Stem cell therapy is a therapy that regenerates new cells from the specialized cells, called stem cells, for specific functions. These cells can replace damaged or defective cells in the body. This therapy is considered as a miracle cure for most of the diseases ranging from wrinkles to spinal repair. It is also called regenerative medicine that boosts the repair of nonfunctional or injured or diseased tissues with the help of stem cells or their derivatives. It has excellent future therapeutic potential that needs to be researched more.
In this therapy, stem cells are grown in the laboratory and implanted into specific types of cells like heart muscle cells, bone cells, blood cells, or nerve cells of the patient. The stem cells then enhance the repair of the damaged or defective cells in the injected part. For instance, if it is inserted into the heart muscle, it can repair the defective muscle cells in the heart. This therapy is successfully utilized to perform bone marrow transplants in current medical practice. It is the most widely practiced stem cell therapy nowadays.
What are Stem cells?
Stem cells are the raw cells in a human body specialized in building any tissue. Owing to various researches, these cells are known to enhance tissue regeneration and repair.
Stem cells have two specific properties-
Unlimited renewal-these cells have a property to produce infinite progeny similar to an originating cell in a highly controlled manner.
Ability to differentiate- these cells can differentiate into all types of cells in the body.
Stem cells are derived from
embryonic cells (blastocysts, when the embryo has nearly 150 cells),
Adult stem cells (present in the adult tissues such as fat, bone marrow, etc.)
Perinatal stem cells (cells taken from amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood).
In recent research studies, genetic programming is used to produce healthy adult cells from stem cells successfully. However, several scientific experiments are still required to discover their therapeutic values for the treatment of various diseases.
Currently, stem cell therapy is used for bone marrow transplantation as stem cell transplants.
Stem cell transplants can be used to replace damaged or diseased cells to treat many blood-related diseases and cancer diseases like leukemia, neuroblastoma, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Scientists are experimenting with the efficacy of stem cells in the treatment of degenerative diseases such as heart failure, renal disorders, etc.
The research related to stem cell therapy is performed on the mice whose outcomes are different in humans.
The feature of unlimited cell division by stem cells is quite similar to that of cancer cells so that there is a constant risk of conversion of stem cells into cancer cells.
The scientists haven’t yet mastered to control the production of the stem cells in a large number of right healthy cells at the correct stage of differentiation.
Specific protocols are still missing that can control the survival, production, and integration of the transplanted cells.
Clinical trials are still not accomplished that can assure the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy is an advanced and widely used therapy used for regeneration and repair of the diseased and defective cells in the body. It possesses the potential to treat degenerative diseases, cancer, blood-related disorders, and many more. Currently, bone marrow transplantation is the most effective treatment conducted with the aid of stem cell transplant. However, conclusive research that can confirm the benefits and efficacy of this therapy is yet to come.