Treatments and Research
Stem cells’ role is critical for regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the practice of delivering cells and cell products to diseased or damaged tissue. A stem cell is a cell that has the ability to develop into many different types of cells. Through a process known as differentiation, a single stem cell could turn into cells ranging from cartilage to heart muscle. Each type of stem cell has its own unique qualities, with some having a greater ability to differentiate than others. Regenerative medicine is one of the fastest growing fields of medical research, with each year providing more treatments for chronic and life threatening diseases.1
New and promising uses for umbilical cord blood stem cells (a source of hematopoietic stem cells) and umbilical cord tissue stem cells (a source of mesenchymal stem cells) continue to be discovered. Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all the other blood cells and are the foundation of our bodies’ immune system. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) give rise to structural tissues such as bone, cartilage and fat. Current trials show the benefit and promise of the use of umbilical cord-derived hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells to treat multiple sclerosis, heart disease, various neurodegenerative diseases including ALS (known also as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Alzheimer’s and many sports-related injuries. The number of treatments using stem cells is increasing as the technology continues to evolve.
Currently, there are close to 350 clinical trials underway investigating the use of umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue for stem cell transplantation. And this number promises to steadily increase.
1D'Amico, Reid. "Regenerative Medicine Stem Cells Poised to Impact Development of CF Treatment." Cystic Fibrosis News Today. N.p., 20 Apr. 2015. Web.