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Stem cell treatments

Stem cell treatments (2)

Cell therapies

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 Published in Stem cell treatments Written by

Cell Therapy

The logic behind cell therapies is to use the stem cells of an individual to re-create specialized cells that may be defective or have died.

There are many conditions that require transplanting new cells to replace dead or damaged cells. For the treatment of these diseases it is necessary to have genetically compatible stem cells. This is the main reason why it is an advantage for someone to have stored their own stem cells, as they are fully compatible to their body.

One of the most basic properties of stem cells (certainly of hematopoietic and mesenchymal) is their ability to be attracted to the site of injury. Most stem cells can be administered systemically (intravenously) and then "migrate" to the area where there is a fault. Upon reaching there, stem cells receive chemical “communication” signals by the cells of the damaged tissue and these signals will lead them to differentiate into cells that are needed by the body for the "repair" of that tissue.

Did you know that...

A small number of hematopoietic stem cells can be multiplied and yield a large number of blood cells.

This is a property that is particularly useful for transplantations, as the cells that are transplanted to the recipient are asked to build from scratch the entire hematopoietic system after 'emigrating' with amazing precision and ability to the inside of the bones, where they will implanted to begin the hematopoiesis

Regenerative Medicine 
Regenerative medicine is an emerging field that involves stem cell treatment. It uses methods to restore the function of damaged tissues and organs.

The four main aspects of regenerative medicine are:

  • Artificial organs and medical assistive devices
  • Tissue engineering and biomaterials
  • Cell Therapies
  • Transfer of laboratory experiments into clinical application

Therapeutic applications of stem cells

Thursday, 14 March 2013 Published in Stem cell treatments Written by

Cord blood stem cells have been successfully used to treat blood diseases and some forms of cancer since 1988. It is an area of science that is expanding rapidly and is one of the most exciting medical fields of the 21st century.

The extensive list of diseases that have the potential to be cured with stem cells continually lengthens. Diseases or conditions that require tissue regeneration are potential candidates for such treatment.

We list some of the diseases for which transplants of hematopoietic stem cells have been used therapeutically (either autologous or allogeneic), as well as diseases for which there are clinical trials in place or that are still at an experimental stage:

Lymphomas - Cancer Forms

  • Burkitt's lymphoma
  • Juvenile Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (JCML)
  • Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML)
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma

Μyelodysplastic syndromes

Disorders of proliferation of blood cells

  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Fanconi Anemia
  • Pure Red Cell Aplasia
  • Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)

Immunodeficiencies

  • Severe Combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID and SCID-ADA)
  • X-linked lymphoproliferative disease
  • DiGeorge Syndrome
  • Leukocyte adhesion deficiency
  • Ataxia-telangiectasia

Hemoglobinopathies

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • ß-Thalassemia

Clinical Trial Stage

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Cardiac diseases (myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, cardiac failure)
  • Type I Diabetes
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Various inherited metabolic diseases
  • Cerebral Paralysis (Cerebral Palsy)

Experimental stage

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spine wounds
  • Stroke
  • Regeneration of tissues or organs: bone, cartilage, tendons, heart valves, skin parts etc

TODAY IN GREECE stem cells are being used in order to treat the damage to the heart after a heavy heart attack.

Also, the use of stem cells for the repair of liver cirrhosis is currently at the stage of human clinical trials.

Finally, the use of stem cells to restore brain damage, and spinal cord damage, is at an experimental stage, with encouraging results.

According to the literature, the likelihood of a person requiring autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (i.e. transplant using their own stem cells) during their lifetime, is estimated at 1/400 or 1/200.
With new scientific discoveries and practices that are continuously being adopted, this figure is estimated to rise to at least 1/100.

Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 14:316-322(2008)

What is also worth mentioning, is that these calculations do not yet include the Regenerative Medicine applications - the promising new field of therapeutic application of stem cells, where body damages are are fixed or improved, using the natural regenerative properties that stem cells have.

The prospect of cord blood stem cells use is expanding rapidly. There is no guarantee that your baby's blood sample will be compatible to another family member or that it will definitely constitute a cure. The autologous use of stem cells does not guarantee appropriate treatment for all inherited genetic diseases, unless used in gene therapy. Like in the cases of all transplants, the success of the treatment depends on many factors apart from the same stem cell such as the patient’s condition, the type of the disease, the compatibility and the relationship between donor and recipient as well as other factors.

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