Louis A. Cona M.D.
This post aims to explain how mesenchymal stem cells might have the ability to treat kidney disease.
Kidney failure is a condition that affects over 660,000 Americans and leads to nearly 47,000 deaths each year. Although there are many causes of kidney failure, the current treatment is fairly similar. Patients often need weekly dialysis at the cost of approximately $80,000 annually while waiting in the lengthy list for a transplant. Fortunately, advances in stem cell science have led to some findings that show promise in the treatment of kidney failure.
Healthy functioning kidneys filter waste and excess fluids from the body. However, various conditions can cause damage to the kidneys, resulting in excess fluids, waste, and electrolytes accumulating in the body. This can cause a wide range of negative reactions in the body. Although the kidneys have a limited regenerative capability on their own, eventually the damage caused by kidney disease overwhelms the organs. The result is a patient that becomes dependent on external dialysis to live, and eventually whole organ transplant. Causes of kidney disease vary, but almost half of all kidney failure cases are caused by diabetes.
The goal of scientists has been to find and supplement the cells in the kidneys that lead to organ regeneration. Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have recently identified certain mesenchymal cells, a type of stem cell, that plays a large role in kidney healing. These types of stem cells can be transplanted into the body to promote the regeneration of damaged kidney tissue and reduce overall inflammation. Additionally, stem cells have already been used in conjunction with organ transplants to eliminate the need for a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs.
Patients, such as Rob Waddell, with a family history of polycystic kidney disease, opted for a stem cell transplant to ensure long term success following his kidney transplant. He now lives a very active lifestyle, free of once necessary drugs.
DVC Stem is a stem cell therapy pioneer, offering stem cell therapies for years and has become a cornerstone of the medical tourism industry. Located in the tropical paradise of Grand Cayman in the Western Caribbean, we offer patients a nearby alternative to traveling long distances and to less ideal locations. Our protocols are IRB approved, and our cells come from regulated, U.S. based, FDA compliant laboratories. We seek to offer the highest quality products, the latest available treatments for a variety of conditions, all combined with a world-class setting and service.
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