Cellular therapy with stem cells is revolutionizing the focus of treatment of many serious diseases. Replacing the cells of damaged tissue with other new cells from the same patient is already a reality. This is the basis of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine, the latest great advance in biomedicine.
In this line, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona is exploring an innovative cellular therapy that uses stem cells to treat Crohn’s disease, a chronic genetic disease that affects 1% of the population in Spain and which has considerable impact on the quality of life of the patients. The procedure is based
Bone marrow stromal cells [BMSCs; also known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)] effectively suppress inflammatory responses in acute graft-versus-host disease in humans and in a number of disease models in mice. Many of the studies concluded that BMSC-driven immunomodulation is mediated by the suppression of proinflammatory Th1 responses while rebalancing the Th1/Th2 ratio toward Th2.
Sir Martin Evans
Stem cells could aid in treating muscular sclerosis. Animal experiments have demonstrated that it is possible to stop the aggressive, chronic inflammatory response against the myelin sheath that covers nerve cells, whose destruction leads to the devastating effects of the disease, said Giancarlo Comi, the head of the Experimental Neurology Institute of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. A three-day meeting, which began in Stresa, on the most recent progress regarding stem cells was opened by Nobel Prize winner Martin Evans and also included some of the most important experts on the subject in the