Stem Cell Therapy and Research: Myths and Misconceptions

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Stem cell research: myths and facts

Stem cell therapy and stem cell research have been under scrutiny since the mid-2000s. Though the debate has quieted down, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding stem cell therapy even now. It is an emerging science which has shown success in treating and improving several conditions. Therefore, it is important that we understand its true potential and encourage stem cell research. To know it better, let’s take a look at what these stem cells myths are and discuss them further to clarify these misconceptions.

Myth: Stem cells come from embryos only

Stem cells are one of two types. The first type is embryonic stem cells and second is adult stem cells. Let’s look at what are adult stem cells and how they are different from embryonic stem cells.

Adult autologous Stem cells are sourced from one’s own adipose or fat tissues, bone marrow or peripheral blood. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand are obtained from the embryos only. Adult stem cells are withdrawn from the body and injected to the damaged or affected area almost immediately. In case of  embryonic stem cells however; they can be stored and grown in a culture. Another difference between the two as seen during research is that, adult stem cells are less likely to be rejected by the body. This poses a great advantage in favor of this type of stem cells. With embryonic stem cells however, there is a chance of rejection. However, since the clinical trials for the same have been relatively few there is still some uncertainty regarding this.

Myth: Stem cell research and treatment is against the law in the U.S.A

The FDA usually regulates drugs and medical devices and does regulate the practice of medicine. Under the federal law, cultured stem cell products are considered a “drug” though they are not marked illegal. Adult autologous stem cells however, do not fall in the “cultured/grown” category. This is because they exist within our own body. Patients are being treated for leukemia and other such diseases with stem cell therapy already. The technology, though, is still under FDA review.

Apart from this, there have been billions of dollars that are spent on stem cell research in the USA. $25 million is spent by state of Ohio to the National center for stem cell and regenerative medicine. Ohio state has collaborated with many universities. University hospitals and clinics within the country have been encouraging the study of stem cells. Apart from this, the National Institutes of health also funded around $1.3 billion worth on stem cell research. Therefore, we can safely say that though this research is still under review, the potential of stem cell therapy is well recognized. It is due to these factors that the research is being encouraged around the world.

Myth:  The best source of stem cells is Bone marrow

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It is believed that bone marrow is the best source of stem cells. This has become a common notion because bone marrow stem cells have been used and studied for several decades now. However, bone marrow is just one of the sources of stem cells. Bone marrow contains a lot of different kind of stem cells. One of the types is mesenchymal stem cells. This category is also found in the adipose tissue which is more commonly termed as the “fat tissue.” In fact, in the adipose tissue, mesenchymal stem cells are nearly 2000 times the frequency of bone marrow. This category of cells can grow into different types of tissues. When these are combined with other molecules and regenerative cells that are present in the adipose tissue, they acquire a number of properties. These properties include having an ability to reduce inflammation and regenerate damaged tissue etc. It is easier to access stem cells from adipose tissue whereby the cells can then be reintroduced into the body immediately.

Myth: There is risk of rejection with adult stem cell therapy

This is only a myth because the stem cells we use at our center are “autologous,” meaning they are derived from a patient’s own body. Therefore, the risk of rejection is almost nil. There are no safety issues as far as autologous stem cells are concerned.

Stem cell research has grown over time and its true potential is yet to surface. Stem cell therapy has proven beneficial and has successfully treated many patients who were suffering from conditions that are incurable. In some cases, stem cell therapy has managed to cure the patients while in other situations there have been remarkable improvements.

Stem cell therapy has shown promising results, and with the success of our stem cell centers around the world, we have established our stem cell therapy clinic in India to help patients here. If you would like a professional opinion to determine if stem cell therapy is right for you, please call us today. For more details on what are stem cells or how they can help with various conditions, please visit us at our stem cell therapy clinic in the Chandigarh tri-city area, or call us on +91 9888936107. We can also be reached via email at: info@stemcellinc.in.

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