Risks and benefits of stem cells

Learn more about the risks and benefits of stem cells

The recent years have witnessed a boom in innovative therapies for heretofore incurable conditions like leukemia, lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, etc. A lot of attention has also been directed towards the revolutionary stem cell transplant therapy as well owing to the dramatic beneficial effects as well as the potentially severe adverse effects of the therapy.

stem cell benefitsStem cell transplants became available for commercial use about 30 years ago, but bone marrow transplant is the only commonly used stem cell therapy. It is used to treat blood cancers like leukemia but not everyone can benefit from this therapy. A trained and skilled physician with vast experience in the field of stem cells alone can decide which patient is a good candidate for such a therapy and will stand to benefit from it. Till date, research is going on to found out who can reap benefits from this procedure and how much benefit should be expected. Many doctors do not know in detail about stem cell transplants and its benefits. Thus, they disregard it as a risky procedure and do not recommend patients who might recover dramatically from this therapy. Pharmaceutical companies are also not promoting it much because it is still under research and because it might lead to loss of easy income.

Apart from bone marrow transplant, research is still under way to assess the use of stem cell transplants in disorders like diabetes, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, breast cancer etc. No conclusive evidence is still available as regards the benefits in these disorders apart from bone marrow transplant. This might be one of the reasons doctors and patients alike refrain from even digging deeper about the treatment. Not only that, the treatments are significantly more expensive compared to other conventional therapies and the risks versus the benefits are not guaranteed. The host’s body might reject the transplant despite all efforts, leaving the entire procedure in vain.  Thus, which conditions will really benefit has to be carefully weighed. Not many doctors are qualified enough to provide professional stem cell treatment for lack of adequate training and experience in the field.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The procedure, just like any other medical procedure comes with risks of its own. The recipient of the transplant might have mild adverse effects like skin rashes, sore throat, women might experience an early menopause or more serious reactions like infertility, transplant rejection, recurrent infections, graft versus host disease, risk of bleeding, etc might occur despite extreme precaution and care by healthcare providers.

All these aspects need to be borne in mind before one opts for a life altering therapy like stem cell transplant. Whether the cells are from another person or your own, the risks are plenty and only a specially trained professional can decide and deliver if a patient is a good candidate for it. Euromedic Healthcare ensures such competent, licensed physicians thoroughly conduct the entire process of stem cell transplant from the first step till the time the patient is fit again and ready to return to a normal and healthy life.

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