The burgeoning science of stem cell therapy has enormous potential for the treatment of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, myasthenia gravis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. These conditions are brought on when the immune system of the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissues, leaving patients with devastating symptoms and complications. However, stem cells for autoimmune disease give fresh hope for uncovering an effective treatment.
The promise of stem cell therapy as a cutting-edge method of treating autoimmune diseases is explored in this article. It gives a review of the effects of this course of therapy and delivers insightful information on the promising future it holds for patients.
What are autoimmune diseases?
Autoimmune diseases are conditions wherein the immune system of the body, which is intended to defend against external intruders, mistakenly targets its own healthy cells and tissues. The immune system works by identifying and eliminating infections while eliminating them from the body’s own cells through a complicated mechanism involving antibodies and signalling chemicals. However, when the self-recognition process breaks out in autoimmune diseases, it makes the immune system mistakenly target its own tissues, resulting in inflammation and damage.
Current therapies and new prospects for the treatment of autoimmune disease
The current therapies being used for managing the symptoms and relief of autoimmune diseases are:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Immunosuppressive medications.
- Physical therapy.
While these methods can aid in symptom management and delay the development of illness, they frequently fail to offer a long-lasting cure or stop the underlying autoimmune response.
However, fresh prospects promise significant outcomes in the area of stem cell treatment for autoimmune diseases.
How does stem cell therapy work?
Our bodies contain unique cells called stem cells that can stimulate the regeneration processes when introduced into a patient’s body and repair damaged tissues.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) stand out among these unique cells as a potentially groundbreaking development in the therapy of autoimmune disorders. MSCs can be derived from either:
- Bone marrow
- Adipose tissue
- Umbilical cord blood
They hold the key to opening up new vistas in the treatment of autoimmune diseases due to their immunomodulatory properties.
What conditions are treated using stem cells?
As a promising area of medical study, stem cell therapy now offers possible cures for a variety of diseases. The following conditions have shown potential for stem cell therapy:
- Autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and others.
- Neurological disorders: Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury.
- Cardiovascular conditions, including ischemic heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.
- Orthopedic injuries (osteoarthritis, cartilage and tendon injuries, bone fractures).
- Skin conditions (burns and dermatological disorders).
- Eye diseases (age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, etc.).
- Respiratory diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, asthma.
- Liver diseases (cirrhosis, hepatitis).
- Kidney diseases (chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury).
- Blood disorders, including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia.
What is the stem cell therapy procedure?
A number of crucial processes are involved in stem cell therapy. These include:
- Patient evaluation.
- Source of stem cell selection.
- Collection of stem cells.
- Stem-cell processing.
- Administration of the cell-based drug to the patient.
- Follow-up care.
To identify and concentrate the appropriate cell population, stem cells can be extracted from a variety of sources, including donated tissues (making them ready-to-use cell products). Regarding the route of administration, there are many ways to inject stem cells, depending on the autoimmune condition and its symptoms, and the location to be treated. Patients need meticulous monitoring and follow-up after receiving stem cell therapy in order to gauge their response to the procedure and guarantee their well-being.
Advantages of stem cell therapy for autoimmune disease
Stem cell treatment for autoimmune diseases has several benefits:
- First of all, it offers a regenerative strategy designed to repair damaged tissues and encourage recovery or stop the progression of the disease. This results in long-lasting improvements in patients’ symptoms and general quality of life.
- By stimulating the development of regulatory T cells while limiting the proliferation of dendritic, T, and B cells, stem cells can reduce inflammation and modulate the immune system. They may therefore provide an option for long-term autoimmune disease therapy among other treatment approaches.
- Clinical investigations on stem cell transplant for autoimmune diseases have revealed an effective safety profile with absence or minimum adverse reactions. For patients who have not reacted favorably to traditional medicines or who want to investigate other therapy alternatives, this makes it a potentially feasible choice.
Utilizing stem cells’ capacities for stimulating regeneration and decreasing inflammation in stem cell therapy shows enormous promise in the medical field. In particular, for patients looking for a longer-lasting and more effective approach, using stem cells for autoimmune disease opens up new possibilities. The use of stem cell therapy for autoimmune disease as the area of stem cell research continues to expand, giving hope to millions of people across the world for relieving their condition.
Please, note: to make wise choices about this kind of therapy, it is necessary to consult with medical experts and evaluate your case.
Get a free online consultation with a medical expert at the clinic to discuss the expected results for your case of the disease, the procedure, the cost, and the duration of the treatment.
Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor
List of References
Zuhair M. Mohammedsaleh. The use of patient-specific stem cells in different autoimmune diseases. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, volume 29, issue 5, 2022, pages 3338-3346, ISSN 1319-562X.
Carp, D. M., & Liang, Y. (2022). Universal or Personalized Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies: Impact of Age, Sex, and Biological Source. Cells, 11(13), 2077.
Song, N., Scholtemeijer, M., & Shah, K. (2020). Mesenchymal Stem Cell Immunomodulation: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential. Trends in pharmacological sciences, 41(9), 653–664.
Hoang, D.M., Pham, P.T., Bach, T.Q. et al. Stem cell-based therapy for human diseases. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 7, 272 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-022-01134-4
Margiana, R., Markov, A., Zekiy, A.O. et al. Clinical application of mesenchymal stem cell in regenerative medicine: a narrative review. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 13, 366 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-022-03054-0
Medical Advisor, Swiss Medica doctor