History of Cell Therapy
Cell therapy originated in the nineteenth century when scientists experimented by injecting animal material in an attempt to prevent and treat illness.Although such attempts produced no positive benefit, further research found in the mid twentieth century that human cells could be used to help prevent the human body rejecting transplanted organs, leading in time to successful bone marrow transplantation
In 1959, the first bone marrow transplant was done in an attempt to treat victims of irradiation. While that first transplant was not successful, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center led by E. Donnall Thomas, followed this with pioneering work using bone marrow cells to treat leukemia and other blood disorders. The first successful bone marrow cell transplant was done in 1968 and since then has become the standard of care for the treatment of leukemia and other blood disorders.
What is Cell Therapy ?
Treatment with cells. A technology that relies on replacing diseased or dysfunctional cells with healthy, functioning ones.Whole blood transfusions, packed red cell transfusions, platelet transfusions, bone marrow transplants, and organ transplants are all forms of cell therapy.
Cell therapy may be applicable to some types of cancer, neurological diseases such as Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig disease), spinal cord injuries, and diabetes.
A great range of cells can serve in cell therapy including blood and bone marrow cells, mature and immature solid tissue cells, adult stem cells and, most controversially, embryonic stem cells.
Benefits of Cell therapy
Cellular Therapy is considered an advanced alternative medicine for those wishing to:
- Reverse the Aging Process
- Relieve & Address Chronic Conditions
- Improved vitality
- Refreshed skin tone and complexion
- An increase in activity levels
- Stabilization of mental power
- Enhanced energy level
- Strengthening of the immune system
Methods of Cell therapy
In allogeneic cell therapy the donor is a different person to the recipient of the cells.In pharmaceutical manufacturing, the allogenic methodology is promising because unmatched allogenic therapies can form the basis of “off the shelf” products. There is research interest in attempting to develop such products to treat conditions including Crohn’s disease and a variety of vascular conditions.
Research into human embryonic stem cells is controversial, and regulation varies from country to country, with some countries banning it outright. Nevertheless, these cells are being investigated as the basis for a number of therapeutic applications, including possible treatments for diabetes and Parkinson’s disease
Neural stem cells (NSCs) are the subject of ongoing research for possible therapeutic applications, for example for treating a number of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease
MSCs are immunomodulatory, multipotent and fast proliferating and these unique capabilities mean they can be used for a wide range of treatments including immune-modulatory therapy, bone and cartilage regeneration, myocardium regeneration and the treatment of Hurler syndrome, a skeletal and neurological disorder.
Researchers have demonstrated the use of MSCs for the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Horwitz et al. transplanted bone marrow (BM) cells from human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical siblings to patients suffering from OI. Results show that MSCs can develop into normal osteoblasts, leading to fast bone development and reduced fracture frequencies. A more recent clinical trial showed that allogeneic fetal MSCs transplanted in utero in patients with severe OI can engraft and differentiate into bone in a human fetus.
Besides bone and cartilage regeneration, cardiomyocyte regeneration with autologous BM MSCs has also been reported recently. Introduction of BM MSCs following myocardial infarction (MI) resulted in significant reduction of damaged regions and improvement in heart function. Clinical trials for treatment of acute MI with Prochymal by Osiris Therapeutics are underway. Also, a clinical trial revealed huge improvements in nerve conduction velocities in Hurler’s Syndrome patients infused with BM MSCs from HLA-identical siblings.
HSCs possess the ability to self-renew and differentiate into all types of blood cells, especially those involved in the human immune system. Thus, they can be used to treat blood and immune disorders. Since human bone marrow (BM) grafting was first published in 1957,there have been significant advancements in HSCs therapy. Following that, syngeneic marrow infusion and allogeneic marrow graftin were performed successfully. HSCs therapy can also render its cure by reconstituting damaged blood-forming cells and restoring the immune system after high-dose chemotherapy to eliminate disease.
There are three types of HSCT: syngeneic, autologous, and allogeneic transplants. Syngeneic transplantations occur between identical twins. Autologous transplantations use the HSCs obtained directly from the patient and hence do not cause any complications of tissue incompatibility; whereas allogeneic transplantations involve the use of donor HSCs, either genetically related or unrelated to the recipient. To lower the risks of transplant, which include graft rejection and Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD), allogeneic HSCT must satisfy compatibility at the HLA loci (i.e. genetic matching to reduce the immunogenicity of the transplant). Mismatch of HLA loci would result in treatment-related mortality and higher risk of acute GVHD.
In addition to BM derived HSCs, the use of alternative sources such as umbilical cord blood (UCB) and peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) has been increasing. In comparison with BM derived HSCs recipients, PBSCs recipients afflicted with myeloid malignancies reported a faster engraftment and better overall survival.However, this was at the expense of increased rate of GVHD.Also, the use of UCB requires less stringent HLA loci matching, although the time of engraftment is longer and graft failure rate is higher
Treatments & Challenges
Medical uses. For over 30 years, bone marrow has been used to treat cancer patients with conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma; this is the only form of stem-cell therapy that is widely practiced. During chemotherapy, most growing cells are killed by the cytotoxic agents.
Stem cell therapy encompasses new technologies and therapies that aim to replace damaged cells with healthy new ones. Cells may be dysfunctional due to any number of reasons such as genetics, disease, injury or aging. Currently, stem cells offer the potential to treat cancer, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries and diabetes, among other serious diseases. Unfortunately, there are several challenges faced by researchers that must be overcome before stem cell therapies can become a successful reality for those suffering from disease. Researchers do expect to eventually move beyond these challenges but the unfortunate reality is that those suffering from disease often have little time to wait for treatment.
Identifying Stem Cells in Adult Tissues
Stem Cell Integration
Natural and Effective
Cells are powerful factories that are naturally present within the human system. Moreover, some cell types have intrinsic mechanisms that can assist with promoting repair. As we like to say at BioInformant, “We are not made of drugs, we are made of cells.”
Lowered Costs by Eliminating Continuous Drug Use
For many disease conditions, such as diabetes, patients are required to take a prescription on a daily basis. A cell therapy approach would substantially reduce the healthcare costs of this disease by providing a one-time (or limited-time) treatment. Similarly, cell therapy approaches to pain management would substantially reduce the costs of opioid-based pain medications.
Overcoming Tissue and Organ Donor Shortages
Another strength of cell therapies is that it could overcome donor shortages. For many disease conditions, the only known cure is a tissue or organ transplant. Examples of transplanted tissues and organs include the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, pancreatic islet cells, and more. However, if a cell therapy approach could convert a diabetic patient’s own tissue into insulin-producing cells, it would overcome the problem of donor shortage and remove the risk of transplant rejection.
Skeletal muscle injuries are extremely common, accounting for up to 35-55% of all sports injuries and quite possibly impacting all musculoskeletal traumas. These injuries result in the formation of fibrosis that may lead to development of painful contractures, increases their risk for repeat injuries, and limits their ability to return to a baseline or pre-injury level of function. The development of successful therapies for these injuries must consider the pathophysiology of these musculoskeletal conditions. We discuss the direct use of muscle-derived stem cells and some key cell population dynamics, as well as the use of clinically applicable modalities which may enhance the local supply of stem cells to the zone of injury by promoting angiogenesis.
Today, most treatments for damage to the brain or spinal cord aim to relieve symptoms and limit further damage. But recent research into the regeneration mechanisms of the central nervous system, including the discovery of stem cells in the adult brain that can give rise to new neurons and neural support cells, has raised hopes that researchers can find ways to actually repair central nervous system damage. Research on stem cells in nervous system disorders is one of the few areas in which there is evidence that cell-replacement therapy can restore lost function.
Stem Cells Bring New Strategies for Developing Replacement Neurons
Multiple Approaches for Using Stem Cells in Parkinson’s Disease Research
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