What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells therapy is an exciting emerging branch of regenerative medicine that will greatly impact the future of medicine and change how we treat various diseases.
Stem Cells are the building blocks for every organ and tissue in our body. Stem cells have the ability to either self-replicate or become the building blocks for other organs, such as heart cells, blood cells, brain cells and joint cells such as joint cartilage. There is much excitement about stem cell therapy as we may be able to use stem cell therapy to repair diseased or damaged tissues and organs. This includes a wide array of diseases such as heart disease, paralysis, stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis.
We will clarify this subject make this as simple as possibly by breaking Stem Cells into 3 groups which are classified by their origin.
- Fetal Stem Cells
- Fetal stem cells are derived from the human embryo. They are harvested during in-vitro fertilization. They are “pluripotent”, meaning that they could be differentiated into various type of cells and may potentially have the ability to repair various disease organs. This is still a developing field and there is currently much research, most of it outside of the United States, regarding its utility.
- Perinatal Stem Cells
- Perinatal Stem Cells are stem Cells that are derived right before or right after birth. These are cells that are derived from amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord or the placenta. These cells can also be differentiated to various cells. There is are still ongoing research in the field to further see the utility of these cells.
- Adult Stem Cells
- Adult stems cells come from 3 sources. They are mainly contained in bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat cells) and blood. They are called mesenchymal Stems cells. Although they have a more limited ability to differentiate to various types of cells, there has been increase research showing that their differentiation ability is more than once thought. This is an exciting growing field as Autologous, or use of a person’s own stem cells does not face the ethical or safety issues when compared to using donor fetal stem cells. These treatments included BMAC and ADSC Therapy.