The capabilities of regenerative medicine to heal the body and improve the quality of life for people across the world has demonstrated revolutionary ways of treating conditions and diseases that were previously only treatable to a limited point.
Diseases such as COPD, Crohn’s Disease, and even cancerous brain tumors have been treated with new techniques utilizing stem cells including adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs).
Nearly 23,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year and another 13,700 die, according to the National Cancer Institute. Brain tumors are very dangerous and many of the people who are diagnosed with brain cancer do not survive. Sadly, many of the patients who have a particularly deadly form of brain cancer also have a gene called MGMT.
The MGMT gene is turned on in brain cancer patients and counters the effects of chemotherapy agents such as temozolomide. The MGMT gene makes chemotherapy treatments far less effective and patients with this gene suffer a very grim prognosis.
A drug called benzylguanine can mitigate the opposition from the MGMT gene, making chemotherapy treatments more effective. The downside of this approach to treatment is the fact that the combination of benzylguanine and chemotherapy often are too toxic for the patient’s bone marrow to withstand.
That’s where stem cells come in.
By combining bone marrow stem cells with a modified MGMT gene, patients in a small trial were able to undergo treatment and have their bone marrow protected from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. This new treatment improved the prognosis for all subjects in the clinical trial.
Another new stem cell treatment for brain cancer comes straight from the patient’s own fat. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have demonstrated an incredible ability to seek out damaged cells and may provide oncologists a new way of accessing parts of the brain where cancer can hide and grow even after the surgical removal of a glioblastoma (brain tumor).
Researchers are saying that harvesting MSCs from adipose tissue is less invasive and more price-efficient than getting them from bone marrow. There is also far less discomfort for the patient to harvest body fat via liposuction versus harvesting stem cells from their bone marrow.
The most amazing part about using MSCs to fight brain cancer is their ability to track down cancer cells. Clinicians will be able to use these MSCs as a sort of delivery system bringing stem cell treatment directly to the cancer cells.
“The biggest challenge in brain cancer is the migration of cancer cells. Even when we remove the tumor, some of the cells have already slipped away and are causing damage somewhere else,” says study leader Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D., a professor of neurosurgery, oncology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Doctors are saying that it is unclear why MSCs are attracted to glioblastoma cells, but it looks like they have a natural inclination to find damaged areas of the body such as wounds (and, potentially, tumor cells). MSCs have also been studied in animals to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s and ALS.
For brain cancer patients, the process of being diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease is a scary one. The prognosis isn’t great with the traditional method of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Regenerative medicine has now been able to reach and treat areas of the body where clinicians previously couldn’t fathom.
The first step is harvesting and storing your fat and stem cells through ATGRAFT tissue storage. Since the world of regenerative biology and medicine is always growing and evolving, you will have a safety net for your health that no other drug or treatment will be able to provide. Take that first step today by calling American CryoStem to find out how adipose tissue and stem cell storage could someday save your life.
Blog post written by John DiFolco.