What are Stem Cells?
Undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate and transform into any type of cells of the body when and where needed. They have an enormous potential to repair, heal and regenerate. Stem cells come from blood, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and adipose tissue.
Type of Stem Cell Therapy
Autologous stem cell therapy: Patient receives stem cells from his/her own body
Allogeneic stem cell therapy: Patient receives the stem cells donated by another individual
Autologous stem cell therapy is better than allogeneic stem cell therapy as chances of mismatching are not there and they pose the minimum risk of immune rejection. Also, no side effects or adverse effects are seen as a person’s own blood cells are used. They start the healing process immediately in a natural way.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
The usage of stem cells to cure or treat a disease or repair the injured tissue is defined as stem cell therapy. Stem cells can be obtained from the bone marrow, adipose tissues etc. Due to their tremendous potential to prevent and to treat various health conditions and to repair the injured tissues global research investigation is continuously being done as to explore the maximum advantage of these cell lines.
The best example of the stem cell treatment is seen in the patients suffering from restoring the vision of the damaged eyes, grafting of the skin in severe burnt conditions. Stem cell treatments for brain or neural diseases like Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, preventing heart strokes, curing diabetes, kidney disorders, autism, and spinal cord injuries are progressively making their way.
What are the Sources of Stem Cell?
Depending upon the disease different stem cell source can be used in a specific condition. The procedure may involve the extraction of stem cells from adipose tissue-derived stem cells with the combination of PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) or can be obtained from bone marrow that can differentiate into the progenitor cells that differentiate into various other tissues which can help in the therapy.
Procedure of Stem Cell Therapy
The stem cells are isolated from the bone marrow or the adipose tissues followed by their processing and enrichment under sterile conditions. These activated stem cells are placed back into the patient’s body at the target site for repairing the damaged tissue. It is necessary that the stem cells are injected in the specific area of injury as only then the desired results will be achieved. Adipose stem cells are preferred over bone marrow stem cells as they are easy to isolate and contain a higher number of stem cells.
Stem Cells Injections
The stem cells injections are gaining much of the interest because it is devoid of the painful procedure, takes less time in comparison to a surgery, there are no host and recipient rejections as stem cells are harvested from the patient’s body itself and a targeted delivery system is available.
The stem cells obtained are processed in a sophisticated stem cell lab and after activation are inserted back into the host with the help intravenous, intramuscular, intra-arterial, intradermal and intrathecal injections as per the requirement of the treatment process.
What is the Use of Anesthetics and Why?
Usually, local anesthetics are used during a stem cell procedure to numb the area but sometimes general anesthesia is also given while extracting the stem cells from bone marrow. But it is necessary to find out what anesthetic your doctor uses during orthopedic stem cell treatments. A number of anesthetics have been found to kill the stem cells thus; the treatment’s end result will greatly depend on the use of anesthetics. Some anesthetics very well sync with the stem cell and hence, aid in the treatment.
How good are the Processing Techniques in the Onsite Labs?
Stem cells are to be extracted and processed in a clean room, under aseptic conditions maintaining a controlled environment. The doctor should explain the entire process and the number of viable stem cells infused into the patient during the process. Also, the precision of the injections to provide good quality of stem cells at the site of injury will help in better and faster recovery of the patient’s damaged area.
Duration and Cost of the Therapy
Cost of the treatment and its duration varies from one patient to another. The disease which needs to be cured, the severity, age factor, health condition, etc, define the duration of the therapy. One may respond during the treatment phase itself while the other may show results after a few sessions or weeks. Depending upon the disease diagnosed, the stem cells extracted, duration of the therapy, other adjuvants used in the process, the cost of the stem cell therapy can vary.
It is essential that after the stem cell therapy the patient should visit the stem cell doctor for recuperation therapies. The primary goals of such therapy is the prevention of secondary complications, analysis of recovery of motor, sensory and all the bodily functioning, psychological support/counseling for depression, mood swings or anxiety etc. and re-integration into the community.
There can be different sets of precautions which need to be followed at various steps for the recovery of the damaged tissues. The treatment and post treatment conditions may vary from person to person depending upon the disease and the severity.
Success Rate of Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy has shown results in treating serious ailments like leukemia, grafting tissues, autism, orthopedic conditions and skin problems etc. Stem Cell Therapy has been successfully used in the treatment of around 80 serious disorders. Survival rates among patients who received stem cell treatment are significantly high, whether the cell donors are related or unrelated to them. With the ongoing research around the world, scientists are exploring new possibilities in which a number of life threatening diseases can be prevented and cured hence, the stem cells have proved to be promising in the near future as many aspects are yet to be revealed.
About the Author:
Vipul Jain is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in spotting business opportunities in the inchoate stages. An MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, Vipul established Advancells in 2013. The research-based company focuses on providing cutting-edge Stem Cell Therapies for patients with life threatening diseases and also targets lifestyle diseases with anti-aging technology.
Extending the family business of garment exports, Vipul started his career in 1999 by establishing a fabrics import enterprise. In 2002, he established Mirage Animation which produces television-quality animations for clients such as Warner Brothers, Disney, and Channel 5 etc. The very next year he identified another exciting opportunity in the Medical Tourism space which he Co-Founded and was known as Planet Hospital. This soon became the world’s largest medical tourism company and was listed on NASDAQ in 2011.
After this, Vipul exited Planet Hospital to establish his own Medical Tourism business by the name of Mirage Medserv which focuses on countries such as Russia, Africa and the Middle East. Mirage Medserv is today one of the largest facilitators of patients of almost all major hospitals in the country. As an extension of his proactive demeanor, Vipul is also a part of Round Table India and various other social organizations.