Stem Cells

All organs and tissues in the human body are made up of cells. Some cells are able to renew themselves and turn into different types of cells. These cells, called stem cells, can divide and multiply differently than muscle and nerve cells that cannot reproduce. The stem cell, which allows hundreds of thousands or even millions of cells to form from a single cell, can also divide and reproduce to renew itself. Stem cells are involved in the formation of cells that need to perform these vital functions, although they cannot provide the oxygen-carrying task, hormonal and neural transmission. The stem cell, which has the ability to renew itself for a lifetime, turns into other cells. It differentiates in line with the needs of the body and provides the development, maturation and reproduction of other cells. However, as the age progresses, the amount of blood cells in the body decreases compared to other cells. In newborn babies, 1 out of every 10,000 cells is a stem cell, whereas in a 65-year-old person, only one in every 1 million cells is a stem cell. The tissues and organs damaged due to the amount of stem cells decreasing with the advancement of age become irreparable enough. Therefore, stem cell therapy is very important in the treatment of many diseases that may result in death, some types of cancer, and congenital blood diseases.

There are many different types of cells in the human body that allow the person to live a healthy life. Stem cells are the cells that make up the structure of all tissues and organs in the body. Stem cells, which can be transformed into all the cells in the organism and are defined as main cells, are located in every region of the body that is needed. Thus, it plays a role in the regeneration of all tissues and organs that are sick or damaged. By transforming into the type of cell needed; repairs or loses organ or tissue damage or loss due to illness, injury and other causes. Thanks to their divisible structure, they can also turn into muscle or blood cells while playing a role in the formation of stem cells of the same type. Stem cells with many different types play an important role in the first steps of development, while the person is still in the womb, providing the formation of organs and tissues. Unlike these cells, which are defined as embryonic stem cells, there are somatic stem cells in the human body. Besides somatic stem cells, known as tissue-specific or adult stem cells, there are also stimulated pluripotent stem cells, which are defined as iPS cells. With the development of technology and medical science, many different types of diseases can be treated thanks to the transplantation of stem cells, which can also be taken from adipose tissue or bone marrow, to another person. The stem cell, which can be given directly to the patient via a vein or can be transported directly to the damaged organ, reproduces when the patient enters the body and turns into the cells the organism needs, repairing the diseased tissue or organ.

What is stem cell therapy?

 
 
Stem cells, which are the root of all the structures in the human body and can renew themselves, are used in the treatment of many diseases. Stem cells taken from the person himself, from the compatible or semi-compatible donor, are transplanted to the patient and used to renew the damaged cells, tissues and organs of the patient. While stem cell therapy can only be applied with stem cells taken from bone marrow beforehand, it can also be obtained from peripheral blood and cord blood, which is present in the body circulation today. In addition, stem cells can be obtained from eggs (embryonic stem cells) and adipose tissue. In addition to heart, brain and nerve diseases, bone marrow treatment is generally used in the situations listed below.
  • To correct abnormalities arising from congenital metabolism or enzymatic system
  • Healing sick or damaged bone marrow
  • Elimination of the suppression in the immune system
  • Healing of damaged tissues and organs

As a result of scientific researches, significant improvements have been made in stem cell therapy for the treatment of many neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as many diseases such as stroke due to spinal cord injuries and brain vascular occlusion. While stem cells are not effective in healing damaged areas in the brain in some recent diseases and injuries that occur when they are introduced into the brain tissue, it has been shown that it activates cells on the intact brain tissue and provides a different recovery. Thanks to many newly discovered features of stem cells, stem cell therapy can be applied recently to cure many diseases. Stem cell therapy studies, in which research continues for many different diseases, continue at full speed. Therefore, the content of the response to the questions of what is stem cell therapy and in which diseases is stem cell therapy is increasing day by day.

How is stem cell therapy performed?

Today, stem cells are widely used from peripheral blood, bone marrow and cord blood. Autologous transplant to the transplantation of the stem cell taken from the person to the damaged area in it; Transplantation of stem cells from other donors to the patient is called allogeneic transplantation. In some cases, there is a method of treatment, which is defined as haploidentic transplant, when the stem cell cannot be removed from the person and when a suitable donor is not available, it is applied with a stem cell from a semi-compatible donor. After finding the appropriate stem cell, it is injected directly into the patient’s vascular access or on the damaged area. The success rate of treatment varies according to the type of disease, period and complications experienced. Also, in some cases, stem cell attachment may not occur. In this case, the stem cell transplant should be repeated.

Stem cell therapy is used in which diseases?

 

There are new developments in the field of bone marrow treatment every day. In the light of these developments, stem cell therapy is applied in the treatment of many diseases. Especially in the field of orthopedics, neurology, eye and traumatology, more and more stem cells are becoming a method used in the treatment of many patients with appropriate age and physical characteristics. Stem cell therapy is often used to treat the following diseases:

  • Bone marrow cancers
  • lymphoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Anemia
  • Mediterranean anemia
  • Organ cancers
  • Plasma cell diseases
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Hereditary and congenital blood diseases
  • Diseases caused by immune deficiency
  • Hereditary metabolic diseases