What is Stem Cell Treatment?06/09/2020, Dr Óscar Mayorga, Head of the Medical Rejuvenation Unit, SHA Wellness Clinic
Head of SHA Wellness Clinic's Medical Rejuvenation Unit, Dr Óscar Mayorga is a surgeon, who specialises in anti-ageing medicine. He holds a degree in Immunology & Microbiology and specialises in Natural & Biologic Medicine. Dr Mayorga also has experience in cellular activation, stem cells treatment and growth factors.
We recently spoke with Dr Mayorga to get the lowdown on stem cells and their potential therapeutic uses.
1. What are stem cells?
They are cells, also called progenitor cells that can be of various types, but mainly we talk about embryonic stem cells, which are the ones that give rise to the embryo and adult stem cells, which in turn give rise to different tissues of the body. The latter are the ones used in cellular regeneration therapies.
2. How are they obtained?
Adult mesenchymal cells can be obtained from various tissues, including the umbilical cord, placenta, dental pulp, bone marrow or fat. These last two tissues contain the highest number of stem cells. We obtain them using bone marrow or fat sample, which is done by aspiration under local anaesthesia.
3. What is the objective of all stem cell treatment?
Basically to regenerate tissues and organs. This means that by introducing them into the injured structures, such as a joint, they are fixed at the site of the injury. By signalling and stimulating the surrounding tissue cells, as well as by cell replication, they produce new cells and new tissue.
4. What therapeutic uses do they have?
Currently, they have multiple uses in the areas of orthopaedics, traumatology and sports medicine in cases of injury and trauma. Also in pathologies such as arthritis or arthrosis, in muscular injuries. In dermatology and aesthetics, they are used extensively in facial and body rejuvenation. There are also currently clinical trials for treating nerve and spinal cord injuries, and lately, they have found to be useful in stimulating the immune system. It has also been found helpful for treating patients who have suffered lung damage from COVID-19.
5. What are the open lines of research on possible future applications? Diabetes, Parkinson’s, heart conditions?
At the moment, there are many lines of research in immunomodulation and pancreatic stimulation in diabetic patients. In neurology, there are multiple studies in diseases such as Parkinson’s and other pathologies of the nervous system, including spinal cord injuries. In cardiac pathologies, there are several lines of research that include post-inflammatory lesions or valve lesions, among others. In orthopaedics is perhaps where most studies are being conducted at this time, and with excellent results. For example, it is being observed that, contrary to what was previously thought, cartilage and other joint tissues can also regenerate.
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