Friday, June 9, 2017

3 Ways that using stem cells can decrease the spread of disease

Stem cells are cells that naturally occur in the body that have not yet committed to a specific type of cell. Stem cells can divide into more stem cells or they can differentiate into tissue specific cell types. Stem cells act as a repair system for the body in that they could potentially replace damaged or dead cells in the body. Stem cells can be harvested and transplanted into a patient for the treatment of diseases. There are two types of stem cell transplants that can take place. First, an autologous transplant uses a patient’s own stem cells. This is often used in cancer patients in which stem cells are collected from the patient before chemotherapy treatment and then used to replace cells damaged by the chemotherapy. Allogeneic stem cell transplant is another option and occurs when a donor’s stem cells are collected and transplanted into a patient’s body. Here are three ways in which stem cells can be used to treat disease, and additional information about stem cell therapy can be found from NSI Stem Cell.  
1. Cancer. Certain types of cancer can be treated by transplantation of blood-derived stem cells. Generally, cancer is treated with high doses of chemotherapy and radiation. These treatments can kill the existing bone marrow stem cells in the patient, rendering them unable to make new blood cells. Transplantation of stem cells can fix this problem by providing new stem cells to the patient so that blood cells can be formed. Stem cell treatment can also help treat certain cancers in that the transplanted stem cells differentiate into immune cells that can identify and kill cancer cells in the patient’s body. This is known as “graft-versus-cancer” effect, in which the transplanted cells actually help fight the cancer cells, rather than just replacing lost blood cells
2. Neurologic diseases. While stem cells are not currently used clinically to treat any neurologic diseases, recent research shows that there is great potential for the use of` stem cells in the treatment of these disease. Transplanted stem cells to damaged areas in the brain or spinal cord can be used to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, stroke, spinal cord injuries, Cerebral palsy, and several others. For example, one study found that rats subjected to a paralyzing injury could be injected with stem cells at the site of injury. This treatment with stem cells led to improved motor function one week after injury.
3. Diabetes. Diabetes is a disease characterized by abnormally high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. This disease can lead to many complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, neuropathy and stroke. There is currently no cure for diabetes, but many researchers are focusing on developing new treatments for this disease, including stem cell therapy. There is hope that stem cells could be injected into a patient with diabetes and these cells would differentiate into beta cells, which are the cells that manufacture insulin, which is crucial for glucose metabolism in the body. By providing the body with new glucose-responsive cells, there is potential for decreasing or curing diabetes in these patients.

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