Clinical trials are everything in medical research. In light of that, we make it a point to stay abreast of any new information regarding stem cell clinical trials. The more researchers look into the power of stem cells, the more we are learning of their incredible healing potential. A case in point is a new cancer treatment that has just entered clinical trials.
The study behind the trials aims to eventually produce an off-the-shelf treatment for cancer that doesn’t involve chemotherapy, radiation, or other highly dangerous procedures. It is based in the premise of producing what are known as natural killer (NK) cells capable of going after cancer without harming healthy cells.
Derived from iPS Cells
Researchers have attempted to use other kinds of NK cells to create an off-the-shelf cancer treatment. What makes this trial different is the source of the NK cells being utilized. The cells have been derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, in a lab setting.
A pluripotent stem cell is one capable of differentiating into any of the body’s five germ layers. They are hard to come by in adults, but they are found readily in human embryos. To produce these stem cells without having to tackle the ethical questions of harvesting embryos, doctors figured out a way to take adult skin cells and induce them to take on pluripotent properties.
The resulting induced pluripotent cells act just as if they were embryonic stem cells. They can be coaxed to differentiate into any kind of tissue researchers desire. In the case of this particular study, researchers are inducing the cells to become NK cells for fighting cancer.
Testing Safety and Efficacy
Medical News Today reports that the University of California San Diego study is designed to do two things. First, researchers want to determine the safety of their therapy. As such, trial participants will be patients already diagnosed with untreatable cancers.
After safety is the efficacy question. Researchers obviously want to know if their NK cells do what they are designed to do. They expect their study to go on for at least a couple of years before they have the answers.
The Healing Power of Stem Cells
Those of us here at the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute are truly looking forward to the results of UC San Diego clinical trials. We already know the healing power of stem cells for far less serious conditions like osteoarthritis and sports injuries. To be able to come up with an off-the-shelf cancer treatment that is both safe and effective would truly be amazing.
To be honest, were not surprised that researchers chose to work with induced pluripotent stem cells. As the building blocks of human tissue, stem cells really determine who we are as biological creatures. What we now know about stem cells and their function makes it very clear that mastering these cells will one day open the door to all sorts of treatments we never dreamed possible.
Stem Cell Treatments for Your Practice
We are not doing anything as remarkable as working on an off-the-shelf cancer solution here, but we are doing something that is still vitally important to patients: we are training doctors in the proper use of PRP and stem cell therapies to treat joint disease, sports injuries, and hair loss.
We encourage you to consider stem cell treatments for your own practice. Whether you are a general practitioner, an orthopedist, or even a dermatologist or aesthetic practitioner, stem cell and PRP injections could be just what you’re looking for to help a certain segment of your patients.