Monday, December 7, 2009

Stem cells may have potential to help those with spina bifida

From The Hindu in India:

Stem cells have the potential to cure kidney diseases and “incurable” spina bifida (a neurological deficit) said doctors at AIIMS after conducting a five-year study on the potential of stem cells in these areas.

“Stem cells have the potential to repair and regenerate the kidney tissue. It has also shown positive results in cases of spina bifida, where people remain handicapped even after undergoing a surgery for it,” Professor D K Gupta, paediatric surgeon, AIIMS said here today.

“Use of stem cells in regenerating kidney tissue was a challenging task as the vital organ is made up of many different types of cells. With research work carried out in India and abroad, we can conclude that it has a potential in treating kidney diseases,” Dr Shilpa Sharma paediatric surgeon, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, said.

The team at Stem Cell Facility, AIIMS has been carrying out research work on the potential of stem cells in different areas since 2005. It has an in-house umbilical cord blood bank at AIIMS that harnesses the potential of umbilical cord stem cells.

“We can conclude after five years of our research work that autologus (one’s own body) stem cells have not shown any cancerous transformation on anyone who has undergone a stem cell treatment. Mothers who have children with congenital anomalies should store their cod blood for future use,” Prof Gupta said.