The Benefits and Challenges of Stem Cells Therapy
Overview of Stem Cells Therapy
As a major issue in present medication world, stem cells therapy is as popular as a superstar! You will find so much information about stem cells therapy in newspapers, magazines, TV news, internet, with so many medical terms which are really confusing. For better understanding in this subject, we provide you with this simple overview of stem cells therapy which will mostly discuss about the definition, types, benefits and challenges of stem cells therapy.
The process of stem cells
Stem cells therapy is a stem cells transplant given to a patient
in order to replace certain damaged cells, tissues and to revive the
sick organ. Stem cells are cells at their earliest stage which can
be specialized into other types of cells. For example, if the heart
cells are damaged, then the stem cells are specialized into heart
cells before transplanted back into the patient's body. The healthy
transplanted heart cells will replace the damaged heart cells and
tissues, and finally revive the heart to produce more healthy cells.
Generally, stem cells therapy includes three major steps :
1. Stem cells are taken from the patient's body
2. The derived stem cells are cultivated and specialized into desired cells at the laboratory
3. Specialized stem cells are transplanted back to the patient
At present, there are four types of stem cells therapy used in medication
1. The bone marrow / adult stem cells transplant - the stem cells are derived from bone marrow.
2. Peripheral stem cells transplant - stem cells are derived from bloodstream / circulating blood.
3. Cord blood stem cells transplant - stem cells are derived from the placental of umbilical cord.
4. Therapeutic Cloning - also known as ANT (Altered Nuclear Transfer) in which stem cells are derived from the somatic cells or body cells. Therapeutic cloning helps scientists to clone a new organ that perfectly match the patient's body (no rejection occur).
For over a decade, stem cells therapy has been used to cure several
chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, spinal cord injuries,
eye diseases, Parkinson, and even cancers. Scientists believe that
stem cells therapy can do more than it has done so far. Why? Because
their miraculous abilities make them have unlimited potential to cure
These are some beneficial proofs of stem cells' miraculous abilities :
1. Bone marrow stem cells actually cure Leukemia (blood cancer).
2. For burn patients, stem cells replace the damaged skin with new fresh skin.
3. For patients with eye diseases (ex. dysfunctional retina), stem cells provide new eye cells and treat damaged tissues.
However, stem cells therapy also has many challenges in both the
research and treatment progress :
1. It is rather difficult to identify stem cells among millions of cells in human's adult tissues.
2. When the stem cells are derived from the tissue, the next harder job is to carefully specialize it into desired cells.
3. Finally, the hardest task is to make sure that the body immune system will not attack the newly transplanted stem cells.
benefits is intended for your general information only
and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
Stem cells therapy | Cancer stem cells therapy