For patients suffering from degenerative conditions and health professionals, stem cell therapy has been regarded to be an essential topic. Also, it has been an important topic for political debate. There are few basic questions that are asked concerning the therapy.
· About stem cell therapy & its significance: Stem Cells are stated to be ‘blank slate’ cells which under appropriate conditions tend to become specialized cells like the nerve or organ cells, bone or muscle. It means, they have the ability to regenerate damaged tissues within the human body. Thus, applicable treatment method becomes possible for taking care of different types of diseases and health conditions. It includes osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, motor neuron disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration, heart disease, ALS, etc. The therapy is also capable to treat those conditions, for which no effective option currently exists.
· Is it legal to use embryonic cells: According to the medical experts, it is very much legal. Researches that are conducted under stringent guidelines are granted federal funds. It is still legal to conduct research beyond the limits of the set guidelines. However, it is to be performed under state or private funding. There is creation of cell line as cells get extracted from the young embryo, left over from process of invitro fertilization. This needs to be donated by consenting donor. The cells then multiply & divide. After cell extraction from embryo, the latter gets destroyed. Hence, this research form is argued by opponents. Federal funding is possible only on studies that use limited number of current embryonic cell lines.
· What type of stem cell therapy/research exists: Certain stem cell therapy forms are found not to require embryonic cells. It is within the blood, bone marrow and umbilical cords among adults that stem cells are available. Even normal cells could be reverse engineered to come up with limited stem cell abilities.
· How criticism related to embryonic stem cell therapy is responded by proponents: According to few proponents, embryo destruction after extraction of cells is not unethical. This is because, the embryo is likely to get destroyed once the donor does not require it any longer for reproductive purpose. There are three options available to the donor, namely:
o donate to science
o donate to any adopting woman
o destroy remaining embryos
Women not eager to make donations to another woman can top to destroy them immediately or donate to research, there by resulting in subsequent embryo destruction.
· Are risks involved in this therapy form: Not much human studies have been conducted in this treatment form. However, one concern is that risk of cancer might be increased in the patient. Cells causing cancer multiply rapidly and do not normally self-destruct, if something go wrong. To the growth factors are included stem cells to encourage quick multiplication prior to getting transplanted into the patients. When compared to other cells, they die less. There may result both malignant and benign tumor growth.
Discussing with the professionals will help to know stem cell therapy cost in India