Mar 7, 2013 / 02:07 am
The recent explosion of success in using adult stem cells to treat and cure diseases marks a shift in the medical field by making it unnecessary to use controversial embryonic stem cells, said Dr. Robin Smith.
“These cells are impacting many peoples’ lives who are treated in a clinical trial, and as they become standard in care…it will become part of modern medicine,” the president of the Stem for Life Foundation told CNA March 6.
“There’s a paradigm shift in medicine now, using cell therapy to treat diseases, and it’s just a very exciting time in medicine.”
Smith, along with Monsignor Tomasz Trafny and Max Gomez, is co-author of “The Healing Cell,” a new book that presents the many ways in which adult stem cell therapies are being used in regenerative medicine.
“The Healing Cell” is the fruit of collaboration between the Stem for Life Foundation and the Pontifical Council for Culture. In Nov. 2011, the two organizations held a conference at the Vatican promoting adult stem cell research.
Adult stem cells are taken from a person’s existing stem cells or from the placenta or umbilical cord at birth. Smith said they are found throughout the body in all our tissues, including bone marrow, fat, and teeth. They can be extracted with a needle, or a patient can be given a medication which causes stem cells in bone marrow to migrate into the blood stream.
Stem cells are incredibly versatile, and can grow just about any other kind of cell. Stem cell treatments cause stem cells to get to an area of the body damaged by trauma or aging, where they can repair or regrow damaged tissue, restoring function.
“Today there are 4,300 adult stem cell trials, and there are over 70 diseases where adult stem cell therapies are part of clinical care,” Smith said.
“These clinical trials are looking at taking the cells from the body and doing something with them. So for example, to take a bladder cell, put it on a matrix outside the body, and create a bladder, and put that bladder back in.”
Smith said it is “very exciting to see a new bladder being created from a single cell.”
While stem cells from human embryos have failed to create any significant cures or treatments, adult stem cells are successfully being used to fight chronic disease and an array of disorders. …
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