On the Horizon: Some Fascinating New Uses for Mesenchymal Stem Cells May Be Right Around the Corner

Though it has been around for about 30 years, stem cell therapy is still a relatively new field of medicine. Because of this, and because of the nature of medical research in general, there are constantly new breakthroughs in what stem cells, and more specifically mesenchymal stem cells, can treat.

Today, mesenchymal stem cells are already used to treat everything from skin conditions to sexual health to degenerative conditions like diabetes and congestive heart failure. But new research on the horizon is now offering even more hope for some common but serious ailments that mesenchymal stem cells may be able to help treat in the future.

In fact, a recent study by Monash University has revealed that mesenchymal stem cells have been successfully used in a laboratory setting to help regenerate lung tissue in adults who suffer from asthma. Though we have been using stem cells and functional medicine to treat asthmatic patients for years, this new study has found a way to use something called a pluripotent stem cell which is a direct derivative from adult stem cells such as the mesenchymal cells we extract from adult adipose tissue.

Asthma is a condition of the airways that is caused when the airways become inflamed. This causes them to swell and narrow, producing excess mucus and making it difficult for the asthmatic patient to breathe.  Over time, the airways can literally change shape. This structural damage has in the past been thought to be irreversible, however in the Monash University study, researchers successfully use mesenchymal stem cells (or MSC’s) to remodel the shape of asthma-damaged airways and could successfully reshape the structural damage in some patients when delivered intranasally.

This means that in the future, it may be possible for asthmatic patients to receive stem cell treatments to reshape their own damaged airways and reduce or eliminate the damage and side effects of asthma. This type of therapy could be hugely beneficial to asthmatic patients who do not respond well to corticosteroid therapies, or who would prefer to heal their asthma symptoms naturally as opposed to using commonly prescribed medications like albuterol or other effective medicines that may have uncomfortable side effects. What’s even more promising about this study, is that the results achieved were only achieved after using MSC’s, not from any other type of stem cells!

Other treatments using MSC’s that are currently under investigation include treatment for Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, and a rare but potentially fatal skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa, or EB.

If you’re interested in learning more about the power of healing your body with MSC’s, or if you have a condition you’d like to see if MSC’s can treat, give Dr. Lekkos a call at 310-955-1885.