Cancer Stem Cell Therapy
Solid Tumour Cancer
Stem Cell Therapy have been used in helping patients to recover from cancer treatment, however research is currently underway to use stem cells to target and eliminate cancerous stem cells.
What is Solid Tumour Cancer?
A tumour refers to abnormal growth of cells, which can be benign (harmless) or malignant (dangerous). Solid tumours grow as a mass of cells in a particular organ, tissue or gland, most commonly the breast, lung, prostate and colon. If solid tumours are benign and stay in their place of origin, they can generally be removed and pose no long-term threat, however malignant tumours are able to spread to another part of the body via the blood or immune systems and is largely incurable. Current cancer treatment method are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, all with major side effects and no guarantee of a total cure.
Stem Cell Therapy for Solid Tumour Cancer
Stem Cell Therapy has been in use to treat cancers, particularly in certain leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma. It has also been used to treat testicular cancer, neuroblastoma and certain cancers in children (Source: American Cancer Society).
Currently thoughts in the cancer research circle revolves around the high possibility that solid tumours relies on cancer stem cells, which divide to produce the bulk of the cells that make up the tumour. This negates the effectiveness of chemotherapy as it kills the bulk of the rumour but leaves behind the cancer stem cells that over time, form a new tumour.
Based on the hypothesis of cancer stem cells being the root cause, further research in Stem Cell Therapy for Solid Tumour Cancers focuses on two areas which are transplanting hematopoietic stem cells (blood cells that can give rise to all types of blood cells – bone marrow transplants), and stem cells as models to learn about cancer stem cells, hence allowing scientist to find ways to destroy them. One such advance that have been recorded is where allogeneic transplantation combined with reduced intensity chemotherapy has been successful in decreasing relapse rate in some solid tumours such as breast and kidney.
There are many ongoing efforts to understand how stem cell therapy is able to help people with autism. One of the main centres is the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, where you can view the areas of research being conducted specifically to understand and treat cancer.