What Are Stem Cells ? And what is the use of stem cell in invasive and non invasive treatment?
The organs and tissue in the human body are made up of cells. Some of these cells are self-renewing and transform into different types of cells. These cells are called stem cells. Unlike muscle and nerve cells, stem cells can divide and multiply. A stem cell that can enable thousands or even millions of cells from a single cell, can reproduce by dividing to renew itself. Stem cells cannot provide oxygen transport, or hormonal and neural transmission, however, they play an important role in the formation of cells that must perform these vital functions.
As the body ages, the amount of blood stem cells in the body decreases in comparison to the other cells.
Whereas 1 in 10,000 cells in a newborn are stem cells, in a 65 year old person, only 1 in a million cells are stem cells.
Tissue and organ degenerationbecomes irreversible because the amount of stem cells decrease with age.
Therefore, stem cell therapy is very important in treating many fatal diseases such as some types of cancer and congenital blood diseases and are considered as a treatment option.
Stem cells are able to renew themselves and they can transform into other types cells.
Stem cells change in line with the needs of the body and ensure the growth, maturation, and reproduction of other cells.
Stem cells are the building blocks for all the tissue and organs in the human body. Stem cells that can transform into any type of cell and are known as mother cells.
There is a need for them in every part of the body. Stem cells serve as a repair system for the body by transforming themselves to the desired cell type.
Stem cells can repair organ and tissue degeneration through their ability to divide and renew themselves over a long time.
Stem cells play an important role in the early stages of growth when a fetus is still in the womb. They help form the muscles and tissues. These are called embryonic stem cells. There are also adult stem cells and induced stem cells.
With the advent of technology and modern medicine, stem cells can be used to treat many diseases by transplanting stem cells which can be done through adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow transplants from one person to another.
What is stem cells therapy or stem cell treatment? And How it relates to stem cell transplant?
Stem cells therapy, also know as regenerative medicine, promotes the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional and injured tissues in addition to that stem cell based treatments replace damaged cells. It is done through a stem cells transplant from the same person or from a compatible or semi compatible donor.
In the past,stem cells therapy could only be done by using stem cells taken from the bone marrow. However, now it can also be taken from the peripheral blood and the umbilical cord blood from the body’s blood circulation.
Researchers believe that stem cells can also be obtained from the oocytes (embryonic stem cells) and fat tissue.
Bone marrow treatment can be used to treat heart, brain and neurological diseases plus it can be used to treat:
1. The abnormalities caused by the metabolic or enzymatic systems
2. Damaged bone marrow
3. Suppression of the immune system
4. Damaged tissue or organs.
New breakthroughs in stem cells therapy research have led to the usage of stem cells therapy in the treatment of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
In addition to neurological diseases like brain strokes that are caused by spinal cord injuries and cerebral vascular obstructions.
Even though stem cells cannot treat the affected areas in the brain, modern research has shown that stem cells can treat these injuries by stimulating the functioning parts of the brain. Due to the advent of new technologies and new scientific breakthroughs, stem cells therapy will be used to treat many more previously untreatable diseases in the near future.
Research is still being conducted on stem cells therapy and new discoveries are being made on ways to treat previously untreated diseases.
How is stem cells therapy done?
Stem cells are extracted from peripheral blood, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood.
Autologous transplant is the transfer of stem cells taken from a person to the damaged area. The transplantation of the stem cells from other donors into the patient is called an allogeneic transplant.
In cases where a perfect match is not found, a single match transplantis conducted. A single match transplant is when stem cells obtained from a semi-matched donor are used. After a suitable stem cell is found, it is injected into the patient’s blood vessels or directly into the damaged area. The success rate of treatment differs depending on the type of disease, duration, and complications that occurred. Furthermore, in some cases, stem cell fixation might not take place. In suchcases, the stem cells must be re-implanted.
In which diseases is stem cells therapy performed ?
There are new developments every day in the field of bone marrow treatment. In light of these developments, stem cell therapy is being applied in the treatment of many disorders.
The operation of stem cells are used in the fields of orthopedics, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and traumatology.
It has become a common treatment for patients of appropriate age and physical characteristics. Stem cell therapy is often used to treat the listed diseases below:
- Bone marrow cancers
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- blood cancer
- Mild anemia
- Organ cancers
- Plasma cell diseases
- Bone marrow failure
- Multiple myeloma
- Hereditary and congenital blood diseases
- Diseases caused by immunodeficiency
- hereditary metabolic diseases
How are stem cells donated?
Any healthy person aged 18-50 years old is a potential stem cells donor. The most common way of donating stem cells is through the peripheral blood stem cell donation.
In this method, the blood is taken through a catheter in a vein, much like a normal blood donation. The donor is prescribed medication to be taken twice a day for four to five days. Stem cells are mixed with the blood circulation. After that, the blood is sent through a machine that takes out the stem cells. The catheter and the machine remain connected for two to four hours. There are no side effects on the donor during this procedure.
The stem cells that are donated can be immediately given to the patient or they could be frozen and stored for future use.
Another method for donating blood cells is through bone marrow donation. A unit of blood is collected from the donor a week before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, the donor is put under general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the pelvic area and the stem cells are collected by a special needle inserted in the pelvic area.
The donor is usually discharged in the same day. For a healthy lifestyle, do not ignore routine medical checks