Stem Cells and Their Applications. Cellular therapy will be one of the main applications of stem cells.
When discussing the therapeutic applications of stem cells. It must be done in terms of the future and with a probability criterion. At first glance, stem cells could have numerous different uses in medicine. Many of them are directed toward immunotherapy, gene therapy, or what is known as regenerative therapy.
Nevertheless, researchers are already using stem cells in the treatment of some diseases. Practically all of them are still in the experimental phase.
Probably the field that has advanced the most, or at least has the most published clinical studies, is the use of umbilical cord blood in the treatment of certain leukemias, lymphomas, other types of cancer, and hematological diseases.
This indicates a significant development in the medical field, showing promising results for patients with these conditions.
They carry out all these treatments by transfusing the child’s blood, who has the disease, and also act as the donor. This way, the possibilities of rejection are nil.
However, researchers are beginning to develop research using stem cells in animal models. They extract these stem cells either from umbilical cord blood or obtain them through other means. Such as genetic reprogramming of somatic cells.
In the laboratory, scientists can track stem cells as they divide and become increasingly specialized, giving rise to skin cells, bone cells, brain cells, and other types.
Some of the most serious medical conditions, such as cancer and birth defects, are due to abnormal cell division and differentiation. A better understanding of the genetic and molecular controls of these processes may yield information about how such diseases arise and suggest new strategies for therapy. This is an important goal of stem cell research.Euro Stem cell
Researchers have obtained promising results in animal experimentation for the treatment of diseases such as type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular accidents (heart attacks), diseases involving the destruction of neurons, and hematological pathologies. However, in many cases, these results still need to be confirmed in humans.
Currently, researchers are mainly focusing on cell therapy for the clinical applications of stem cells.
This approach is based on cultivating or regenerating tissues to repair damaged ones. In the case of organs, to restore proper functionality. Researchers have carried out experimental treatments for cancer or heart diseases. We are just at the beginning of a long road.
Note that the precursor of this type of therapy has been bone marrow transplantation. Generally applied to treating certain types of hematological cancer. Such as leukemia, some solid tumors, and other blood and metabolism disorders.
Stem Cells and Their Applications. Umbilical Cord Blood.
In this case, it is the adult stem cells, capable of producing blood and lymphatic cells, that do the work.
But currently, the availability of umbilical cord blood, which allows for the extraction of pluripotent stem cells, is changing the landscape of clinical research. Both autologous use (when individuals store it in a private bank). And providing it to compatible individuals (if preserved in a public bank) are applicable.
It is essential to consider that adult stem cells offer the advantage of not causing rejection. This is because they obtain them directly from themselves. When this is not the case, there is a clear risk of rejection.
For these types of therapies to become a reality, many issues still need resolution. However, there is no doubt that the future of medicine lies in stem cells.
In addition to the field of transplants, research on potential applications of stem cells is directed at treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer.
This includes diseases caused by genetic errors, as it is supposed that genetically programmed stem cells will allow introducing healthy tissue into damaged tissues, replacing the diseased tissue.
If you want to learn more about stem cells, visit our article “What Are Stem Cells?“