Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cells help us understand and treat a wide range of diseases, injuries, or other health-related conditions. Stem cells are used to treat blood diseases, in leukemia therapies, or for tissue grafts to treat injuries or diseases of the skin, bone, or surface of the eye. Both science and medicine continue to explore the numerous ways of using stem cells and improving stem cell therapy.
As they are the body’s raw materials, stem cells divide and form more cells called daughter cells. They can either become new stem cells or specialized cells, having functions similar to blood cells, heart muscle cells, bone cells, or brain cells. No other cell in the human body has the natural ability to divide and generate new cell types besides stem cells.
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has a complete list of diseases treatable by blood stem cell transplant. In Europe, more than 26,000 patients are treated each year with blood stem cells.
Types of Stem Cells
Stem cells are divided into two primary forms. They are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found living within differentiated tissues in our bodies. They can renew themselves or generate new cells. The new cells can then replenish dead or damaged tissue. Adult stem cells are found throughout an individual’s body in tissues, such as the placenta, umbilical cord, bone marrow, brain, muscle, fat tissue, skin, and gut. In 1948 the first adult stem cells were extracted and used for blood production. Adult stem cells are classified in the following categories:
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Blood Stem Cells)
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells
- Neural Stem Cells
- Epithelial Stem Cells
- Skin Stem Cells
Stem cell therapy has used tissue stem cells since the 1970s. To be more precise, the skin stem cells have been used since the 1980s to grow layers of new skin for severe burn patients. This technique is used to save the lives of those who have third-degree burns on large areas of their bodies.
Separately, cord blood stem cells are harvested from the umbilical cord of a baby after birth. These cells can then be frozen (cryopreserved) in cell bands and used to treat children with cancerous blood disorders like leukemia or blood diseases like Fanconi anemia.
Embryonic Stem Cells
During days 3-5 following fertilization and before implantation, the embryo contains an inner cell mass. This cell is capable of generating all the specialized tissues that make up the human body. The embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of the embryo that has been fertilized in vitro and not from eggs fertilized in a woman’s body. Stem cell research may prove that embryonic stem cells can be applied to stem cells grown in vitro, regrowing cells for transplantation such as skin, nerve, intestine, and liver.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
These stem cells are created in the laboratory, and it’s a combination of adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells were created by introducing embryonic genes into a somatic cell, causing it to revert back to a stem cell state. However, the process needs many years of research before being used in clinical therapies.
Why Is There So Much Interest in Stem Cells?
The most commonly known stem cell treatment is hematopoietic (or blood) stem cell transplantation. An example is a bone marrow transplant, which treats certain blood and immune system disorders or rebuilds the blood systems after some cancer treatments. Corneal injuries and bone or skin disease can be treated by implanting tissues, while the healing process relies on stem cells.
On the other hand, researchers and doctors are continuously studying stem cells for the following reasons:
#1. Understand How Diseases Occur
Doctors hope they will better understand how certain conditions and diseases happen because stem cells develop into cells in the nerves, bones, heart muscles, or other tissue and organs.
#2. Generate Healthy Cells to Replace Diseased Cells
This process is also called regenerative medicine, and the stem cells can be influenced to become specific cells that can be used to repair or regenerate damaged tissue. People who can benefit from such stem cell treatments include those with Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, burns, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injuries, or osteoarthritis.
Studies have shown that stem cells have the potential to become new tissue that can be used in regenerative medicine or transplants. Researchers hope to develop the applications of stem cells in modern medicine.
#3. Test New Drugs for Safety
Researchers want to use stem cells to test new drugs for their safety and quality. In doing so, stem cells must achieve the properties of the type of cells targeted by the new drug. So, for now, the techniques to turn the stem cells into certain cells are still being studied. For example, bone cells could be programmed to test a new drug for bone disease, showing whether the drug had a positive or negative impact on the cells.
Types of Stem Cell Therapies & Treatments
It is critical to understand that the severity of your injury or condition may have an impact on the effectiveness of your stem cell treatment. Severe injuries can be treated with stem cells, but the process will last longer or require more treatment sessions than minor injuries. For best results, call for a consultation at Ceda Orthopedic Group. The faster you act after your injury or disease has been diagnosed, the better your chances of recovery will be.
Our knees and hips are tasked with sustaining our body weight, so the joints are primarily associated with orthopedic problems. Adult stem cells have been used to treat some orthopedic conditions in both young and old patients.
Stem cells are highly effective at repairing damaged ligaments because our bodies do not provide enough blood flow to these areas. Since they are small and tucked away, ligaments are difficult to heal and require long rest periods. Studies have also found promising results in repairing elbow ligament injuries or treating the oft-injured rotator cuff.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear over time, as the cartilage in one’s joints can degrade over time, and the body does not replace cartilage naturally. But stem cells can be transformed into cartilage and used as an excellent treatment option for osteoarthritis.
At Ceda Orthopedic Group, treatments are provided for the following specialty services: orthopedic care, neurosurgical care, interventional pain medicine, and chiropractic medicine. We also offer telemedicine services.
Stem cell transplants do not work against cancer directly, but they help recover the ability to produce stem cells after chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During bone marrow transplants, the patient receives healthy blood-forming stem cells through a needle in the vein. Once the stem cells enter the bloodstream, they travel to the bone marrow, forming new healthy stem cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Neurodegenerative diseases are the most challenging conditions to treat, as there are no recognized cures for these conditions. When suffering from these diseases, the patient’s neurons decay in the brain and the rest of the nervous system. However, stem cell therapies have proved to be helpful.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is studying and exploring how bone marrow transplants can help cure these two conditions. A stem cell transplant can either stop the disease’s progression or reverse it entirely by regenerating the damaged neurons.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Nerve Damages
Spinal cord injuries can cause damage to nerves and lead to severe conditions such as paralysis or nerve damage. According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, stem cell treatment has achieved positive results in over 45% of patients after one trial. Patients have experienced improvements in less than six months.
What Stem Cell Therapies are Available?
In addition to their current use in bone marrow transplants, or cancer treatments, stem cells can help treat autoimmune diseases or to help people tolerate transplanted organs. Other stem cell therapies are currently in clinical trials, and until they are complete, one can not know for sure how effective they are in treating different diseases.
List of FDA Approved Stem Cell Therapies:
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma
- Large B-Cell Lymphoma
- B-Cell ALL
- Prostate Cancer
- Some other kinds of cancer
- Facial wrinkles
- Receding gums
- Damaged cartilage
- Leber congenital amaurosis (a retinal disorder)
- SMA or spinal muscular atrophy
How Can We Help
At Ceda Orthopedic Group, we strive to improve our patient’s health so that they can return to a normal life. We provide thorough medical documentation, utilizing detailed examinations and diagnostic services, including computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, videofluoroscopy, and nerve conduction studies. We also offer transportation, if needed, and telemedicine services. Contact us at (305)646-9644.