Stem Cell Treatment Centers Hope To Change The Face Of Medicine

By Frances Moore


Conquering deadly diseases has been a relentless pursuit of mankind since the beginning of time and much progress has indeed been made. Medical conditions that used to mean an almost certain death are now routinely treated successfully. Many conditions that cannot be cured yet can be managed and many years can be added to the lives of patients. Billions are invested in research programs, including in stem cell treatment centers where scientists believe that bone marrow transplants will be the future of medicine.

Bone marrow transplants are not new. They have been performed for a number of years on very ill patients suffering from leukemia and other blood related cancers. These patients, after receiving repeated chemo treatment, have very poor immune systems. With bone marrow transplants, it is hope to encourage the growth of new blood cells to replace those destroyed by the drastic chemo treatment.

Bone marrow transplants do not offer a cure for cancer. It is mostly performed as a last resort and can, if things go well, add some years to the life of a patient. But scientists believe that these transplants will indeed become a cure in the future, not just for blood related cancers but also many other types. Progress is very slow, however, because the research is prohibitively expensive and research must be done painstakingly.

It is not only progress in the treatment of cancer that interests scientists in this field. They also believe that bone marrow transplants have the potential to cause the growth of new brain cells to replace the ones damaged or destroyed by brain injuries and brain related dread diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer. Progress in this direction will, without a doubt, be a major step in the history of medicine.

Using bone marrow transplants in order to cure many types of heart disease is also high on the agenda. Once again the hope is that these transplants will cause the growth of new cells inside the damaged heart to replace damaged and destroyed ones. Heart disease is still one of the biggest killers all over the world and progress in this direction will benefit millions of patients.

There is a lot of controversy shrouding bone marrow transplants. Critics say that there are major ethical issues involved in the fact that the cells to be transplanted are harvested from unborn babies. This may open a door for the major abuse of life in order to ensure that adult patients receive the treatment that can save their lives. Critics also say that the procedure is dangerous.

Critics also point out that formal research results into the field of bone marrow transplants and its potential uses are particularly noticeable because there are no published results. Researchers in that field are overly optimistic at best and deliberately misleading at worst, critics say. False expectations are created and both patients and funders are being misled about the benefits that can result from further expensive research.

Despite the controversy and criticism against research into bone marrow transplants, one hope that the results scientists are hoping for will indeed come true. Many millions of lives will be saved and mankind will have a major victory over many diseases. Results are still a way off in the future, however.




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