Can stem cells help kidney disease?

Louis A. Cona, MD
Updated on
Sep 5, 2022

minute read

This post aims to explain how mesenchymal stem cells might have the ability to treat kidney disease.

Learn more about stem cell therapy and the science behind it.

Stem Cell Kidney Repair 2021

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 relatively 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 damage the kidneys, resulting in excess fluids, waste, and electrolytes accumulating. This can cause a wide range of adverse 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.

How do stem cells help kidney disease?

Stem cell therapy is highly anti-inflammatory, reducing levels of chronic inflammation within the body to levels that allow healing to occur when it was otherwise inhibited. In terms of Kidney Disease, the levels of inflammation would be high throughout the body. By lowering inflammation markers to normal levels, the body can begin to regenerate the tissue required for normal function.

Stem cell therapy for kidney failure

Scientists are working toward finding a way to supplement the cells in the kidneys that lead to organ regeneration. Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have recently identified specific mesenchymal cells, a type of stem cell that plays a significant role in kidney healing. These 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. 


Can stem cells cure kidney disease?

Kidney Disease is challenging to study and correct, as the kidneys are very complicated organs that provide vital filtration functions within the body. Currently, only general systemic stem cell therapy is available to tackle these issues, as scientists have yet to isolate the specific cells responsible for kidney repair. 

A reasonable outcome of a stem cell therapy would be the marked reduction in inflammatory markers when compared to pre-treatment levels and a marginal increase in kidney function. This would likely not be sufficient to remove a patient from dialysis after one therapy, but the hope would be to reduce dialysis frequency. 

Learn more about DVC Stem

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.

Note: This post is intended to provide general information about regenerative medicine, and related areas. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 12 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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