Stem cell treatment is the use of genetically engineered stem cells in order to treat or treat an disease or disorder. The only current treatment with genetically engineered stem cells is embryonic stem cell transplantation. This usually occurs as an umbilical cord-blood transplant, but the stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord plasma. Because there are a amount of questions regarding stem cell therapies, it is often times recommended to seek the counsel of your professional genealogist prior to undertaking any kind of stem cell treatment. While some concern has been raised about the ethical implications of embryonic stem cell transplants, research has shown that these transplants have very little risk and many children have had the success of treating their genetic disorders with stem cells.
Scientists have discovered that some patients can be treated with stem cell transplants and chemotherapy at the same time. The success of this transplant is contingent on the patient’s ability to withstand the stress of the ongoing treatment. In some patients researchers have had success by undergoing a single transplant, and then treated the patient with one dose of chemotherapy. With advances in medical science scientists have discovered that a person’s tolerance for stress can affect the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs they are taking. Because of this, researchers are currently testing more chemotherapy drugs for combined use.
Scientists are still researching stem cell transplants. They are also looking into ways to utilize genetically engineered blood to treat chronic illnesses such as leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells are living tissues that have been re-engineered to repair and replace damaged parts of the body. Using the donor skin or bone marrow as a source of stem cells can provide a greater supply of stem cells to the region of the body that needs it.
Researchers are also testing other treatments that make use of stem cell transplants. One group is evaluating the effects of the exposure of pregnant mice to high doses of radiation. The mice were not given radiation at all; instead, they were exposed to extremely high levels of radiation. The mice survived, but only for a short amount of time. Because these cells are not well-tolerated by the body, it could take several months of treatment before the mice are healed.
Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of immune system boosting by stem cell therapies. One of the most popular forms of immune system boosters is a substance known as interferon. Interferon is used to treat a variety of types of cancers, such as lymphoma and blood cancers. Researchers believe that boosting the immune system can be successful in reducing the negative effects of some stem cell treatments.
Scientists are also investigating the effects of diet on slowing the aging process. They are looking at diets that have ingredients that help in the growth of healthy cells. These are substances are referred to as antioxidants. When they are created by our bodies, these antioxidants can repair damage to tissues. Researchers are currently studying phytosterols and lecithin and lipoic acid.
Of course, scientists have not completely come to understand the exact effects of stem cell transplants. They know that the amount of transplants performed is much less than what is needed to treat a severe heart disease. Researchers can see the overall positive effects for patients if they are able to create a combination diet, exercise and transplant that results in a younger, healthier heart. Stem cell transplants remain an effective treatment option, since it can give patients a new lease on life.
Other researchers are looking into methods that aren’t as drastic and employing techniques similar to therapeutic cloning. In this case, there is no direct human interaction between the donor and the recipient. Cloning is carried out with DNA from other people and the nucleus from these cells is then inserted into the host’s egg. If successful, this technique could allow researchers to create the cells required to supply a new source of fuel for the immune system.
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