Monday, Dec 10, 2007
Stem cell therapy comes to city
|Hospital signs MoU with research institution
It brings succour to terminally ill patients
Autologus Immune Enhancement Therapy used in treatment of cancers
MADURAI: In an initiative that is intended to bring succour to ailing terminally ill patients from southern districts, Vadamalayan Hospitals has entered into a memorandum of understanding, here on Sunday, with the Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), Chennai to collaborate on the research, training and clinical applications in stem cell therapy, a viable therapeutic option for debilitating degenerative diseases and injuries.
NCRM, an Indo-Japanese joint venture institute, involves in research, training and clinical applications in regenerative medicine based on cell therapeutics.
Samuel JK Abraham, Director NCRM, said: “Stem cell therapy ushers in a new era of medicine where in degenerative diseases, which occur due to damages caused to cells, can be treated. The treatment involves use of stem cells, progenitor cells or mature adult cells to treat several end-stage ailments including heart diseases, spinal cord injuries, liver cirrhosis and joint problems caused by sports injuries.”
Elaborating on the method being followed, Dr. Samuel Abraham said that stem cells extracted from the bone marrow were injected into a damaged portion of the organ to repair it.
“As extraction of stem cells from the embryo or foetus is considered unethical and might lead to legal problem, this venture will use only stem cells from bone marrow or adult organs like the cornea and teeth,” he said.
In treatment of cancers, Autologus Immune Enhancement Therapy had been used, wherein the natural killer cells present in the human body would be isolated and expanded in sophisticated laboratories for about 2 to 3 weeks and then transfused to the patient to destroy cancer cells, he added.
Researchers have found that the thus activated immune system might also be able to determine the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells to eliminate the cancer cells from the body.
He also assured that regenerative procedures would neither invade into any particular speciality of medicine nor substitute prevailing definitive treatment modality. Instead, this venture would equip the clinicians with an additional tool in stem cells in treating various disorders in ethical and scientific way with transparency and adherence to the existing national and international guidelines, he added.
The MoU would facilitate NCRM to offer its stem cell isolation services and expansion of natural killer cells for Vadamalayan Hospitals, said V. Pugalagiri, Managing director of the Hospitals.