Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise For Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

As I’ve written in previous blogs, any positive news about advances in the use of stem cell therapy is further support for the results we have been achieving at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists using stem cell therapy. Our experts have been performing stem cell procedures to restore and repair the damage from conditions such as degenerative disc disease, desiccated discs, spinal stenosis, facet arthrosis, sacroiliac joint syndrome, osteoarthritis of any joint, and sports or overuse injuries.

Promise for treating rheumatoid arthritis

Here is another encouraging story that showcases the potential for stem cell therapy in treating an expanding range of human conditions: In this case, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases.

I’m passing along highlights from a January 2016 article posted at HealthlineNews by Ashley Boynes-Shuck. She wrote:

Stem cell therapy may soon become a go-to treatment option for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and similar autoimmune conditions.

Though stem cell research has been at the center of debate for years, scientists and doctors say they are excited about the promise that stem cells could hold for a number of medical purposes.

The discord surrounding stem cell research is due to the fact that previously stem cells could only be procured from embryonic cells. The moral and ethical debate surrounding the use of these types of cells, however, has waned a bit due to new medical advances.

Scientists and researchers no longer have to rely on cells harvested from embryos. In fact, these “master cells” can now be replicated within the patient’s own body. (Note: This is the procedure we use at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists: harvesting stem cells from your Adipose tissue – fat in your “love handles” or abdomen area.)

These types of adult cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells. They can essentially be made into three other types of cells: neurons, muscle, and skin. Because they are the patient’s own cells, there is less risk associated with using them.

Stem cells that can help RA patients

Researchers are working on ways to target these “induced” stem cells to help heal certain target areas or fight certain diseases. These include joint destruction and rheumatoid arthritis.

At the moment, scientists are trying to figure out which type will be most useful for targeted cell replacement therapy. This could be promising for patients with RA.

In addition, the Arthritis Foundation recently raised some eyebrows when they partnered with an established stem cell research organization.

We are excited about the groundbreaking advancements in adult stem cell research leading toward new treatments and therapies for arthritis patients,” Fiona Cunningham, director of community advancement for the Arthritis Foundation South Central Region, said in a statement.

The NIH agrees that stem cell treatments could help to further treat these types of illnesses. In a statement, they said, “one of the more perplexing questions in biomedical research is — why does the body’s protective shield against infections, the immune system, attack its own vital cells, organs, and tissues? The answer to this question is central to understanding an array of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren’s syndrome.”

“Research on stem cells,” the statement adds, “is now providing new approaches to strategically remove the misguided immune cells and restore normal immune cells to the body.”

At the present time, Stem Cell Therapy is not covered by medical insurance.