Stem cell research and development continues to move forward at an accelerated pace. Recently, researchers at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California completed studies that found that placenta stem cells may very well prove an important and valuable source for curing blood related disorders such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia.
Stem cell research has developed over the past two decades, but has seemed to always carry with it the burden of moral and religious controversy. However, such controversy was over the research of embryonic stem cells, while today, research and development into placenta, umbilical cord, and adult stem cells do not bring with them the burden and stigma that embryonic stem cell research has and continues to. Many people are unaware that embryonic stem cells are not taken from the tissues of live embryos. On the contrary, embryonic stem cells are culled from embryos that have already developed from eggs fertilized in in vitro fertilization clinics and thereafter donated with the informed consent of their donors for medical research.
New Hope through Stem Cell Research
Children's Hospital in California is not the only facility that has been researching treatments and cures for formerly lifelong disease processes. Professor Aaron Vinik, specializing in hormone therapy in Virginia, believes that stem cells culled from bone marrow may provide an effective treatment and cure for Type I diabetes.
Nearly every day, researchers and scientists find new ways in which the potential of stem cell research may be utilized in the pursuit of cures for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and many different types of cancer. Today, stem cell therapies are used to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and myasthenia gravis. Stem cell treatments have been used in the cosmetic and plastic surgical field as well as in the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Individuals suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, wounds, gangrene, multiple forms of anemia, and autoimmune diseases and disorders are looking for researchers to find effective and viable treatments through research of adult stem cell, embryonic, umbilical and placental stem cells.
Stem cell therapy clinical trials are just beginning in the United States but have been widely used in other countries for many years. Phase 1 human clinical trials utilizing embryonic stem cells are recently underway in the U.S., while international facilities such as Integrative Medical Center in Tamps, Mexico has been researching and using placenta stem cell therapy for years.
Dr. Omar Gonzalez has performed nearly 2,000 placental stem cell implants for treatment of chronic illness, multiple forms of arthritis, immune system deficiency and more with effective results since 1991. To date, adult stem cells, such as those generated from the blood forming stem cells found in bone marrow, also known as hematopoietic stem cells, have been used for bone marrow transplants for nearly four decades. Adult stem cells have also been used in developing treatments for kidney cancer and diabetes.
To date, stem cell clinical trials have been completed in the fields of immunotherapy for such conditions as leukemia, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, lymphoblastic lymphoma and aplastic anemia. Clinical trials utilizing stem cell transplantation and implantation for cardiovascular disease such as myocardial infarction and the development and use of stem cell transplantation in children and young adults diagnosed with blood related diseases such as lymphoma, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and others are underway.
Options for Patients
While stem cell treatments and procedures are still on the horizon in the United States, stem cell treatment therapies and procedures in South America, Asia and Europe continue to attract international patients. Those seeking relief from spinal cord injury, stroke damage, autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or immunodeficiency disorders, cancers and even heart disease are venturing beyond borders to find certified and accredited facilities such as those found in Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and the Ukraine to offer hope for the future.
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