What Are the Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Therapy?

There is quite a bit of debate happening when it comes to the pros and cons associated with stem cell therapy. To begin with, there are many who are raising moral issues with regard to stem cell research. Then there are many who question the actual benefits associated with stem cell research. Added to this is the usual politicking associated with anything that is new and path-breaking. Hence, it would be interesting to have an impartial insight into the fascinating world of stem cells. Whether one may agree or not, there are certainly quite a few things that are quite interesting about stem cell research and stem cell therapy.

 

Advantages Of Stem Cell Therapy

 

  • Though when we talk about stem cell therapy, we associate it with the stem cells of newborn babies, we also should not forget the importance of adult stem cells. Therapies are being done from stem cells that are taken from adults. Research has proven that the rate of rejection is much lower in adult stem cells. The same is the case with umbilical stem cells, but in terms of effectiveness, some researchers believe that adult stem cells hold out better promise.
  • It is possible to transform a few stem cells into pluripotent stem cells. This is a technical term and it could open new doors for medical treatments without having the need to destroy embryos for collecting the required stem cells.
  • Though stem cells therapies are still in their nascent stages, there are reasons to believe that it does hold quite a bit of possibility. It could define the way patients suffering from lymphoma and leukemia are treated. It could be the best solution for children who are not getting the right response even to steroid treatments. These are just a few of the many possibilities that come associated with stem cell treatments.
  • It gives a better insight into the way human life works. Stem cell research quite certainly helps in better understanding the reasons, causes, and remedies for different kinds of diseases and illnesses. This could go a long way in increasing the life expectancy of people over a period of time. Yes, it is still in its developmental stage and might take a few years or even decades before the results start manifesting itself.
  • Stem cells have regenerative properties and therefore the potentials are unlimited and exciting. The day may not be far off when stem cells may help in the regeneration or partial or even full re-growth of a damaged organ.

 

Disadvantages Of Stem Cell Research

 

  • The rejection rate of embryonic stem cells is quite high. Apart from rejection, it also could cause other complications including development of various types of tumors a few of which can even turn malignant.
  • Almost all adult stem cells have a determined cell type. To change it, one may have to go through iPS reprogramming and this is not easy, to say the least.
  • It is a costly process and even today, even the wealthiest of people think twice before going in for this form of treatment. So it might take quite a few decades before it becomes affordable for ordinary people. Unless this happens, its benefit will impact only a miniscule of the entire population.

 

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