Stem cells (SCs) are used in developed countries to treat many diseases. These are applied in all cases where something needs to be restored, for example, to heal damage to bones and tendons after an injury, to improve the function of an organ destroyed by a pathological process, or to improve the condition of the nervous tissue in neurodegenerative processes. It is possible that in your country, SCs have not yet been widely used. In this case, you can undergo your stem cell treatment abroad. On the Booking Health website, you can select a hospital and a medical care program, as well as estimate upcoming costs.
How do stem cells work?
SCs are poorly differentiated cells. These can form other cells, but which ones? It depends on the type of SCs and on the environment in which they are injected. Under different conditions, SCs may mature into different cells. For example, when injected into the brain, they can mature into nerve cells, and when injected into the joint, they may form cartilage cells.
In addition, SCs have additional effects besides the direct replacement of damaged cells. These are the following:
- SCs release growth factors that stimulate regeneration
- SCs reduce inflammation
- SCs normalize immune responses
- SCs enhance the growth of new blood vessels in the damaged area, thereby improving the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to tissues
What diseases can stem cells treat?
The very first field of application for SCs was oncology. They have been used in this medical field since the end of the 20th century. With the help of SCs, severe forms of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, testicular cancer, central nervous system tumors, and other oncological diseases are treated. Doctors may transplant either the patient's own or donor stem cells.
During an autologous transplant, SCs themselves do not cure cancer. Cancer cells are destroyed with high-dose chemotherapy. The problem is that it also destroys the patient's bone marrow, so the production of blood cells stops. The injection of SCs solves this problem: the bone marrow is restored, so the production of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets resumes. During an allogeneic (donor) stem cell transplant, the antitumor effect is additionally provided by the "graft-versus-tumor" immune response.
Orthopedics is the second most common application of stem cells. Stem cell treatment for joint pain, even with a single injection, provides an effect for several months. The course of stem cell therapy can reduce or completely eliminate pain in arthrosis for a year or more and also increase the thickness of the articular cartilage. As a rule, doctors harvest stem cells from the patient's adipose tissue. After liposuction or lipoaspiration, SCs are isolated by enzymatic methods "manually" or special devices are used for automatic or semi-automatic collection of SCs by mechanical methods. A joint injection is carried out immediately after receiving the stromal vascular fraction rich in SCs.
Stem cell therapy for heart disease is increasingly being used. SCs improve the function of the heart in its insufficiency, partially restore the heart muscle after a myocardial infarction, and treat ischemic cardiomyopathy.
SCs are often used in neurology. Stem cell treatment for Parkinson's disease can partially restore the production of endogenous dopamine and reduce the symptoms of the disease. SCs are also effective for ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and autism. In ophthalmology, stem cells can be used to restore nervous tissue in patients suffering from retinal and optic nerve diseases.
You are welcome to visit the Booking Health website to undergo your stem cell treatment in Germany. On our website, you can find the top stem cell clinics, compare prices, and choose a medical care program. The Booking Health specialists will help you find the best medical center and arrange stem cell therapy abroad.