The concept of stem cell therapy is over simplified to a point of deception. The idea is to take donated cells and put them in a patient in order to treat an existing disease or an injury. The reality however is not as easy.
Regenerative medicine takes utilized cells, molecules and biomaterials to fix structures that, due to injury or disease, do not function properly in the body. This is according to regenerative medicine expert Dr. Cameron Clokie.
Many breakthroughs have been realized and praised in numerous scientific journals, but it is still a disappointing fact that the number of regenerative medicine treatments is still very low. As a matter of fact, it has been pointed out that only a few breakthroughs have made it to the patients, yet private hospitals are cashing in on their patients’ desperation for treatments, by providing them with unproven therapies, which worsens the situation.
Why though, have the promises of new therapy not materialized? And most importantly, why isn’t society benefiting from the potential held by regenerative medicine?
Early success in regenerative medicine.
It is a known fact that blood transfusion was indeed the earliest form of cell therapy there was and it is still commonplace in nearly all clinical settings in recent times. The next form of cell therapy was bone marrow transplantation that gave blood cancer patients an opportunity to healthy new blood cells using the bone marrow stem cells from the donor.
In cases of scalds and severe burn injuries, cell therapy is done using the cells belonging to that very same patient. This is especially in a case where the patient doesn’t necessarily have enough mount of undamaged skin to necessitate skin graft treatment. These developments undoubtedly go a long way to illustrate just how far generative medicine has come.
The problem is that despite all the success and the fact that scientists are straining every possible nerve to come up with new therapies, generative medicine treatments have not yet become a mainstream medical practice in most fields in medicine.
According to The Lancet report, there is a lot of potential to make the burden of disease reduce substantially especially for some of the common conditions such as heart disease, stroke and progressive neurological conditions.
Aside from that, it is also an established fact that generative medicine can increase life expectancy and improve the heath related life quality of patients with diseases such as chronic diseases to a great degree. But what exactly is holding these developments back?
From research to the practice
A significant amount of scientists all over the world are working on new solutions to a lot of the common injuries and diseases that can be contained through generative medicine.
There has been a lot of progress so far, for instance in the past one year alone, a chip technology was reported by medical News Today. This chip technology can change one type of cell to another and heal organs entirely. Yet despite all this progress the list of gene and cellular therapy approved are depressingly. This is evident because on the Food and Drug Administration the entries are as many as fifteen.
According to The Lancet report, cell therapy is believed to have been responsible for the production of extraordinary clinical results that saved the lives of hundreds of thousands patients; but so many cell therapies have experienced variable, transient and limited efficacy.
Generative medicine treatments have proven to be too expensive due to the need for special facilities during production and the necessity for a highly skilled team of staff. With the health budgets in nearly every country squeezed to the absolute maximum, I can see why the high production cost has become a barrier to making these therapies a great success in the medical industry.
In his experience as a maxillofacial and oral surgeon, serial entrepreneur and scientist, Dr. Cameron Clokie can attest to the fact that lots of benefits can be experienced from generative medicine but this will inevitably be at a huge cost. For this reason implementation will without a doubt be limited despite the fact that there is a good possibility of cost saving down the line. Read reviews on Dr. Clokie’s work, or learn more about him from our previous story on Wings Journal here.