Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine

What does the future holds? Are advances moving slow?

Regenerative medicine consists on the use of stem cells to fix structures in the body that do not function properly due to an injury or disease.

What sets regenerative medicine apart from many traditional drugs is that stem cells treatments aims to treat the root cause of a patient’s condition instead of just treating the symptoms as usually happens with traditional medicine.

Many breakthroughs have been reported in scientific journals and the media over the years.  Stem Cells Transplant Institute is always looking for our patients to be well informed and up-to-date about stem cells world.

So, the question today is: What´s going on with Regenerative medicine? Are expectations being reached? As advances and research grow, it also grows the questions and points of view about stem cells. But what´s the truth about the breakthroughs in stem cells?

Let’s take a look to the therapies that have been widely used so far:

The earliest form of cell therapy was the transfusion of blood, which is commonplace in most clinical settings nowadays.

Next on the list was the transplantation of bone marrow. This therapy allows stem cells obtained from a donor to make new, healthy blood cells in patients with damage blood cells for radiation or blood cancers.

Cell therapy using a patient’s own cells is also used in cases of severe burn and scald injuries. Skin cells are isolated from a small biopsy and expanded by specialized procedures to be transplanted onto the burn wound to speed up healing.

Stem cells as well as increasing life expectancy, could greatly improve the health-related quality of life of many patients with chronic diseases like Diabetes, Parkinson´s disease, Alzheimer´s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and many other inflammatory diseases.

So…if stem cells are so amazing…why it seems to be so slow to be widely used?

According to the authors of the report published in The Lancet:

“Cell therapy has produced clinically extraordinary results, having saved hundreds of thousands of lives […] However, many cell therapies have had limited, variable, or transient efficacy.”

There are many facts that are implicated in the introduction of stem cells as a common treatment. First, health authorities such as the FDA, who grant approval for a new therapy, must be satisfied that a new treatment is safe and works. Investigations take a long time even when results are positive and objective, today many therapies are in the last step: Clinical Trials, patients are being followed over the time and investigations must be concluded in order to have FDA approval. Second, regenerative medicine treatments tend to be very expensive because of the need of special production facilities and highly skilled staff. With health budgets limited in many countries, high costs are a barrier to making this therapy a reality.  Scientist are thinking of ways that regenerative medicine products can be made more affordable and cost-effective.  Some times is just a matter of where you decide to take your treatment, in USA for example therapy double in price compared to Costa Rica, Stem Cells Transplant Institute offer high quality therapies to a better price.

These facts that we just mentioned often leads to a conflict between public expectation and the speed at which new treatments can be developed.

What does the future Holds?

Regenerative medicine does have a track record of success. Prof. Cossu – from the Division of Cell and Matrix Biology & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom – highlighted to Mdecial News Today the huge potential that regenerative medicine has. He said, “From the first blood transfusion to bone marrow transplantation, cloning, development of viral vectors, Embryonic stem cells and, more recently, iPS (induced pluripotent stem cells), genome editing and organoids hold great promise for the future.”

Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, provide treatments in which initial trials have shown positive results and great promise for the eventual approval by the FDA. Treatments we offer are under study in the US, they just have not reached the stage of FDA approval.  We are not “experimenting” with completely new procedures that have no basis in believing that they will be helpful. We encourage our patients to make smart decisions regarding stem cells treatment, taking in count that some clinics in USA were found to have failed to adhere to guidelines that intend to prevent microbial contamination when processing the stem cells, leaving patients at risk of being treated with contaminated cells. Also, many dishonest actors don’t really care about patient´s health but only care about obtaining great profits through “experimenting” with their patients, such as this clinic in Florida causing blindness to three patients.

Stem Cells Transplant Institute is a safe and high quality institute. Contact Us.