the patient in various ways. It may also replace, rejuvenate or restore the damaged tissues.
Our body carnes its own repairing kit in the form of stem cells and the body tries its level best to make use of these stem cells to ward off diseases. However, it is possible that with age, the body’s power to recruit and make use of the stem cells diminishes slowly. This is when dreadful degenerative diseases like diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and heart problems, set in. Here’s what the clinical applications of regenerative medicine have found novel mechanisms of:
- Obtaining stem cells or the mother cells from the patients’ body
- Processing them to arrive at a required combination that is bone marrow concentrate + platelet rich plasma + adipose tissue derived cells, depending on the disease burden
- Administering this autologous (from the patients body itself) preparation to the patient at pre planned sites) routes
- A repeat dose is advisable in most of the conditions
It is increasingly observed that this kind of autologous therapy takes care of the root cause of disease and offers benefits to patients to whom there is no further solution in other modalities of treatment.
Diseases Treated With Stem Cells
Since each tissue and organ of our body is made up of cells that are derived from the egg cell, any disease which is due to derangement or degeneration of cells can be cured using autologous cellular therapy. And though the list can be endless, here are some examples where there have been very promising results:
- Severe osteoarthritis
- Avascular necrosis (hip-joint degeneration and pain) and disability due to this
- Diabetes, type 1 as well as type 2 and its complications
- Autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis etc.
- Respiratory conditions, COPD
- Neuro-degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease
- Ischemia related conditions like critical limb ischemia, stroke
- Skin conditions like chronic acne scars, pemphigus
- Paediatric conditions of various types like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies and developmental delays due to other reasons.