Common Misconceptions About Stem Cell Therapy
When it comes to stem cell therapy, there are many existing misconceptions. Because of the controversial attention stem cells garnered in the past with embryonic stem cell therapies, many today think there are ethical concerns surrounding ALL types of stem cell therapies. Learn why this is false and why more and more are choosing stem cell therapy to treat their chronic pain or conditions.
Common Stem Cell Misconceptions
Unfortunately, much of the information about stem cell science out there is flawed. Because of this, much concern and skepticism surrounding stem cell therapy prevents many from getting help that could treat current conditions and pain.
Some of the most common stem cell therapy conceptions are:
- Stem cells are only harvested from embryos
- Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) replace the need for embryonic cells
- Stem cell research will ultimately result in human cloning
- Adult stem cells are found in adults only
- Stem cell research and treatment is against the law in the U.S.
- Stem cell therapy runs the risk of rejection by the body
This article will discuss each of these misconceptions to help you better distinguish between what is true and what is false about stem cell science.
Misconception 1: Stem Cells Are Only Harvested from Embryos
Stem cells can be drawn from embryos, but they are also found all throughout the human body in muscles, tissues, organs, bone marrow and fat.
The reason for all the discussion of embryonic stem cells with stem cell science is that embryonic stem cells can produce all 220 specialized cells in the body. This makes them different than other stem cells and also means their potential for curing and treating a myriad of disease is great.
But, embryonic stem cells are NOT the only effective stem cells available for research, treatment and therapy. Because of ethical concerns associated with the use of embryonic stem cells for research and treatment, this is important to understand.
Misconception 2: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) Replace the Need for Embryonic Cells
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells came on the scene not too long ago and have caused great excitement because of their shared qualities with embryonic stem cells. iPSCs are engineered by scientists in a laboratory from specialized cells and can be guided to differentiate into various other types of cells.
Research is still ongoing to determine the types of stem cells will be most effective for each situation.
Misconception 3: Stem Cell Research Will Result in Human Cloning
The only kind of cloning that is allowed in some countries is therapeutic cloning for the purpose of studying disease. Human cloning is against the law.
In therapeutic cloning, scientists separate embryonic stem cells from a cloned blastocyst (early-stage embryo) but do NOT transfer the blastocyst into a womb.
The interest in therapeutic cloning is for organ transplantation. Therapeutic cloning would allow scientists to generate cells that are an exact patient match. A patient could then benefit from a transplant of these cells to that they wouldn’t run the risk of transplant rejection.
Misconception 4: Adult Stem Cells are Found in Adults Only
Babies have “adult” stem cells. When we refer to the adult property of these stem cells, we are referring to the primary role of adult stem cells–they are tasked to repair and maintain the tissue in which they reside in an advanced, mature way.
Adult stem cells are also called tissue-specific stem cells or somatic stem cells. This type of stem cell materializes during fetal development and remains in the body throughout your life.
Misconception 5: Stem Cell Research and Treatment is Against the Law in the U.S.
Stem cells have been used in medicine since the 1950’s when bone marrow transplants were first used to treat leukemia. The United States government and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stem cell research and therapy have established guidelines to make stem cell research and treatment legal under the law:
- Human embryonic stem cells must be derived with private funds from frozen embryos from fertility clinics;
- That they must have been created for fertility treatment purposes;
- That they be in excess of the donor’s clinical need; and
- That they be obtained with consent of the donor.
Although embryonic stem cell research and therapies are not illegal, Stem Cell Centers uses amniotic stem cell therapies which do not create the ethical issues that are related to embryonic stem cell use and research.
President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016 which includes provisions for regulatory review of regenerative therapies, including cell therapies enabled by stem cell therapy research.
Misconception 6: Stem Cell Therapy Runs the Risk of Rejection By the Body
Amniotic stem cells carry no threat of patient rejection. Amniotic stem cell therapy stem cells come from an immune privileged site making patient-rejection extremely rare. The use of amniotic stem cells is well researched, safe, and effective and has been incorporated into the treatment protocols of ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons for 20 years.
There is also a amniotic stem cell donor screening process which was determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) to ensure that the cells used in treatment are safe.
If you are ready to start working on your health and wellness goals, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Mara’s Med Spa to find out how we can help you! To learn more about these innovative treatments and to schedule your consultation at one of our Dallas locations, just call or text 469.730.3333. We are located in Uptown Dallas across from the Crescent, Moxie’s and the Ritz Carlton and in the Highland Park Preston Center Shopping Center near North Park Mall off of the Toll Road and Northwest Highway.