Of all the cells in human body, stem cells are the most essential. Unlike other cells, they have the ability to differentiate to form several kinds of cells with varying functions. They can also self-generate to produce extra stem cells.
While still young, they are capable of becoming any cell in human body. They have the ability to copy and adopt the makeup of a particular cell, a trait that enables them to repair the human body. This is also one of the characteristics that make them quite effective in treating several diseases through a process called cell therapy.
Adult stem cell transplantation is a common type of stem cell therapy that is being used to treat several blood complications as well as cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and more.
To use a bone marrow, physicians target a bone marrow of a donor whose blood matches that of the patient. The bone marrow is obtained through a process of chemotherapy or radiation. The bone marrow is then transferred to the body of the patient. In the patient’s body, the cells start top self-generate creating new cells to replace the old or damaged cells. It is then followed by a similar process, but this time, the stem cells aren’t obtained from the bone marrow.
Another useful source is the umbilical cord. It is indifferent from the first two mentioned above. The only difference is that the stem cells are derived from the umbilical cord blood of a newborn baby. They are also considered the best simply because, it isn’t easy for any patient’s body to reject the cord blood cells unlike what is evident with other sources such as the adult stem cells and more.
This is because these kinds of cells are still young and have some features that no human body might recognize as an external substance. This is also one of the reasons several unending debates surround this kind of therapy.
A lot of people think that destroying an embryo to get this kind of cells is going against ethics. A scientist has tried to disapprove this misconception by saying that these kinds of cells can be obtained from an embryo that is no longer in use. Instead of disposing of an embryo when they no longer need it, mothers donate these embryos to labs where they are used as a source of stem cells.
Cord blood cells have provided lots of opportunities for an extended research on stem cell therapy. Researchers have developed a theory that this kind of cells, unlike the adult stem cells, have the ability to treat several diseases such as neurological as well as cardiac disorders. As a result, informed parents have started preserving the blood of their newborn babies for future emergencies.