Louis A. Cona M.D.
An in-depth description of lupus and how stem cell therapy may be able to combat the condition.
Lupus Erythematosus, otherwise known as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system begins attacking healthy tissue. This causes a wide range of responses from cold-like symptoms to organ failure. It is most commonly associated with the butterfly-shaped skin rash that develops on a person’s face. Lupus affects over 5 million people worldwide and there is currently no cure. Symptoms are managed with drugs, attempting to provide patients with a better quality of life. However, recent studies and trials have shown significant positive results for the treatment of lupus with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
It is is generally accepted that Lupus Erythematosus is caused by a number of genes, in combination with associated environmental factors. The condition compromises a person’s immune system and then allows external factors to plague the person. Symptoms can flare in response to sunlight, minor infections, and even prescribed medicines. Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus triggers cells in the body to begin attacking the body itself. This causes large amounts of harmful inflammation in the body, which can quickly lead to more serious complications. Although common symptoms are minor and treatable, such as rashes and joint pain, serious cases of lupus can lead to organ failure. Lupus has shown the ability to cause failure of the kidneys, central nervous system, circulatory system, lungs, and the heart.
There has not been a cure found for lupus, and it is treated today as most other autoimmune diseases. The patient is prescribed a series of anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics. These strong drugs have harmful side effects and often diminish a patient’s quality of life. In certain cases, they are ineffective at reducing the symptoms present.
Stem cells are naturally occurring immature cells with the special ability to “differentiate”, or transform, into many other types of cells in the body. They naturally find damaged cells and inflammation in the body and begin to repair and replace those cells. Everyone has stem cells in their body, however, our stem cells age over time and their numbers and effectiveness diminish as we get older.
Researchers have begun using mesenchymal stem cell transplants to treat autoimmune diseases. It was thought that supplementing the body with a high amount of new stem cells would boost a patient’s ability to fight inflammation and reduce symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders. Mesenchymal stem cells are sourced from bone marrow, donated cord tissue, or other tissues in the body. The benefit of using these cells is that they are readily available, they are not rejected by the body (do not require a donor match), and there is no need for chemotherapy to receive treatment. Additionally, MSCs are some of the most powerful stem cells available for cellular therapy.
The results of stem cell transplants for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, have been largely positive. In one trial of 200 participants, 75% benefited from the treatment. This is higher than the current success rate of standard lupus medications. The effects were still present over 24 months following treatment, and there were very rare adverse reactions, with no reported severe reactions. Stem cell treatment for lupus presents patients with a safe, natural, long-term solution to managing their symptoms. It also presents an option to avoid the plethora of potentially harmful medications otherwise required for maintaining a normal lifestyle.
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.
You also might be interested in
Stem cell treatment for MS has demonstrated healing and repair-promoting properties. The use of expanded cord tissue-derived umbilical cord cells have made it possible to potentially treat MS more effectively.
Read more ￫
This post explains how stem cells may have the ability to help sports-related injuries.
Read more ￫