|Other Are Countries Taking the Lead in Aulologus Stem Cell Therapy
By Dr. Chuck McGowen
In previous articles I discussed the success of Austrian physicians who have treated the bladder condition known as stress incontinence with autologous stem cells and the primitive cells growth there from. (See 1-7-07) Last week I wrote about the recent success enjoyed in Brazil in treating Type I diabetes with autologous stem cells. Now I cite two other countries that report on their successes in treating both life threatening heart conditions and peripheral vascular disease with autologous stem cells; the latter known by the trade name VesCell. Participating hospitals include three in Bangkok, Thailand and two in Singapore.
All cells have information stored in their nuclei (within the DNA that makes up the genes and chromosomes) that affords knowledge of each of the anatomical, biochemical and physiological properties of every organ system in our bodies. However, only the stem cells in each of those organs have the potential to become any one of the numerous other tissues or organs. For example, the stem cells in bone marrow know how to become heart cells. Those in the forearm skeletal muscles have been shown to have the capacity to form primitive muscle and connective tissue cells that have cured bladder incontinence. Lately bone marrow stem cells have replaced the dying pancreatic cells responsible for producing insulin in type I diabetics.
In Thailand and Singapore, the bone marrow stem cells from patients who are dying of heart disease are being used to make new cardiac muscle cells thus restoring the pumping action of their hearts to normal. The stem cells, derived in the patients bone marrow and circulating in their blood vessels, are harvested from the patient by drawing off 250 cc of blood. Then in the laboratory the stem cells are stimulated to multiply and when the numbers are sufficient for the desired therapy, they are injected into the coronary arteries (via a procedure much like angioplasty) or implanted directly via a needle to the dying cardiac muscle after the heart is accessed through a small chest wall incision. They then begin to form new coronary blood vessels and new cardiac muscle cells.
The procedure is efficacious for congestive heart failure due to poor coronary circulation or the scarring caused by numerous myocardial infarctions, cardiomyopathies due to alcohol or viral infections and ischemic heart disease (due to occluded coronaries). These physicians have also produced new peripheral arteries in patients with peripheral vascular disease. The physicians readily point out that the advantage of using autologous stem cells is based upon a non-rejection phenomenon. The immune system recognizes those cells a self thus protecting rather than destroying them.
To be fair, I must also point out the fact that a group of physicians in this country have successfully treated patients immediately following heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) with autologous bone marrow stem cells and improved both cardiac functions; pumping and circulation. That article appeared on 3-18-07. However, there needs to be an urgent push from all quarters for the funding of autologous stem cell research instead of relying on and subsidizing that of the highly controversial, and patently immoral embryonic stem cell investigations.
Friday, April 27, 2007, 12:26 PM