Regenerative Medicine Goes to The Root Causes of Diseases
Regenerative Medicine is a type of stem cell treatment that attacks the root cause of diseases rather than just the symptom. The process involves taking a cell from a donor and putting them into a patient to treat a disease or injury. It can replace lost cells or organs or fix a problematic gene. However, as reported by Medical News Today, Regenerative Medicine needs to develop itself into mainstream medicine through better science and regulation as well as integrating with innovative manufacturing methods to make treatments affordable to the mass.
The Difference Between Regenerative Medicine and Traditional Drugs for Treatment
Regenerative Medicine aims to replace or repair human cells, or regenerate tissue or organs to restore normal function. It makes use of cells, biomaterials, and molecules to fix structures in the body that is malfunctioning. For example, if a person with type 1 diabetes wants to start producing insulin, the traditional way to treat a person with type 1 diabetes would be injecting insulin daily to keep blood sugar levels normal. With Regenerative Medicine, a patient can regenerate their own insulin-producing tissue called the islets of Langerhans, which eliminates the need for routine insulin rejection. While this treatment for type 1 diabetes is not yet possible, there are some areas of Regenerative Medicine that is used in medical practice today.
Methods of Regenerative Medicine
Cell therapy originated from the method of transfusion of the blood which is a common practice in clinics around the world. There was also the method of transplanting the bone marrow where patients with radiation damage or blood cancers can regenerate healthy blood cells using the donor’s bone marrow stem cells. Cell therapy using a patient’s own cells is also used for severe burn and injuries. Medical News Today also reported on a chip technology that can change one cell type into another and heal entire organs and another method of spray painting biomaterials onto damaged hearts using surgery.
Although there are many studies into Regenerative Medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only approves 15 entries for cellular and gene therapy products
The Future of Regenerative Medicine
Although there are many breakthrough researches for Regenerative Medicine, medical treatment through this process is still scarce and a panel of FDA commissioners noted that there is a lack of progress in the field, with only a handful of breakthroughs have made it to patients. Despite the success of Regenerative Medicine studies, only a small number of diseases can be treated through this method. Prof. Giulio Cossu from the Division of Cell and Matrix Biology & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, said that complex diseases such as diabetes or heart will require more advanced approaches than what is available today.
H/T: Medical News Today