Scientists have been conducting over 19,000 cell therapy studies around the world. And that only accounts for active and completed studies! It’s still a growing field of medicine, but it’s making waves.
If you suffer from degenerative disease, cell therapy may be a helpful option for you. Keep reading for a quick guide to what it’s is all about.
What Is Cell Therapy and Who Needs It?
Cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine. It seeks to replace, regrow, or develop new cells in a patient’s body. Cell therapy applications extend totreating diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
You’ve likely heard of different types of cell therapies without realizing it. Blood transfusions are one common type. Stem cell transplants are another.
These treatments help patients who need more of a certain type of cell. Think about a patient with leukemia who needs help regenerating bone marrow.
Cell therapy offers their body the chance to grow healthier cells. And it eases the strain placed on their immune system.
How Does It Work?
First, doctors take cells from the patient. They may also take cells from a donor, as in the case of a blood transfusion. These cells can be stored while the patient undergoes other treatments like chemotherapy.
Once the cells are ready for use, doctors put them back into the patient’s body. They can do this through an intravenous injection. Or they can place the cells into the spinal cord or near the site where most needed (like the hands or knees).
Some types of cells used in these treatments can change into any kind of cell in the body. These are self-dividing cells called pluripotent cells. Other types, called multipotent cells, can change as well but into a limited variety.
The cell therapy process takes time and repetition. It is not necessarily considered a cure for most diseases. Instead, it’s seen as a way to help the body combat symptoms and build strength.
Where the Research Is Headed
Cell therapy is often combined with gene therapy. Scientists are exploring how to alter damaged or diseased cells genetically. They’re also looking into how to transfer healthier genetic material into other cells.
Now, research on cell therapy is headed into therapeutics as well. These would be non-invasive products that would help treat diseases. Cartilage-repairing drugs and immunotherapies for cancer patients are two examples.
This involves bioprocessing, which is the manufacturing of products that contain living cells. Scientists are using these products to do exciting things like testing cancer vaccines. You can find out more about cell therapy bioprocessing if you read on here.
A Step Into the Future
Cell therapy offers hope to those with degenerative diseases. If you’re considering the benefits of trying cell therapy, speak with your doctor. Treatments aren’t always guaranteed to work.
However, cell therapies have shown progress in easing symptoms for suffering patients. It’s an exciting field that will hopefully lead to successful treatments for long-term illnesses. If you’re interested in learning more about health, visit our Lifestyle section.
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