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Adult Stem Cells – The Building Blocks of Regenerative Medicine

Adult Stem Cells – The Building Blocks of Regenerative Medicine

Adult stem cells can be found and isolated from several different adult tissue types including but not limited to: bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, dental pulp tissue, adipose (fat) tissue, menstrual blood, synovial fluid etc. The stem cells isolated from these adult tissues have the ability to differentiate (mature into) numerous other cell types giving them the potential to treat a variety of different disease states.

Stem cells from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood have been used extensively in the clinical arena for more than 20 years to treat a variety of diseases, in fact today approximately 80 different diseases can be treated with umbilical cord blood, i.e. cancers, blood disorders like anemia, metabolic disorders etc. The clinical applications of umbilical cord blood has been growing by leaps and bounds considering 20 years ago it was thought that cord blood can be used to treat only a handful of different diseases. The other sources of these cells have recently been discovered and are being tested in a multitude of clinical trials including Type I Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, MS, heart attack, stroke as well as cosmetic applications.

The amazing thing about these cells, aside from their potential to treat a variety of different diseases, is that for the most part they can be harvested from the individual through relatively minimally invasive procedures and can be cryogenically frozen (at a temperature of -321 F) and stored for decades until a disease manifests or they are needed for cell-based therapies. There are numerous stem cell banks all over the United States, i.e. GeneCell International, as well as the world that process and cryogenically store stem cells for future use. The facilities in the United States are governed and inspected by the FDA as well several other regulating bodies to ensure the safety of these cellular therapies.

Why isn’t everyone banking these cells? What I have discovered for the most part is that people are not informed about stem cell banking and some have never even heard of it. Most people don’t even know they have stem cells in their body, they believe that stem cells only come from human embryos since that is what is mainly discussed in politics and the news. However, this is not the case. These cells are found in adults and there are no moral, ethical or political issues surrounding these cells. Now with this information you can be better informed to make a potential life saving decision.