Stem Cells: The Vision for a New Age of Personalized Medicine
In the last decade there’s been a great push toward the advancement of personalized medicine. Most of the focus has been on genetic studies to assist with selecting medications, personalized screening, and honing detection of disease. But this is only half the story. There must be more we can do above and beyond using someone’s personal profiles to select medications.
Indeed, there is more and the answer lies in advancement of cell therapy.
Why do we fail? Most of the diseases, trauma, and infections causing human misery are consequences of cellular damage at some level. The key to mitigating cellular damage is cellular therapy. We all seem to be waiting for universities and laboratories to advance and commercialize organ replacement. We now understand that this will take many years before it is perfected and commercially available. An automobile mechanic knows it is better to perform maintenance and replace small worn-out parts along the way rather than replacing the entire car once it is no longer drivable. That’s the difference between repairing cell damage and replacing entire organs.
Is it possible to repair our cells through targeted maintenance? The answer is yes, because that is what we are doing continually with stem cells right now. These cells literally search for repair jobs by circulating in limited numbers and searching out signal beacons, proteins released by damaged tissue. When the stem cells see these signals, they hone in and activate to start repairing the cells. Our repair stem cells are very smart and know exactly what to do to accomplish the job. Sometimes they need to form new cells and sometimes they need to make supporting cells or blood vessels, and sometimes they simply need to secrete factors which signal the damaged cells to heal.
As it turns out, long before medical intervention was invented, our bodies were conducting cellular repair naturally. Today, we are starting to understand new ways that we can amplify and synergize with this natural healing. Traditionally, we have only a limited number of stem cells that can respond and try to repair damage. However, now we can supplement this system with our own stem cells containing our own DNA from a “cryobank” where they can be amplified (increased in number) far beyond what our bodies could naturally produce. They have no other purpose than to repair our own damaged tissue.
This ability represents a tremendous futuristic personalized “medication” in the event that we have organ damage from surgery, toxins, trauma, aging, complications from medications, autoimmune disease, or any number of problems.
This is a very powerful tool, and it is here today. Personalized medicine through stem cell therapy has arrived.
Elliot B. Lander, MD, FACS, is co-founder and medical director of The Cell Surgical Network®and Medical Director of the California Stem Cell Treatment Center in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills. He can be reached at (800) 231.0407. For more information on stem cells, visit www.stemcellrevolution.com.