What Does Stem Cell Therapy Treat?
Research regarding stem cell therapy has shown positive indications, and scientists believe in using this technology to treat various ailments and abnormalities. At present, the transplantation of blood stem cells is the most commonly used and effective treatment. This therapy can also be effective while treating various conditions of the immune system. Many patients receive a bone marrow transplant every year, which proves the efficacy of stem cell therapy.
Given below are treatments associated with stem cell therapy.
Skin Cell Regeneration
For the past few decades, doctors have been using skin stem cells to grow skin cells and graft them into damaged areas. This type of treatment can be a life-saving procedure for patients who may have lost major areas of their skin due to a burn injury. The facilities offering such services are limited; hence, these centers are normally reserved for patients with serious burn injuries.
Numerous clinical studies have revealed that the stem cells obtained from the limbus (a part of the eye) can allow doctors to treat a damaged cornea. The process of repairing a damaged cornea involves taking limbal stem cells from the patient’s eye and growing them in the laboratory. When properly differentiated, these stem cells are transplanted back into the damaged eye of the patient.
However, this treatment is only possible for patients who have healthy and undamaged limbal stem cells in at least one of their eyes. The clinical trials of this treatment have been successful, safe, and effective. Moreover, various regulatory authorities have also approved this treatment.
Blood Disease Treatments
When it comes to the treatment of blood-related disorders, stem cell therapy has produced amazing results. In fact, this type of treatment widely utilizes adult hematopoietic stem cells and helps treat various blood-related diseases like leukemia and sickle cell anemia.
Hematopoietic stem cells are present in blood and bone marrow. These cells are capable of turning into different types of blood cells. For instance, hematopoietic stem cells can produce red blood cells and white blood cells.
In fact, extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatment administered to a cancer patient can destroy bone marrow. A stem cell transplant is a way to replace the bone marrow of such a patient. Therefore, when treating certain kinds of cancer, like lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma, stem cell transplant may turn out to be an essential part of the treatment.
Other Proposed Treatments
Apart from the above-mentioned application of stem cell transplants, below are other instances where this treatment can prove beneficial. This treatment may serve the purpose in the following ways:
- It helps replace damaged neurons due to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, or similar other neurological issues.
- It may prove beneficial while producing insulin, which could help diabetic patients maintain their blood sugar level for a longer period.
- It could also repair damaged heart muscle.
- Stem cells could virtually replace different tissues and organs damaged due to a disease or injury.