Benefits of Stem Cell TherapyWhy Stem Cell Therapy?Stem cells are a vital component of regenerative medicine. In regenerative medicine, medical professionals replace and renew various components of the body including tissue and organs with the use of stem cells. Stem cells are unique in that they are the only cells in the human body that can transform into any other healthy cell-like bones, skin, and muscle cells. Stem cells can be found within any one point in the body including bone marrow, fat, muscles, and even in embryos. Benefit of using Stem CellsIf a person suffers from an injury or disease, stem cells can be introduced in order to replace or repair the damaged cells. This process is called homing which is when distressed cells send signals which the stem cells would pick up, migrate to the cell, and dock with it to assist in regeneration. Stem cells serve a variety of purposes that can greatly benefit patients. Stem cells:Serve as a cell replacement which can aid in the recovery of traumatic injuries and orthopedic work. Mediate autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis by controlling the immune system and inflammation. Can provide trophic support to remaining beta cells so that they can function better in patients suffering with diabetes. Can increase the formation of new blood vessels which can aid tissues in receiving the proper blood flow—in patients with heart disease or those who have suffered from a stroke. Types of Stem Cells Stem cell therapy can be used to treat a myriad of conditions such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, orthopedics, and heart disease. As well, medical professionals can utilize their benefits in a number of practices including cardiology, neurology, pain management, and rheumatology. Stem cells come from different sources and are currently used in the treatment of various disorders and diseases. These include umbilical, amniotic/embryonic, bone marrow/fat, and placenta. HUCT-MSC HUCT-MSC or human umbilical cord tissue mesenchymal stem cells come from the umbilical cord. During pregnancy, the umbilical cord acts as a connection between the placenta and the baby which provides nutrients and oxygen to and from the baby. Parents can decide whether or not they would like to donate their child’s umbilical cord. If they do, medical professionals can then harness two types of stem cells which are cord blood stem cells and cord tissue stem cells from the cord. The potential in umbilical cord stem cells is increasing exponentially, and is already being used to treat 80 life-threatening diseases. Even now, scientists are still utilizing stem cells in their research studies to continue to grow this number. Just one immediate example is an ongoing study (due for completion in Dec 2018) taking place at Duke University Medical center where researchers are studying the effects of cord stem cells on children with autism. Bone Marrow/FatInside a person’s bones is a spongy tissue known as marrow. Within the bone marrow are hematopoietic cells that are capable of turning into either blood cells or more bone marrow cells. If a patient suffers from a blood disorder, then utilizing bone marrow could be a vital option. The procedure for extracting bone marrow stem cells is called bone marrow aspiration in which the clinician inserts a needle into the softest part of the bone and extracts.Adipose or fat stem cells come from a person’s fat stores and can usually be extracted through a mini liposuction procedure. Adipose stem cells have not only been shown to develop new tissues but have also been known to suppress negative immune responses caused by autoimmune diseases. Amniotic/EmbryonicAmniotic stem cells are extracted directly from the amniotic sac. These cells are described as being multipotent meaning they can only utilize certain cell types. Utilizing this type of stem cell comes with an abundance of benefits including the very low risk of patient rejection, their ability to divide faster, lack of aging, and their ability to remain stable for a long period of time. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are controversial considering that in order to harvest the cells, an embryo would be destroyed. Unlike amniotic stem cells, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent meaning that they have the capability of transforming into all 220+ cell types within the human body. However, the use of embryonic stem cells are only limited to clinical trials. Umbilical Stem Cells – The Gold StandardMSC or mesenchymal stem cells were originally derived from bone marrow, however, they can now be found in other tissues, such as the umbilical cord. These stem cells have come a long way in their potential use in regenerative medicine and in immunotherapy, making them a vital component in stem cell therapy. If these stem cells are equivalent between these two sources, then using umbilical cord mesenchymal stems cells would be the preference as they are the noninvasive and readily available alternative. Blood found in the umbilical cord is ripe with stem cells which can transform themselves into any type of cell in the body and, more specifically, into blood and immune cells. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells are hematopoietic cells that are capable of rebuilding the blood and immune system of the body which makes them perfect for immunotherapy. The big question one might ask is why should umbilical cord stem cells be the ideal choice. Well, there are many benefits to using these stem cells over other types, especially bone marrow stem cells. Firstly, using the umbilical cord is a non-invasive procedure that harms neither the baby nor the mother. On the other hand, extracting bone marrow stem cells requires general anesthesia and is invasive. Secondly, stem cells must be a match—in the case of a transplant procedure—for the body to have a better chance of accepting them. For mesenchymal stem cells from an umbilical cord, a person has a 25-50% chance of a match from a sibling and a lifetime match for the child. They can also be used on family members of the donor for a higher success of accepting the transplant. Lastly, these stems cells also have a higher rate of engraftment and a lower rate of being attacked by the host body. One of the great benefits to using umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells is their use for post-chemo and radiation. During these procedures, both the infected and uninfected cells are destroyed. Once these stem cells are introduced, they can replicate themselves into the benign cells in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and more. With such benefits and advantages, umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells are the preferred method in stem cell therapy. Final ThoughtsStem cells have opened a door within the medical community for their ability to replace and repair damaged cells within the human body. Stem cell therapy has grown significantly over the years and is being used to treat the symptoms of a variety of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and generalized pain and injury. By utilizing their homing feature, stem cells can enter the body, pick up on the signals of distressed cells, and dock on to them to repair the issue. While there are many types of stem cells that can be extracted from the human body, mesenchymal stem cells are the current gold standard and best practice in Los Angeles stem cell therapy—and the reason we administer this treatment at our clinic.