Cell therapy is one of the rapidly developing and novel methods for the treatment of diverse diseases. It is based on the use of artificially collected pluripotent cells or products of their cultivation. Until recently, cell therapy was not widespread in the clinical practice. The reason was the high cost of the procedure itself and lack of information about its long-term results. Nowadays there are numerous hospitals that practice stem cell therapy abroad. Most of them are located in well-developed countries.
Cell Therapy Defined
The Human body has a definite number of conventional cells and those that can be transformed in ontogeny if needed. The amount of this allowance is reduced with age, and this explains the onset and progression of many diseases.
The best example of body work quality at the cellular level is comparing a bone fracture at the age of 10 years and at 60 years of age. In the first case the splice time is 1-1.5 months, while in the second it might take several years.
Stem cells – are precursors of all our body cells with no exception. While dividing, stem cells are able to create the specialized cells that make up the muscular, epithelial, connective or neural tissues. What cell exactly they will become depends on the stem cell cultivation conditions.
Overview of the Cell Therapy Use
Cell therapy can be used for for the treatment of different diseases and medical conditions that originate with visceral injuries, connective tissue, neural system breakdown, and vascular glands conditions.
Here is a list of pathologies where cell therapy could be used:
- Immunodefifiency disorders
- Cardiac pathologies (coronary heart disease, heart attack)
- Extremities artherosclerosis, cerebrovascular artherosclerosis
- Multiocular sclerosis
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Oncopathology (combined with other methods to improve the treatment tolerability, increase the remission duration and the chemotherapy effectiveness)
- Pathology of the spine (intervertebral hernia, osteochondrosis)
- Any decrease in activity of the vascular glands
- Diabetes mellitus and its complications (neuropathy, micro- and macroangiopathy)
- Erectile disfunction
- Renal failure
- Inveterate gastrointestinal diseases
Cell therapy is used not only for the treatment of diseases, but also for specific medical goals while looking into various diagnoses. It is used for:
- Body tone improvement - in case of asthenic syndrome
- Immune system stimulation
- Post-injuries, operations, serious illnesses rehabilitation increase
- Premature ageing prevention
- Increase mental performance(while experiencing first signs of dementia)
- Depression, burnout syndrome, mental exhaustion cure
- To restore normal menstrual cycle or eliminate the menopausal symptoms in women
When used for all the above-mentioned conditions, cell therapy may very well prove to be highly effective. New ways, where the use of this innovative method could be applied, are developed constantly.
How it works?
The key is the injection of the stem cell or their sub products into the human body. Autologous cells are commonly used for that.
First of all, the doctor should make sure there is no any infection or inflammation in the patient’s organism. They are contraindications to the use of cell therapy. Otherwise, the patient is assigned with a course of different stem cell injections types. They are delivered in a specific combination, that is determined by the doctor. It also depends on the purpose of diagnosis and treatment.
Therapeutic effect comes in three phases:
- Right after a course of injections one feels a significant improvement in their condition.
- After a few days, the defence system is activated and its resources are directed to regeneration of the damaged tissues. This may be accompanied by unpleasant side effects - general fatigue, aggravation of the symptoms of the main disease. Discomfort will pass after 2 weeks from the beginning of cell therapy.
- In a month, the regenerative phase begins, this lasts up to 6 months. The state of health gradually improves. The maximum effect of the therapy can be experienced after a 4-6 month course of injections. The results of treatment are stored for several years, although it is impossible to give an accurate prediction. It depends on the intended use of cell therapy, the clinical course of the disease, the patient's age, individual features of an organism, concomitant medication, and other factors.
How safe is it?
Cell therapy is a completely safe method of treatment. Contraindications to it are only inflammatory processes in the active phase, and acute infectious diseases.
Possible side effects:
- Redness at the injection site, resolves independently within 1-3 days
- Weakness for first 2 weeks after the injection and exacerbation of chronic disease symptoms
- Increased body temperature during the first days of therapy (in this case you must see a doctor).
Cell therapy is not characterised with irreversible or delayed side effects. This is due to the fact that for the the patient's own cells are used for his treatment.
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova