Brilliant Advances in Stem Cell Therapy May Cure Diabetes
An intriguing category of scientific research that has revolutionized the biological sciences is stem cell therapy. This type of therapy uses stem cells, which are undifferentiated biological cells often found in bone marrow and embryos, to treat or prevent a medical condition.
Today, bone marrow transplants are the most common and widely used form of stem cell therapy. However, researchers are currently studying various ways to use stem cell treatments for a variety of diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
The FDA reports that there are certain properties of stem cells that may make them useful for treating diabetes and brain deterioration as well as repairing heart and nerve tissues. Essentially, the property of stem cells to generate more tissues and turn into mature cell types like bone or nerve-producing cells makes them ideal for application in regenerative medicine.
One paper published by The Lancet explains that diabetes mellitus is best cured by replacing insulin-producing pancreatic β cells with pancreas or islet-cell transplants. However, the shortage of donor organs has led scientists toward other means of treating diabetes. Stem cell therapy, encapsulated islet xenografts, and human islet cell-lines are just some of the other methods scientists have discovered may cure diabetes.
Researchers have used both adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells to create surrogate β cells and repair their functionality. So far, the results of certain studies have failed, but the research warrants further investigation as a useful cure for diabetes. Furthering the studies through rodent models and large-animal trials could lead to effective stem cell therapies that could be translated to human clinical trials.
When the FDA looks to approve a regenerative medication, it is of the utmost importance that the substance is safe and effective. Developing regenerative products is not an easy task, as stem cells are able to evolve based on their surroundings, such as outside the body or after injection.
Right now, the mesenchymal stem cell, formally known as a multipotent marrow stromal cell, is the main focus of regenerative medicine research. The reason mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are so popular is due to the fact that when donated, these cells can suppress the immune system in individuals, thereby preventing their rejection and allowing MSCs from one donor to treat a multitude of different people.
As these stem cells grow and divide, they can be turned into more specialized and mature cells. For instance, the conditions under which a culture is created can lead the stem cells to turn into cartilage, bone, and fat tissues and thereby manage inflammation and immunity within the body.
While there seem to be many benefits to stem cell therapy, FDA officials are still concerned with the safety and healing properties of regenerative products that are developed outside of the body. The FDA has recently set up a handful of laboratories to test and create techniques that will ensure the safety of products that move through the manufacturing process.
Stem cell therapy can clearly be useful for treating various diseases including diabetes mellitus. With the addition of animal models, regenerative medicine can be further improved and applied as a curative treatment for various conditions.
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