Stem cells have had a colorful and exciting history in the medical world, with both supporters and patients claiming surprising results. But what exactly are stem cells?
For decades, researchers have experimented with stem cells from fetal tissue. Aside from the moral and ethical dilemma this posed, these cells isolated from embryonic tissue were later shown to cause tumors. Fortunately, many researchers abandoned these experiments.
Note that this article incorrectly claims that mesenchymal stem cells can be harvested from cord blood. Properly processed cord blood does not contain MSCs. We harvest MSCs from umbilical cord tissue.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has also in recent years become a popular treatment for such conditions as joint degeneration and hair loss, as well as being used in women’s facials. However, although PRP promotes new cell growth and healing, it’s not normally called stem cell treatment.
In 1991, Dr. Arnold Caplan Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University Experimental and Molecular Medicine first isolated what became known as Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
Dr. Neil Riordan PA, Ph.D. soon made a name for himself in developing clinical applications of MSC at his lab in Panama. He found that MSCs could control inflammation, positively affect the immune system by decreasing auto-immune issues, stimulate regeneration of tissue, and reduce scarring, according to his book, “Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide.”