Regenerative Medicine using stem cells is a ray of hope to innumerable patients. It aims to create living and functional tissues, in order to regenerate and repair tissue and organs in the body that are damaged due to age, disease and congenital defects.
Stem cells are the basic cells of the body, which can develop and differentiate in any type of cell. These cells migrate to injured areas within the body and get transplanted and transform themselves into new tissue cells that replace the damaged ones. Stem cells have the capacity to multiply and renew themselves and can form nerve cells, muscle cells, blood cells, etc.
The treatment is being successfully done for conditions like:
- • Hodgkin's & Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- • Multiple Myeloma
- • Leukemia
- • Thalassemia
- • Aplastic Anemia
- • Corneal blindness
There are various other diseases where it is being tried and should hopefully become a standard therapy in near future, like:
Spinal cord Injury, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Autism, Osteoarthritis, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Motor Neuron Disease, etc.
It can be -
Autologous regenerative therapy: where patient’s own stem cells are used which are obtained from blood, bone marrow etc.
Allogenic regenerative therapy: where donated stem cells are used.
There are various steps involved.
The first step in the process of stem cell transplantation is the collection of stem cells from a patient or a donor. When a patient's own stem cells are used, they are frozen and stored until needed. Stem cells can be collected from a donor when they are needed. The patient (eg. of Lymphoma, Leukemia, etc) then receives high-dose chemotherapy and the stem cells are infused into the patient's bloodstream. The stem cells travel to the bone marrow and begin to produce new blood cells, replacing the normal cells lost during high-dose chemotherapy.
The stem cells may be collected from Bone marrow or peripheral blood.
Depending on the type of procedure being done, the duration of hospital stay may vary upto 3-6 week.
It takes about 2-3 months to completely recover in case of transplant for conditions like leukemia and lymphoma.
- Graft-versus-host disease (allogeneic transplant only)
- Stem cell (graft) failure
- Organ injury