What are stem cells?
Stem cells have the extraordinary capability to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues. In other organs, however, such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions.
How are stem cells
being used today?
Bone Marrow Stem Cell
Adult Stem Cell
Stem cell procedures currently provide life-saving treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, other blood disorders, and some solid tumors. The three main technologies in use today are:
Adult stem cell transplant: bone marrow stem cells
The patient’s bone marrow stem cells are replaced with those from a healthy, matching donor. If the transplant is successful, the stem cells will migrate into the patient’s bone marrow and begin producing new, healthy leukocytes to replace the abnormal cells.
Adult stem cell transplant: peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs)
PBSCs can be obtained from drawn blood, making them easier to collect than bone marrow stem cells. However, PBSCs are sparse in the bloodstream, so collecting enough to perform a transplant can pose a challenge.
Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant
The stem-cell-rich blood found in the umbilical cord has proven useful in treating the same types of health problems as those treated using bone marrow stem cells and PBSCs.
Where do we get stem cells from?
Adult Stem Cell
- From the body itself:
Scientists are discovering that many tissues and organs contain a small number of adult stem cells that help maintain them. Adult stem cells have been found in the brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, and other (although not all) organs and tissues. They are thought to live in a specific area of each tissue, where they may remain dormant for years, dividing and creating new cells only when they are activated by tissue injury, disease or anything else that makes the body need more cells.
- From other adult stem cells:
A number of research groups have reported that certain kinds of adult stem cells can transform, or differentiate, into apparently unrelated cell types (such as brain stem cells that differentiate into blood cells or blood-forming cells that differentiate into cardiac muscle cells).
What is stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine), and how does it work?
Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, promotes the reparative response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives. It is the next chapter of organ transplantation and uses cells instead of donor organs, which are limited in supply.
Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These stem cells are manipulated to specialize into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells. The specialized cells can then be implanted into a person. The healthy transplanted heart cells could then contribute to repairing defective heart muscle.
Have stem cells already been used to treat diseases?
Yes, doctors have performed stem cell transplants, also known as bone marrow transplants. In this kind of transplant, stem cells replace cells damaged by chemotherapy or disease and help the patient, through the donor’s immune system, to fight some types of cancer and blood-related diseases, such as leukemia. These transplants use adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood.
How does Kimera Labs obtain and use stem cells?
Adipose tissue is an abundant source of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). Harvesting stem cell from fat is simpler and less invasive when compared to bone marrow extraction. Moreover, it contains a much larger number of stem cells than does the bone marrow.
The Kimera Labs’s Stem Cells Procedure is characterized by obtention of Adult Autologous Adipose-derived Stem Cells from the patient’s own fat, via liposuction.
The Stromal Vascular Fraction (where the stem cells are found) is, then, separated from fat and cultured in laboratory, in order to get a desired number of cells and reach a maximum potency. Those cells are reinjected into patient’s body via intravenous infusion as a treatment for chronic conditions.
Is this procedure safe?
This type of therapy has been performed around the world for everything from COPD to Kidney Transplants. It has been demonstrated as safe and effective in thousands of procedures.
What are the possible side effects?
Some patients feel light headed immediately following the cell infusion but this dissipates with time.