According to the Ministry of Public Health statistics in 2018, blood and blood-forming organs diseases and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism were Thailand’s 10th leading cause of death and the mortality rate of these diseases increases every year. In 2014, the mortality rate from the blood diseases was only 1.1%, whereas it had increased to 1.7% in 2018.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells have proved to be an effective treatment for patients with several blood diseases such as leukemia, anemia, thalassemia, etc. To date, placental MSCs have also been used to treat various disorders.
The Future of Stem Cells for Cardiovascular Diseases Treatment
Placental stem cells are the body’s master cells with non-specific functions. They can divide to form more cells called daughter cells. These daughter cells either become new stem cells or become specialized cells with a more specific function.
There are several organ systems in the human organism, e.g. cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, etc. Placenta-derived stem cells have the capability to self-renew to be used as an internal repair system for each organ system. Blood stem cells, also known as haematopoietic stem cells, can repair damaged blood vessels. Whereas placental stem cells can also be used to regenerate damaged cells in other organ systems. Hence, both placental and blood stem cells are the true all-rounders with the ultimate benefits.
A number of clinical trials using placenta-derived stem cells for strokes and ischemic heart diseases have shown that placental stem cells can potentially repair and regenerate damaged heart tissue, decrease inflammation, and improve neurological functional recovery. As a result, placental stem cell therapy is a new hope for many diseases in the years to come.
One Step Further on Using Placental Stem Cells on Type 1 Diabetic Patients
Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Thailand. Around 36% of Thai people died due to diabetes in 2018. Type 1 diabetes, commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. At present, some clinical trials are being conducted by University of Florida researchers which Type 1 diabetic children’s placental stem cells are infused into the children themselves to restore insulin production.
Can Stem Cells of children be used to treat adult patients?
It is a frequently asked question whether or not stem cells obtained from placenta and umbilical cord will be sufficient for the parents or immediate family members. With relentless determination of the researchers, they finally discovered one of the novel techniques called “ex vivo expansion” – to expand hematopoietic cells isolated from placenta for the children themselves and adults. Therefore, there are possibilities that the children’s stem cells will be able to save lives of their parents or siblings in the future.
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