Renaissance in Medicine
Part 3 of 5
2017/03/24 Mayo Clinic By – Megan McKenzie
Renaissance means rebirth or regeneration. Every few generations, medicine takes a major turn. We’re at one of those junctures now with regenerative medicine — where healing is triggered from within the human body. It’s bringing a whole new universe to how physicians provide care.
“This is a radical shift from caring for patients to curing patients.”
Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., is the Michael S. and Mary Sue Shannon Family Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the Marriott Family Professor of Cardiovascular Diseases Research at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Breaking through: Innovations and diffusion
To ensure safe and effective patient use, regenerative biotherapies need to be manufactured at clinical grade quality. Teams of researchers and physicians are building on each of the Center for Regenerative Medicine’s platforms (groups of technologies) to create new treatments for patients.
Some regenerative medicine technologies — such as heart transplants — have been in place for decades. These treatments save lives and have paved the way to the advances coming to fruition now.
Stem cells are the polestar for many emerging regenerative medicine treatments.
Every living thing, little and big, plant and animal, is made up of cells working together to form tissues like muscle, skin or bone. Each type of cell has its own, dedicated task, which is all well and good, but a muscle cell, for example, can’t ever become a skin cell, or vice versa, and it can only divide to reproduce itself a limited number of times. Stem cells, on the other hand, can morph into multiple cell types, and can proliferate longer. That’s what makes them special.
Most people don’t think about adults having stem cells, but we do. Our stem cells occur in rare but potent populations within most organs and act as a natural repair system for the body. Adult stem cells, though, can only give rise to their own tissue-specific cell types. For example, while bone marrow stem cells are valuable for treating cancers of the blood, they are less effective for regenerating other tissues.
Donated umbilical cord stem cells are a little more biddable — but, like any donated cell or tissue, they sometimes trigger host versus graft disease (a dangerous reaction that develops because of genetic differences between the donor and the recipient). So, what’s next?
Stem cells made from the patient, for the patient.
About a decade ago, the Nobel Prize winning work of Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University laid the groundwork for what is now a fairly routine procedure — deriving induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from a patient’s own skin cells. Why is this useful and why have so many Mayo Clinic investigators embraced this technology? Because iPS cells are made from the patient, for the patient (not from donors), and because they can be coaxed into becoming the type of cells needed for transplant and maybe even fine-tuned to fix disease-causing defects.
Produced in Mayo’s BioTrust, iPS cells also make it easier to test drugs and determine the most effective treatments, and to advance the understanding of disease progression by making it possible to compare cells derived from patients who have inherited diseases to cells derived from their healthy family members.
Stem Cell Centers in India, affiliated with Global Stem Cells Group of Miami, Florida, has been in the forefront of regenerative medicine and cellular therapies for several years. We are a unique network of highly skilled physicians. Our mission is to bring innovative stem cell therapy to the forefront of medicine and enhance the quality of life for our patients around the world. To learn more about stem cells and how you can take the first step towards recovery, call +91 9888936107 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org