Why Stem Cell Therapy Is the Future of Healthcare and Regenerative Medicine
Stem cell therapy is the future of regenerative medicine, but will stem cell therapy also define the future of healthcare in the United States? In this article, we will explore the benefits of stem cell therapy along with the impact this regenerative revolution will have on healthcare.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
According to the National Institutes of Health, regenerative medicine is a process involving the creation of living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to a variety of reasons including age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. Regenerative medicine is a promising and empowering medical field with the potential to regenerate damaged tissue and organs by the stimulation of formerly irreparable organs to heal themselves. Stem cell therapy is the most exciting player in the field of regenerative medicine today.
Wharton’s Jelly – Mesenchymal Stem Cell Treatments
In the stem cell industry, Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells are swiftly becoming the gold standard for therapy and treatments. These stem cells come from the umbilical cord and thus are loosely referred to as Umbilical Cord Stem Cells. What is Wharton’s jelly you ask?
Wharton’s jelly is the mucoid connective tissue of the umbilical cord, first described by Thomas Wharton in 1656. This jelly prevents kinking of the blood vessels during the baby’s active sessions in the womb. While this life-giving cord is often discarded after birth, there is a scientific reason to believe this cord can provide life to human cells after birth as well.
Various clinical trials have indicated that Wharton’s jelly is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells, and Wharton’s jelly-derived stem cells possess three very important properties: the reduction of inflammation, the modulation of the immune system, and secretion factors that aid tissue in the regeneration process. Because these cells are less mature than other stem cells, the body's’ immune system fails to recognize them as foreign, and thus there has never been a single instance of rejection unlike other types of stem cells. Another benefit of umbilical cord stem cells is that they proliferate more efficiently and abundantly than mature stem cells, including those found in the bone marrow. This is the most compelling reason to consider umbilical cord stem cells to be superior in potency and efficiency when using them in a variety of stem cell therapy treatment plans and protocols.
Regenerative Medicine Market Growth Estimates
The regenerative medicine market including stem cell therapy is predicted to reach a market value of 79.23 billion by 2026 according to Polaris Market Research. This surge in the regenerative medicine market is driven by skyrocketing cancer statistics and the swiftly growing need to monitor and treat these chronic diseases. According to Polaris Market Research:
“Furthermore, stringent government policies, proper reimbursement policies, and increasing government healthcare expenditure for developing healthcare infrastructure to also boost the market growth in coming years. Also, rising numbers of organ transplantation and increasing numbers of products in the pipeline that are waiting for approval create a major opportunity for the regenerative medicines in the coming years.”
What Does Stem Cell Therapy Look Like?
Any treatment involving stem cell therapy requires the injection of a stem cell rich biocompatible matrix into a targeted area to regenerate the damaged tissue, in the knee or shoulder for instance, and there is no risk of rejection when the body’s own stem cells are used. Stem cells are attracted to inflammation like magnets, and their regenerative power will restore scarred and injured tissue by reversing the damage. An ethical controversy today is the use of embryonic stem cells, but fortunately, most stem cell therapies today are based on the harvest and targeted injection of the patient’s own stem cells (often extracted from a patient’s fatty tissue) which acts as a stem cell bank in the body.
How Stem Cell Therapy is Revolutionizing Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
According to Medical News Today, a new study published in a supplement to the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease explored the potential of stem cell therapy for the future treatment of this incurable neurodegenerative disease. The authors of the study, Dr. Claire Henchcliffe and Malin Parmar, Ph.D., believe that the medical world is moving into a very exciting era for stem cell therapy. Their research indicates that stem cell therapy could pave the way to engineer the cells and provide a superior form of treatment, possibly using various types of cells to treat different symptoms of Parkinson’s disease including memory loss and impaired movement. Thanks to massive strides in technology, the authors of this study also believe that cell replacement may hold the potential to alleviate all motor symptoms, if not more symptoms for Parkinson’s disease, in the decades to come.
Stem Cell Therapy Is the Future of Healthcare
Stem cell therapy is reshaping the healthcare of tomorrow. According to an orthopedic surgeon, Brian Cole, he is using stem cells to treat a very common disease: osteoarthritis. He also referred to rotator cuff repairs while discussing the role of stem cells in the future of healthcare at Rush University.
Another panelist, pediatrician Dr. Anna Spagnoli, referred to her research program indicating that stem cells can actively regenerate fractured bones. She is excited about the potential that stem cells hold to treat osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic bone disease affecting children.
Dr. Richard Fessler has been treating patients with spinal cord injuries for 30 years, and he has personally been conducting research on spinal cord injury for 20 years. In the panelist discussion, he referred to the FDA’s approval to conduct transplantation on patients paralyzed in the neck. In his study, the results indicated that in the 12 months following injection of 10 million stem cells injected into the participants’ spinal cord, 100 percent got 1 level back, and some progressed even further than that. For the first time in recorded history, Dr. Richard Fessler believes that medical professionals have taken the first step to reverse spinal cord injuries.
In conclusion, the future of stem cell therapy remains a promising one indeed, and the future of healthcare will be mutually benefitted by stem cell therapy. To learn more about stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and Wharton's jelly please visit this website.