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17 Apr 2024, Edition - 3200, Wednesday

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Health Matters

Why cell based therapy can be the answer for many of your diseases…but can you afford it?

Indrani Thakurata


When all the doctors at Ghana lost hope for 19 yr old Sylvanus. Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, Adigos Stem Cells performed Cell based therapy that helped patient walk tall in India. A 19 years old male patient met with a road traffic accident while travelling on a bike in September 2017. He sustained injuries in his spine and was hospitalized immediately. He did not undergo any surgery to repair the fracture/injury and the family was told that he will not be able to stand or walk in the future. He lost sensory perception in his hips and legs and as well as bowel and bladder control. A catheter was inserted to aid in passage and collection of urine. After discharge, Sylvanus remained bedridden without any treatment for 6 months. Due to inability to move, he also developed bed sores.

Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, Adigos Stem Cells says, “The family heard about cell based therapy in India and the patient was brought to Mumbai on a stretcher. He was advised 2 sessions of cell based therapy along with neurorehabilitation. In order to remove the scar tissue that was formed in his spine in the region of injury, Sylvanus also underwent a spine surgery under a team of experienced orthopedic and spine surgeons. Simultaneously, he underwent cell based therapy in order to repair and regenerate the damage to the nerves and muscles in the spine. For the bed sores, he underwent treatment with Platelet Rich Plasma, which is a rich source of growth factors, in order to facilitate healing.

Elated Sylvanus says, “I was depressed after my accident as I was unable to stand or walk and lost perception in hips and legs. I am thankful because after the treatment I am now able to stand and walk”.

“Within a period of one month, it was noticed that the patient regained some sensory perception in his buttocks area. Initially, the patient was advised basic stretching exercises for his back, hips and legs. Following this, he was trained to stand with the help of calipers and walker. The patient is now able to lift himself up from sitting to standing position. He takes steps with support of walker while using calipers. Although, he hasn’t regained bladder control yet, he is able to appreciate some sensation of bladder fullness etc. The patient is also being trained in exercises for sphincter control. The size of the bed sores has also reduced considerably and the patient does not feel much discomfort as before” adds Dr. Pradeep Mahajan

So, what is cell based therapy and how does it work? “Cell based therapy is the beginning of a new era in the world of regenerative medicine. The main goal of this form of therapy is to harness the potential of endogenous repair mechanisms to promote tissue regeneration. Cell based therapy works on the principle that cells in our own body act as medicinal signaling agents. Cells may be described as ‘Living Drug’ molecules. They are adaptive agents, unlike conventional drugs, that are capable of complex functions involving bioactive factors.

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Cells are multi-potent and can act as injury specific drug stores which aid in cell replacement, enhancement of organ function etc. by harnessing their innate regenerative potential,” says Dr Pradeep. It is important to note that there are a number of diseases that can be cured with the help of cell based therapy. “Owing to the varied properties of cells, diabetes, liver, genitourinary disorders, dermatological conditions and many more can achieve benefits from cell based therapy. Stem cells can differentiate into various types of cells based on the environment. For example, in context of neurological diseases, stem cell transplantation aids in nerve repair by cell replacement function and neurotrophic effect. Additionally, these cells can be induced to differentiate into neuron-like cells and glial cells. These properties benefit patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, Alzheimer’s disease etc. Stem cells have anti- inflammatory property, therefore have the potential to be used in inflammatory disease conditions such as arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders.

These cells can induce angiogenesis/revascularization therefore has scope in treating conditions such as avascular necrosis, diabetic foot ulcers, chronic ischemic wounds etc. Immunomodulatory property may aid in correction of dysregulations in the immune system. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 1, ankylosing spondylitis etc. show tremendous improvement when treated with cell based therapy,” He explains. Adding, “Cell based therapy also encompasses treatment using various cells of the immune system such as T cells, dendritic cells, natural killer ells etc. These effector cells are capable of modulating the immune system and thus hold promise in management of conditions such as cancer and autoimmune conditions.”

Are Indians aware of its benefits?

“We live in an era where internet and other forms of social media supply abundant information on myriad of topics. Young individuals today are more aware of health conditions and the possible treatments available through such channels. However, one should wisely utilize these tools to gain knowledge about recent trends in medical therapy. Having said that, yes, Indians today are quite aware of the benefits of regenerative medicine and cell based therapy, but there is still a long distance to cover before we can effectively ensure that this form of therapy reaches every strata of the society. This is now being accomplished through awareness programmes, camps etc. being conducted by regenerative medicine specialists.”

When we talk about any groundbreaking therapy, it is important for us to talk about the side effects.

“Autologous cell based therapy is the most talked about subject in recent times. In this form of therapy, cells and growth factors from the patient’s own body are harvested and transplanted. Cells are present in almost every tissue in the body, therefore are easy to harvest and are readily available. As no foreign agents are being introduced in the body, this therapy is safe and effective. The process is minimally invasive therefore the total duration of hospitalization necessary is reduced and patients can resume routine activities within few days after treatment. The biggest advantage is that, the root pathology of a disease is addressed through cell based therapy therefore results achieved are definitive and are maintained over long periods of time,” Dr Pradeep concludes.

The procedure cost:
6000 US Dollars

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