Stem Cell Therapy Uses the Body’s Own Building Blocks to Provide Healing

In the near future the hope of stem cell therapy to replace organ transplant is promising.

Stem cell therapy involves using stem cells to treat a specific disorder or condition. So far, bone marrow transplant is the most widely used form of stem cell therapy for cancer. This also includes treatments using umbilical cord blood . Presently, adult bone marrow stem cells are now used to treat heart diseases such as heart attack and heart failure. In addition, research continues to find new therapies using various types of adult stem cells to treat conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and orthopedic problems.

In the near future the hope of stem cell therapy to replace organ transplant is promising. The concept is that stem cells will be grown in a laboratory by researchers, which are then controlled to specialize in distinct kinds of cells such as blood cells, muscle cells, or nerve cells. The cells can then be transplanted directly into the individual in order to repair the damaged organ. For example, a person can be injected with cells that have been changed into heart muscle to repair the malfunctioning muscle tissue. Scientist and physicians throughout the world continue to work on making stem cell therapy a method of replacing organ transplants in patients.

Various clinical studies using stem cells are ongoing. Embryonic stem cells are now being studied to help cure eye diseases such as macular degeneration which leads to blindness. Stem cells obtained from the eye are believed to be useful for growing new cornea in individuals with damaged eyes. To date, these treatments are proven to be safe and some improvements have been seen. Further studies are needed to assure that the cells maintain long term benefit in patients.

In the not so distant future, the use of stem cells to improve your quality of life will be a standard of care. Patients with eye, heart, lung and orthopedic problems will get treated with stem cells and improve significantly their quality of life.

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