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Stem cell therapy – hype or hope? |

Health And Family

Stem cell therapy – hype or hope?

UNDER YOUR SKIN - Grace Carole Beltran, MD - The Philippine Star

Ever since I was introduced to stem cells, my excitement has been growing more intense.  In my relentless pursuit of finding alternative treatments for my patients, I cannot help but dig deeper into the realms of what seemed impossible before.  And my passion for learning more about these regenerative processes is what keeps me going in the practice of medicine. So I was so delighted to learn about it when a doctor friend introduced me to it. 

I could not contain my anticipation; that is why I went to learn more about it by visiting the country where it was developed, enhanced, improved and studied better.

Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage or congenital defects.  It holds the promise of restoring damaged tissues and organs by stimulating them to heal by themselves.  And there are tools used to realize these outcomes, such as tissue engineering, cellular therapies, medical devices and artificial organs.

A combination of these approaches can amplify our natural healing process in places where it is needed most, or take over the function of a permanently damaged organ.

When injured or invaded by disease, our bodies’ inherent response is to heal and defend itself.  What then if it was possible to harness the power of the body to heal and then accelerate it in a clinically relevant way?

Well, regenerative medicine is a promising field working to restore the structure and function of damaged tissues and organs by helping our body heal better.  Its aim is to find a way to cure previously untreatable injuries and diseases.

Singapore, in partnership with a prestigious medical university from another country, is working to build the research around human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSC). These collaborations gave birth to a stem cell that has the potential to treat and prevent diseases, induce medical anti-aging, recovery after surgery, and more. This particular stem cell has a long history to it, with over 50 years of research and development in Russia and over 7,000 treatments undertaken.

In addition, many treatments have been accomplished overseas.  Currently, these products are cultured using an advanced culture technology and patent manufacturing. Only one in 100,000 cells in bone marrow fluid are discovered and extracted, making mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow quite rare. These cells are extracted by using advanced biotechnology and successfully proliferated using patent culture technology.

The highest number of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells is found in the human body at birth. However, the number decreases with age, from 100 percent at birth to 10 percent during the teenage years, four percent for those in their 30s, 2.5 percent for those in their 50s and 0.5 percent for those in their 80s.

This HMSC is a multi-potent stem cell that can supplement stem cells in the aging body and regenerate cells and organs.  They are obtained and cultured from young, healthy donors in their 20s. In addition, it has CD34 marker that eliminates the risk of transferring any disease from a donor, unlike the stem cell from Germany, which uses sheep’s stem cells and therefore can transmit diseases from sheep.  The culture fluid used in the HMSC is approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Manufacturing Practice. Thus, exhibiting that cultivation is carried out in a process conforming to international standards of practice.

There are three effects that make this HMSC different from other stem cells:

1. Pathotropic migration. When inflammation or damage occurs in the body, a signal is transmitted to inform HSMC.  After receiving the signal, the HSMC will head for the affected part of the body.  Blood flowing through area of damage does play a big role in the migration process of the HSMC by allowing receptors on the circulating cells in the bloodstream to interact with other receptors in the blood vessel to immediately start the repair process. These interactions play a fundamental role within the processes of cell adhesion, growth, migration, differentiation, and wound healing or organ repair.

2. Homing ability. HSMC will go into the tissue and then differentiate into the damaged tissues to replace it.  This is possible because HSMCs secrete a wide variety of different growth factor, cytokines, and adhesion molecules that maintain positive effect on tissue repair.

3. Paracrine mechanism. HSMCs also have the functions of balancing immunity and repairing tissues, stimulating injured or weakened cells, regenerating blood vessels and carrying various nutrients to the affected part and healing it, preventing conditions similar to skin hardening after burns occur on the body, and regenerating damaged or weakened cells.

Once the HMSCs reach an injury site, they must cooperate closely with various types of stromal and inflammatory cells in order to repair damage and promote regeneration. This is achieved through a form of cell-to-cell communication (Paracrine signaling), in which a cell produces a signal molecule to induce in nearby cells, altering the behavior of those cells.

HMSCs also have the ability to activate the body’s own cells to assist in reducing inflammation and thus facilitate healing. 

End result: HSMCs can change quality of life, improve overall health, rejuvenate the body and have a revitalizing effect.  Plus, it can help people with cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diseases related to nerve, diabetes, liver disease, and those with orthopedic problems. 

It is also being used to treat chronic diseases, allergies, eye diseases, and as an anti-aging and beauty treatment at the same time. A package consists of one injection containing 200 million HSMC treated stem cells.

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For inquiries, call 8401-8411, SMS 0917-497-6261, 0999-883-4802, email or follow me at facebook @dragracebeltran.

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