The therapies involving the use of stem cells are applied for several years in the treatment of malignant diseases of the blood and bone marrow. In recent years, in particular, it has begun to study possible therapies with stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine.
What are stem cells and why so much buzz concerning their medical perspective? These stem cells bring great hope for the medical researchers for finding remedies against deadly diseases. For example, when they are injected in patients, the stem cells are able to regenerate and replenish the bone marrow and the immune system possibly damaged by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
The stem cells in the umbilical cord blood, however, can be multiplied more easily than normal bone marrow cells and some types of cells contained in umbilical cord blood can be used up to 40 times. As an example of this potential, from 10 cells can be created up to 10 trillion cells.
In order to minimize rejection reactions, should be used the stem cells of the patient, since they, unlike the cells from foreign donor, are tolerated by the body without problems. The cells do not own, in fact, are not recognized by the immune system and are attacked. In these cases it becomes necessary taking medication for the Suppression of the immune system for the entire duration of life with consequent inconvenience and significant side effects.
An example of effective use
The application most widely used that involves the use of stem cells is the therapy following a heart attack. The heart muscle after a heart attack, is damaged and form scar tissue that prevents proper cardiac contraction and thus compromises the function of the heart itself.
Thanks to medical advances most patients now survive the attack. Many of them, however, continue to suffer from chronic heart failure.This condition can be improved, or even avoided, if we could, through a "renewal" of the stem cells of the heart, to repair the heart muscle.
Today, in regenerative medicine, they are used cells, especially bone marrow, purified in a rather selective. They are, therefore, a need for new procedures which allow to select and direct the stem cells in the formation of different types of tissue, while maintaining high replication capacity. These, however, must not show any signs of aging and no chromosomal genetic damage that would entail the risk of developing malignancies. Umbilical Cord blood stem cells fulfill these conditions in an ideal way.
There are already several clinical studies on the use of therapies based on stem cells from umbilical cord blood is in phase II and phase III, especially in the US, on the following conditions:
• Brain damage (childhood trauma)
• Autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes, lupus)
• Spinal cord injury
• Cardiac and vascular
In this trial demonstrates the superiority of stem cells from umbilical cord blood compared to other regeneration in heart disease and in the treatment of brain damage.
One of the key challenges is the proliferation of stem cells in the cord blood. In Israeli, a laboratory was developed for the multiplication of cells of the cord blood that can multiply the number of cells up to 200 times.
These studies are aimed at the treatment of malignant diseases of the blood and bone marrow, a success of these trials reinforce much knowledge and highlight the importance of stem cells of umbilical cord blood for other therapies.