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Stem Cells – The Future of Medicine

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

The human body contains hundreds of different types of cells. Most of these cells are located in the liver, kidneys, and the brain and are responsible for maintaining the normal function of these organs. Stem cell are the future of medicine.

Dr. Erdal Karaöz, the repository of the Stem Regenerative Cell Research and Production Center at LIV Istanbul Hospital, said that ‘In the last 10-15 years, stem cells, cells that provide our organ function and are the key cell of the individual, have been divided into lab and used in cellular treatments specific to each individual. Stem cells are used in the treatment of cartilage lesions in orthopedics, aesthetic, and reparation surgery, in burns and wounds with wound healing, in the case of inferior limb lesions in diabetic patients, and in cardivascular lesions.’

What is the purpose of using stem cells?

The area of stem cell usage can be divided into two main categories.

They can be used in aesthetic and reparation surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, and also in the treatment of haematological disorders.

However, there are conditions that can not be treated conventionally and which hopefully can be treated with stem cells, such as:

  • nervous system disorders
  • diseases of the marrow
  • ALS neuro-generative diseases
  • muscular diseases
  • insufficient organs’ functions
  • immune disorders
  • eye disorders such as loss of vision or lack of vision

In all these cases, stem cell treatment is expected…

Acne scars are a cosmetic problem. In treating these scars, dermatology has long used fillers. But, depending on the degradation rate, this type of treatment requires repetition of the intervention. These products are rarely used in the treatment of acne scars due to side effects. In the treatment of acne scars, fibroblast-cell injections are administered alone or in combination with laser intervention.

In the biopsy performed in patients who are under treatment, there was an increase in the volume of fibroblast cells and the epidermis without inflammation.

In addition, at present, fibroblast cells active in wound healing, scar formation, assuring the integrity of the cellular skin structure are used in aesthetic surgery for rejuvenation purposes and in the treatment of dermatological disorders.

Fibroblast cells are used for the treatment of wounds, scars, varicella, burns, traumas, postoperative scars, and lip augmentation by sampling their own cells.

Self-injected fibroblast cell injections are used to treat wrinkles, spots, and if the skin elasticity is lost with age.

Fibroblast cells injected into the skin stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin itself in the area where it was applied, rebuilding the protein structure of the skin. Thus, the skin gets an anti-aging, youthful look.

How is cell therapy applied?

The method of producing fibroblast cells consists in taking a 3 mm skin sample from a barely exposed area of the body, preferably behind the ear, axillary or inguinal area by the punch biopsy method under sterile conditions.

If the biopsy is done in a hairy area, it should be done so that it contains the hair follicle in the neck area.

In addition to the biopsy, blood will also be taken to produce endemic cells for each individual. From the biopsy material, the fibroblast cells are extracted by the enzymatic fragmentation method, after which the fibroblast cells are produced in sterile conditions.

The production period of fibroblast cells varies between 4-6 weeks. At the end of the period there is a multiplication process.

After performing the quality control and establishing the characteristics, the product is presented to the treating physician in vials specially prepared for administration. Injections are applied by the classical method of mesotherapy at the interval of 15-30 days. The method does not require anesthesia.

Are stem cells given to the patient from whom they were taken?

Generally, these cells are administered to the patient from whom they were taken. However, there are some cases, such as immune system disorders, when cells taken from the marrow or adipose tissue from another individual can be administered. This is possible because of the characteristic of these cells being recognized and accepted by the immune system of the transplant individual.

Consequently, cells transplanted from another individual behave in the same way as the patient’s own cells. This method is called allogeneic transplantation.

Can the cells be used after 20 years?

It is generally possible.

After sufficient cell division, one part is administered to the patient. If the desired results are not recorded after the pathological examination, a second or three doses may also be given.

Cells used for this purpose can be conserved in liquid nitrogen containers at -196 degrees Celsius.

The tests have demonstrated that cells preserved under these conditions have retained their properties for 20 years.

Stem Cells – the future of medicine

In the world, harvesting baby stem cells has started over 20 years ago. The oldest cryogenic cells are already 25 years old. The procedure is not painful either for the mother or the child, and the umbilical cord is considered a biological waste.

Fortunately, it can now be fully utilized.

Here are some cases resolved happily with umbilical cord cells immediately after birth.

In 2003, an 8-year-old girl was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. This is a rare cancer but is common among children.

In 2007, after chemotherapy treatments did not have significant effects, the girl was transplanted with stem cells from her sister.

Twelve months after the stem cell transplant, the little girl was healed.

In 2005, another girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (the most common form of leukemia in children). Less than 5 years followed repeated chemotherapy treatments, but the disease returned.

In 2008, the girl faced a stem cell medullary transplant from her sister. After 17 months of stem cell transplantation, the little girl recorded a normal evolution.

Last case is of another 22-month-old girl who received a stem cell transplant after receiving the leukemia diagnosis.

Her brother provided her with the precious biological material. The first healthy new cells were detected in her body 2 weeks after the intervention.

These are serious cases successfully solved in the world with the help of stem cells.

Where are the stem cells found?

Stem cells are the initial cells of the human body that can turn into absolutely any kind of normal cell inside any organ or system in the body.

In the adult, they are found in the bone marrow and there are studies that say that an untapped stem cell source is also found in fat.

Unfortunately, adult stem cells are rare and difficult to use. For example, harvesting cells in the bone marrow involves a painful, high-risk process for the patient.

Also, in breast milk there is a stem cell source, but it still has little use.

Stem cells are most definitely the future of medicine since they are able to cure serious illnesses such as cancer.

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