Stem Cell Therapy Holds Promise for Autoimmune Disorders, Organ Transplant Procedures; Further Research Needed to Substantiate Success Ratio

Published By : 07 Jan 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Stem cell therapy is looked upon as a go-to treatment for several medical conditions, thanks to the consistent development in stem cell therapies for the same. Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and on-demand tissue development for organ transplant procedures as well. 

In a breakthrough development in stem cell therapies, a new programming technique has been developed, wherein human stem cells can be used to produce several types of tissue on demand. Using this, personalized tissues of patients can be used to develop personalized organs for transplant procedures. The technique developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was recently published in the Natural Communications journal.

The technique has several benefits. Firstly, developing organs on demand, with the help of stem cells that have been derived from patients themselves eliminates the long waiting time needed before it is available; secondly, the chances of rejection of the transplant in the patient’s body are also less as the tissues would be grown from the cells of the patient. 

Stem cell studies have also been at the center of debate for discordial reasons. According to stem cell research carried out erstwhile, stem cells could be obtained only from embryonic cells, which were discomforting to the moral and ethical sentiments of several cultures across the world. However, due to medical advances, researchers no longer have to depend on cells obtained from embryos; rather these master cells can be developed within the patient’s body.

Pluripotent stem cells as these are known can be essentially developed into three types of cells: muscle, neurons, and skin. Being developed from the patient’s own cells, the risk associated is less.

Research is underway to utilize these ‘induced’ stem cells for the repair of tissues of target areas or to fight against diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis and joint destruction are some of the areas, wherein stem cell therapy is proving to be effective. Continuing upon, researchers are trying to find out which type of stem cell therapy will be most beneficial for the target cell replacement therapy. 

As per the National Institutes of Health, induced pluripotent stem cells are proven to be useful for drug development and disease modeling, additional research is needed to substantiate this.

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