Each of us has heard about so-called stem cells. We are not going to explain in this article what stem cells are, but rather tell you how they are used in France, and why you should not think that stem cells are a panacea for curing all diseases.
We collected the most frequently asked questions that came to our mail during the year. Now we will try to give you detailed answers to them.
1. The eyesight of our family members deteriorates with age. My mother is 63 years old, and she has eye floaters. Doctors say they could not do anything. Can stem cells help?The reason for eyesight deterioration is macular degeneration (AMD) that is often met with people over 50. Macular degeneration is a progressive pathology affecting the visual field. Normally, the retina is covered with cells that contribute to visual perception. With age, small capillaries appear in this zone and destroy these cells.
Today, doctors do not know how to treat this pathology. They can only slow down this process with regular injections into the eyeball. However, medicine does not stand still, and studies have shown that macular degeneration can be completely cured with stem cells. Stem cells are transformed into cells surrounding the retina and implanted into the patient’s eye. Thus, you can get rid of dead cells that have ceased to perform their original function. This type of treatment will soon be quite common in France. For the moment, doctors are trying to figure out all the complications that this kind of treatment can cause.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER that some complications may appear after a long time. Therefore, you should not resort to all sorts of innovative treatment techniques without thinking a bit. Complications are often even worse than the pathology itself!
2. 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with infertility due to the presence of an extra chromosome that interferes with the production of “fruitful” sperm. There is no cure for this disease, is it worth hoping for stem-cell therapy?One out of 500 men has such a pathology, which is quite a lot. That is why scientists are searching for the cure for this type of male infertility that is caused by chromosomal abnormalities, in particular, by the presence of an extra chromosome.
Currently, all researches are carried out exclusively on laboratory mice. The scientists take cells from the ears of mice that are infertile for this reason to produce fibroblasts. The fibroblasts are then transformed into stem cells. During the transformation, some stem cells lose their extra chromosome. These stem cells are then injected into the testicles of infertile mice, which helps them to have offspring. Nevertheless, scientists are in no hurry to be pleased with the result and to experiment on people, since some mice get tumors after the experiment. Therefore, before introducing this procedure to people, scientists need to find out the causes of the forming of tumors and prevent their expansion.
ATTENTION! You may find a medical center or unfair doctors that may agree to carry out this procedure for big money. Remember, however, that this is illegal and the consequences may be detrimental. We strongly recommend you to wait for the complete adoption of this method of treatment in European clinics.
3. My husband has already experienced two myocardial infarctions. Now he suffers from cardiac insufficiency. How can I help him?In France, in such cases, a heart transplant was usually prescribed. However, now giving stem cell injections into the site of scar tissue, formed after a heart attack, is gaining popularity. This therapy is quite promising, and it will be widely used in France and England since 2020.
The therapy itself implies taking some patient’s blood 7–9 days after a heart attack. Then this blood is processed, stem cells are extracted and multiplied in large quantities. When the medicine is ready, it is injected while it is active, that is, within 36 hours.
ATTENTION! For ethical reasons, Medifrance Solution does not offer foreign patients treatments that are not officially implemented. All requests for the stem cells therapy for the treatment of myocardial infarction are expected to be accepted in January 2020.
4. I have arthrosis, so I suffer from difficulty moving. Doctors say I need an endoprosthetic replacement, but I’m afraid of surgery since my heart is weak. I have heard that there are advanced technologies in France, that surgeries are minimally invasive there, and there are practically no risks. However, I still would like to try stem cell therapy. They say it can be performed in the USA.
It is possible to undergo stem cell therapy for the treatment of arthrosis in France, however, this type of treatment is not always suitable. Before prescribing treatment, it is necessary to know the mechanism of the disease. Osteoarthritis is a complex degenerative disease. First, because it affects remote areas of the body (the nidi of disease are located in different parts of the body), and secondly, it is necessary to iterate precisely the form and structure of the affected area without a single mistake to restore the diseased body region. Many laboratories and hospitals offer cartilage repair with adult stem cells. This method of treatment, however, is used mainly after injuries and mechanical damage of cartilage. If there is a hole in the cartilage after some damage, then it can be patched up with stem cells. The arthrosis itself is not just a hole in the cartilage, arthrosis is the erosion of the entire articular cartilage. Its repair requires the complete restoration of the morphology of the diseased area, which today is quite problematic.
NOTE. In France, as in any other developed country, this method of treatment is acceptable in the initial stages. And if unscrupulous doctors undertake stem cell treatment for severe articular cartilage damage, then a successful outcome of treatment will be no more than 10 percent. Here we deal not with the competence of the doctor, but with deontology. If the doctor agrees to perform arthrosis treatment with stem cells in the final stages, it doesn’t mean that he is an A1 specialist - he simply doesn’t care about the result of your treatment. A doctor who worries about the quality and the result of treatment will not make such a daring attempt.
5. What is remarkable about stem cells?Stem cells are mothers of all cells. All the cells of our body come from them. They are unique because they can be propagated indefinitely and can be transformed into cells of any organs.
There are three types of stem cells:
Totipotent stem cells are involved in the first cell division.
Pluripotent stem cells take part in the further divisions and can give rise to all of the cell types that make up the body (but it is impossible to make a fully-fledged person from them).
The totipotent and pluripotent cells are embryonic.
Multipotent stem cells are adult stem cells that have limited ability to transform and that mostly transform into blood cells.
In 2007, scientists managed to transform skin cells of the hand into pluripotent stem cells using genetic modification.
Since then, stem cells have been widely used in the replacement of organs and tissues.
Everything would be fine if the mechanism of transformation of a healthy cell into a cancer cell were clear. Doctors are not in a hurry actively to use stem cells, since they do not know how the cells will behave over time.
The stem-cell therapy is not fully examined now.