Sunday, December 16, 2018

Stem Cell Research Facilities And Their Claims Remain Controversial

By Martha Ward

Nobody will argue the fact that progress in the medical filed over the past few decades have been nothing but astonishing. Diseases that used to be a certain death sentence can now be managed and new medication can add years to the lives of very ill patients. And still research continue and there is no reason to doubt that scientists will conquer many more diseases in times to come. One such field of research that shows much promise is performed in stem cell research facilities.

Bone marrow transplants have been performed for some years. Up to now, however, only patients suffering from blood cancer and other related blood conditions have benefited from such transplants. In these cases, it is hoped that the marrow transplant will stimulate the growth of new cells in order to replace the mutant cells in the blood of the patients. However, these transplants are still seen as the last resort.

A bone marrow transplant is definitely not a cure for cancer, at least not yet, but there is ample evidence that it can add years to the life of desperately ill patients. Research continues to actually use this technology to cure blood related cancers and even other serious life threatening conditions. At this time, however, progress is slow and testing of new findings on human beings is still a few years away.

The hopes of researchers in this field are high. They think that, soon, bone marrow transplants will be the standard treatment for debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson. Brain damaged patients will be helped and even physical injuries to the spine will be repaired by these transplants. The devastating effects of strokes will be reversed, all because bone marrow transplants encourage the growth of new and healthy cells.

Another field of enquiry relates to the use of bone marrow transplants to replace heart cells and blood vessels. Researchers believe that it would eventually be possible to cure many types of heart disease by causing new cells to replace the damaged ones. Heart disease remains one of the most prolific killers and progress in this specific field of enquiry may end up saving millions of lives.

Bone marrow transplants remain a controversial topic. It has many enemies that say that this type of transplant is simply too dangerous to even contemplate. They say that there is no clinical evidence that it makes a difference. They also point out that the cells to be transplanted are routinely harvested from the umbilical cords of babies not yet born. This, they say, will open the doors to very serious human rights abuses.

Critics also say that researchers in this field are creating false expectations. They say that real results are still decades away but that researchers are raising funds for their work by making sponsors think that major breakthroughs are just around the corner. Then there is the fact that this type of therapy is extremely dangerous. It can actually kill patients rather than help them.

One thing remains certain. Major breakthroughs that will conquer brain damage, cancer and heart disease, amongst others, will utterly change the way in which patients are treated. One can only hope that such breakthroughs are indeed a reality in the future.

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