Stem Cell Research
One of the most popular clinical studies being researched these days is stem cell transplantation. Until recently, moral issues of states and countries haven’t allowed research to expound deeply into the unknowns. Within the last ten years though, scientists have made leaps and bounds in finding out concrete facts that this stem cell research has supplied. Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health Services states, “I believe it will open up a world of opportunity for scientists, not only at the NIH, but elsewhere, because it demonstrates a cooperative atmosphere among academia, the private sector, and government that will allow us to move ahead” (“sign stem”1). New ways of conducting stem cell research have made the healing and repairing treatment for many diverse applications.
To prove their point, scientists have broken down the basic facts of their studies throughout the last ten years. Embryonic stem cell transplantation is a related course of cells that are in charge of certain functions and systems of the body. The cells used in the transplantation process are contrived from “cryopreserved suspensions” from the fetal liver, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, brain, and the pancreas. Introducing these cells to the body can be approached in different ways. The first step taken is engrafting or multiplying cells in the affected area. These cells will then supplement missing or declining cells and replace/repair missing functions of the body. Production then commences with considerable amounts of biologically active substances such as nerve growth factor, tumor necrosis factor and interleukins etc. When these cells have been transplanted, they are capable of migrating, establishing intercellular links and responding to various effects. However, because of their immature transplantation to the human body, these cells cause a weaker immune response than mature cells.
Alexander Smikodub, a doctor of Medical Science at the National Medical University states, “cells that we use are not considered by the immune system of the recipient as foreign, therefore, they can survive, multiply, and develop full function in the body of a new host” Smikodub). These cells can then survive and multiply, capable of lasting for months and years in the body of the recipient. In the areas where tissue or organs have been damaged or lost, they substitute the lack of functional activities. These cells can also produce new generations of cells that are needed by the patient. When strategically placed, they can support, restore and replace the functions of their specialization in the body. These methods have never received such success with amazing reparative and rejuvenating actions and effects.
Scientists working with this field for the last decade have explained the steps observed from their view in detail. After the transplantation occurs, there appear positive changes in emotional and psychological sphere of the patient. In this period, the disappearance of depression, improvement in mental creativity and an inner feeling of strength are a few of the results immediately noticeable. In all of these changes occurring, there is a substantial reinforcement of the will and spirit of the person. With some diseases, these changes are very drastic and very important due to the grim and psychological background of the case. Mental capacity also increases quite soon, creating better concentration and ability to maintain attention, thinking, speech and memory. Some of the neurotic manifestations of the patient tend to disappear beginning with irritability, easy fatigue and apathy. At this time sleep improves and insomnia disappears with sleep becoming refreshing and recuperative.
While their sleep is improving, patients also find that their physical activity likewise increases. Desiring to move, they persistently increase their physical load of bodily functions and workout. In this process, overweight people tend to become more in shape and skinny people increase weight. Overall, their appearance gains freshness and rejuvenation of presence. Some of the biggest changes taking place at this time are movements that the patient could previously not accomplish at any level. The coordination of movement being restored, the nerve system is directly affected for the better. These changes that are occurring can happen quickly of over an extended period of time depending on the patients’ situation.
On the interior of the patient, recovery commences at a steady pace beginning with weakened or damaged inner organs or tissues. Active and rapid recovery of the composition of peripheral blood as well as the cell composition of bone marrow- if it was damaged. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy patients see more increased recovery than any others do. In the process, more efficient blood circulation occurs, granting nutrition and function of organs, tissues, skin, etc. Activity of kidneys and liver rise drastically.
What scientists have found is that cell therapy does not create a butterfly from a caterpillar- it undertakes and fulfills realistic tasks: restoring lost functions, reducing deterioration, and compromising aging. In all the steps of cell therapy described by the scientists at the National Medical University, no negative side effects were ever observed in the decade of work performed. This is an incredible realization and important fact in the scientific world.
The interesting part of stem cell transplantation is that the treatment is mainly not different from any other pharmaceutical preparations. The idea in the future is to have procedures such as the one’s described above to be common and a normal part of disease prevention. Alexander Smikodub, clearly stated his belief just a few weeks ago for future stem cell therapy. “Cell therapy combines the advantages of a new branch of Transplantology with the modern achievements of Therapy and the simplicity of a normal pharmaceutical preparations administration” (Smikodub). These changes that are occurring can happen quickly or over an extended period of time depending on the patients’ situation. The overall time for a patient’s treatment usually takes from two to five days. After the treatment though, the patients’ body and stem cells are what determines the outcome. “With some diseases, engraftment probably takes place for a lifetime period. We have results of several ongoing observations where engraftment duration exceeds 5,7, and 9 years” (Smikodub).
In their studies conducted at the National Medical University, these scientists (along with many others) did not observe any of their effects with the aide of bioengineering. They used only natural tissues. They also didn’t see any negative effects as Alexander Smikodub stated. “We observe no negative side effects despite limited list of contraindications” (Smikodub). In the future, these scientists and many others see stem cell transplantation as a routine medicinal preparation as any other use of regular preparations. Their feeling is that they have come a great distance from where they began but they still have a long path ahead. Soon, they predict doctors will be able to administer the dosage in pill form with no need of grafting. With technology increasing every day, and the exposure that this medicinal “miracle” is receiving, they feel it won’t be long until many more amazing discoveries are found in this unique and fascinating field of science.