The official blog of the Lung Institute.
There are many in the field of medicine that believe stem cells are the future. Some doctors and researchers have gone on to say that the future is bright for stem cell research. Unfortunately, these little cells have met resistance from religious and political viewpoints alike.
Minus some drawbacks, it has only been within the last several years that research has provided more understanding into the wide range of uses for stem cells. Researchers are utilizing stem cells to treat conditions, once thought impossible to treat, like certain lung diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and more. These different procedures are referred to as stem cell treatments or stem cell therapy.
With the amount of information that we have seen so far about stem cell therapy, it brings into question, what exactly is the future of stem cell therapy?
What Are Stem Cells?
To understand the complete applications of stem cell therapy, let’s talk about what stems cells are first. Stem cells are what your body uses to naturally heal itself. Stem cells may originate from the embryo or, in adults, can be found in umbilical cord blood, fat tissue, blood, bone marrow, skin and niches in organs.
They have the capability to self-renewal and replicate. One of special characteristics of stem cells though is the ability to form any type of tissue or organ in the body. There are two specific types of stems cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
- Embryonic stem cells originate in the inner-most blastocyst during development. They are very potent and are capable of forming any organ in the body.
- Adult stem cells can come from the blood, bone marrow, brain, eye, muscle, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, liver and skin. These cells can differentiate and form specific tissues in the human body
What Does The Forecast Look Like For Stem Cell Therapy?
The future of stem cell therapy is looking pretty sunny! As mentioned earlier, stem cell research is being conducted all the time from clinics and laboratories around the world. In an interesting video posted by TED Blog, Dr. Alan Russell discusses the future need for stem cells as a form of regenerative medicine. Dr. Russell mentions how stem cells were able to help a patient recover from a severe heart condition with stem cells taken from the patient’s own hip. He believes that in the next few years, we will see stem cells being utilized more effectively in promoting the healing of tissue and organs of sick individuals.
In the same set of videos from TED Blog, Dr. Susan Lim discusses the need for stem cells to help treat patients in need of organ replacements. Currently, she has been utilizing stem cells derived from fat tissue in order to target them for new healing factors, like treating blindness. Dr. Lim thinks that the future of stem cells will involve treating conditions with the use of new stem cell treatments.
Of course, with more time and research, stem cell therapy will be utilized to help even more diseases in the coming years. If you are interested in learning more about stem cells, see what information is available online. There are a number of websites and books available that detail the accounts and advancements in stem cell therapy. At the Lung Institute, we do treat certain lung conditions with stem cells. If you or a loved one is interested in stem cell therapy for lung disease, then contact us at today to learn more or call (800) 729-3065 today.