Cell therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: November 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Cell therapy (or Cellular therapy) is therapy in which cellular material is injected into a patient.[1]

Cell therapy originated in the nineteenth century when scientists experimented by injecting animal material in an attempt to prevent and treat illness.[2] Although such attempts produced no positive benefit, further research found in the mid twentieth century that human cells could be used to help prevent the human body rejecting transplanted organs, leading in time to successful bone marrow transplantation.[3]

Today two distinct categories of cell therapy are recognized.[1]

The first category is cell therapy in mainstream medicine. This is the subject of intense research and the basis of potential therapeutic benefit.[4] Such research, especially when it involves human embryonic material, is controversial.

The second category is in alternative medicine, and perpetuates the practice of injecting animal materials in an attempt to cure disease. This practice, according to the American Cancer Society, is not backed by any medical evidence of effectiveness, and can have deadly consequences.[1]

Cell therapy can be defined as therapy in which cellular material is injected into a patient.[1]

There are two branches of cell therapy: one is legitimate and established, whereby human cells are transplanted from a donor to a patient; the other is dangerous alternative medicine, whereby injected animal cells are used to attempt to treat illness.[1]

The origins of cell therapy can perhaps be traced to the nineteenth century, when Charles-douard Brown-Squard (18171894) injected animal testicle extracts in an attempt to stop the effects of aging.[2] In 1931 Paul Niehans (18821971) who has been called the inventor of cell therapy attempted to cure a patient by injecting material from calf embryos.[1] Niehans claimed to have treated many people for cancer using this technique, though his claims have never been validated by research.[1]

In 1953 researchers found that laboratory animals could be helped not to reject organ transplants by pre-innoculating them with cells from donor animals; in 1968, in Minnesota, the first successful successful human bone marrow took place.[3]

Bone marrow transplants have been found to be effective, along with some other kinds of human cell therapy for example in treating damaged knee cartilage.[1] In recent times, cell therapy using human material has been recognized as an important field in the treatment of human disease.[4] The experimental field of Stem cell therapy has shown promise for new types of treatment.[1]

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Cell therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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