Stem cell therapy is the application of genetically engineered stem cell technology to treat or prevent an disease. The only current treatment that utilizes genetically engineered stem cells is embryonic stem cell transplantation. This typically occurs as umbilical cord blood transplants, but the stem cells can also be derived from umbilical cord plasma. There are many concerns about stem cell therapies. It is suggested that you consult with your physician or genealogist before considering any type of stem-cell treatment. While there is some concern regarding embryonic stem cell transplants’ ethical implications, research shows that they are very safe and many children have had success with stem cell therapy for their genetic disorders.
Scientists have discovered that stem cell transplants can be used in conjunction with other treatments for certain patients. The success of this transplant is contingent on the patient’s ability to handle the strain of the ongoing treatment. Researchers have succeeded in treating certain patients with only one transplant. Then, they gave the patient a single dose chemotherapy. Researchers have discovered that chemotherapy drugs can be affected by the tolerance of a person to stress. For this reason, researchers are currently testing additional chemotherapy drugs for combined use.
Scientists aren’t finished stem cell transplants as of yet. They are also looking into other ways to use genetically engineered blood to treat chronic illnesses such as leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells are living tissue that has been re-engineered to repair and replace damaged body parts. Utilizing the donor’s skin or bone marrow as a source can offer a much greater supply of stem cells to the part of the body that requires it.
Researchers are also testing alternative treatments that rely on stem cell transplants. One group is studying the effects of high radiation doses on pregnant mice. The mice were not exposed radiation at all; instead, they were subjected to very high levels of radiation. The mice survived but only for a short amount of time. The mice may require several months of treatment in order to recover as these special cells aren’t well absorbed by the body.
Scientists are also studying effectiveness of immune system boosters that combine stem cell treatments and immune system enhancements. Interferon is among the most sought-after immune system boosters. Interferon is a drug that can be used to treat many types of cancer, including blood and lymph cancers. Researchers believe that increasing the immune system can be successful in reducing the adverse effects of certain stem cell treatments.
Scientists are also investigating the role of diet in slowing the process of aging. They are studying diets that contain ingredients that encourage the production of healthy cells. These are substances are referred to as antioxidants. These substances repair damage to the tissues when they are made by the body. Some of the components that researchers are studying are phytosterols, lecithin and lipoic acid.
Scientists aren’t able to fully understand the effects of stem cell transplants. They understand that the number of transplants carried out is smaller than what is required to treat a heart disease. Scientists can see the overall benefit to patients if they are able to create a combination diet, exercise, transplant that will result in a younger, healthier heart. Stem cell transplants remain an effective treatment option since it gives patients the chance to live afresh.
Other researchers are also studying methods that are less dramatic, and are similar to therapeutic the use of cloning. In this case, there is no direct human interaction between the donor and the recipient. Cloning is done using DNA from other individuals and the nucleus from these cells are implanted into the host’s egg. If successful, this technique could allow researchers to produce the cells required to provide an alternative source of fuel for the immune system.
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