While many people think of stem cell therapy still as a new and emerging treatment, it has been practiced since 1958! French oncologist, Georges Mathé, performed the first ever stem cell transplantation of bone marrow grafts to nuclear researchers who were accidentally exposed to radiation, and the treatment was deemed successful. A few years later, more treatments were given to mice and humans, forming new blood cells and even curing a case of leukemia using bone marrow transplantation, respectively. With decades of research, treatments, trials, and success stories- stem cell therapy in 2022 is already proving to show even more great signs of alleviating pain and treating a variety of medical conditions for patients, and the Greenberg Regenerative Medicine team couldn’t be more excited!
Stem Cell Therapy and HIV
Early this year, an HIV-positive woman was found to be free of the virus after receiving a blood stem cell transplant for a separate condition. The individual was also suffering from acute myeloid leukemia, and after receiving a high-dose chemotherapy treatment, which is notorious for killing blood cells, she received a stem cell transplant to help.
Three months following the stem cell therapy treatment, the patient’s blood cells derived from the HIV-resistant cord blood stem cells detected no HIV from a series of blood tests and subsequently she stopped taking antiretroviral drugs to suppress the HIV infection. Then, 14 months after the treatment, the HIV infection has not reemerged and the patient has luckily been leukemia-free for 4 years.
As HIV has been a serious and unfortunately deadly infection in the United States since the 1980s, taking the lives of over 700,000 individuals, it is surprising to think that stem cell therapy treatment was around prior and potentially could have been helping all along.
Stem Cell Therapy in the Media
With the news of a possible cure for HIV, it was only natural that the media and those who may have not been keen on stem cell therapy’s interest was sparked.
Author, coach, speaker, and philanthropist, Tony Robbins, just recently published a book titled, “Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love,” The book dives into the latest breakthroughs in health technology and specifically regenerative medicine that help to maximize individuals’ energy and strength, prevent disease, and extend longevity. 100% of the book’s profits are even being donated to support breakthrough scientific research to combat cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and aging—which can benefit us universally.
Stem Cell Therapy is Helping Conditions Across the Board
Stem cell therapy is even potentially showing signs of aiding those living with MS, and type 1 diabetes. As nearly 10% of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes alone in their lifetime, and that number is expected to increase, stem cell therapy treatment options are expected to increase in popularity along with the condition.
Parkinson’s disease is another condition that patients are showing great benefits in receiving stem cell procedures from. Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition that, among other things, affects movement, balance, gait and muscle control- all things that Dr. Greeneberg works with his patients to strengthen and ease pain related to. While there is still more research to be done, early trials are showing promising results.
Stem cell therapy is also helping to treat heart failure, which is a major breakthrough as currently there is no other cure, only options to help slow down or ease associated symptoms. Doctors and researchers are currently testing three different treatment methods, to see which is more effective:
- Intramyocardial injection: Cells inserted directly into the heart muscle, usually during another procedure like open-heart surgery, bypass surgery, or implanting a pacemaker.
- Intracoronary infusion: A catheter puts cells into the coronary artery.
- Intravenously: Cells are put into the bloodstream through a needle placed in a vein.
As stem cell therapy works to modulate the immune system to further reduce inflammation and stimulate repair, Post-COVID cases are also seeing great results with the treatment so far. While Post-Covid cases have a variety of conditions ranging from headaches, changes in smell/taste, fatigue, and many others— the inflammatory disease is causing serious brain damage that is leading to degeneration. Researchers are testing stem cell therapy’s impact on patient’s receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplants which is proving to be hopeful in early trials.
With that being said, the power of stem cell therapy is slowly, but surely getting the recognition it deserves because at the end of the day living pain-free is all that matters.