For some time, stem cell therapy have been hailed as a breakthrough in the medical field for treating a range of health problems from damaged cells in chemotherapy and use in identifying new drugs, to joint issues, diseases, and viruses. Better known as regenerative medicine, there is growing evidence to suggest that this form of treatment is the future of medicine. Its non-invasive approach, ease of implementation, and remarkable results have been studied and recorded in various circumstances, not limited to the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. Given vaccines are expected to still be a year or so away, an increasing number of people have turned to the use of stem cells and their effectiveness against the virus.
A Promising Case Abroad
Given a significant portion of the population suffering from COVID-19 are those with compromised immune systems or of an old age, invasive surgical procedures can often make the situation worse, and simply prove infeasible. It is under this light that we see stem cells as an option offering hope and more promising in results. One early case involves a 65-year-old Chinese woman who fell seriously ill after being infected with the coronavirus, despite her age, she had made a full recovery after stem cell therapy. Making the move from fighting for her life in the ICU to being back on her feet in a matter of days after the initial treatment was a situation that brought great hope for many more.
Moving to more recent news, an article highlighted that stem cell therapy is being touted as a possible treatment by a biotech company in Cleveland, Ohio. CEO of Athersys Van Bokkelen mentions that “we are witnessing one of the greatest mobilizations of medical resources and biomedical technology in history – things are happening at a pace that seemed unimaginable only a few weeks ago.” Stem cell therapy is the only investigational therapy showing promise for the treatment of acute respiratory syndrome, and given this success it has been granted the Fast Track designation by the FDA.
In another case, a study in Shanghai has treated 31 COVID-19 patients, with all of them showing improvements in health. Robert Chunhua Zhao, from the School of Life Science at Shanghai University mentions that “the inflammation and immune damage caused by COVID-19 made me consider the use of mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment.” Working with hospitals to set up clinical trials, a clinical study by Zhao showed that symptoms of all patients were significantly alleviated within just two days of the treatment. Even severe cases find themselves discharged 10 days after treatment.
How Stem Cells Could Help Looking Into the Future
Not only is COVID-19 very contagious in its passing from person-to-person, but its global stranglehold on society is evident through the number of hospitalizations, affecting people of all ages. Along with this, it has been shown to cause severe damage to major organs and the respiratory system. This deadly combination has created a big reaction from not only the medical field, but a real test of the capacities of the American health care system. In a world with growing stories of the use of stems cells in treating COVID-19, it is clear that the effectiveness of regenerative medicine against the virus is significant, and that these fundamental building blocks of life will play a large role looking into the future.
Encouraging results from stem cell therapy trial for COVID-19, Nature Research Custom Media