Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma. In fact, many people have been exposed to substances that cause mesothelioma, such as asbestos.
Unfortunately, they might not know that they’ve been exposed because it can take 20 to 50 years for them to experience symptoms.
While it might seem like the health care industry is fighting a losing battle against this threat, there’s hope in the form of stem cell therapy.
Stem Cell Therapy
Preclinical studies have found that the regular introduction of stem cells can sometimes cause the death of malignant mesothelioma cells.
These new findings open up the door to using stem cell therapy to slow the growth or possibly even cure this mostly untreatable lung cancer.
In fact, people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma typically don’t survive longer than 18 months.
A Stanford University study, which was published in medical journal Cell, found that vaccines composed nearly entirely of stem cells cause anti-tumor effects in live mice.
It also discovered that the vaccines made the immune systems in the mice attack tumors and, in some cases, prevent the formation of new tumors.
These results were seen in mice that had melanoma, breast cancer and mesothelioma.
The Need for Stem Cells
While these early studies are promising, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the demand for stem cells. Also, the effects have a short lifespan in the body.
They only last around 30 minutes, which means that multiple infusions are needed to have any kind of therapeutic effect against mesothelioma.
While the need for stem cells is high, experts believe that cord blood banking might be the answer.
Cord blood banking is the process of storing the tissue and blood from a child’s umbilical cord. Parents have the option of placing this blood in a public or private cord blood bank.
The storing of cord blood is completely safe, and public cord blood banking is free. This makes it an affordable option for everyone.
The only problem with public cord blood banking is that parents no longer have the rights to the cord blood that they give.
There’s never a guarantee that their child or family member can use their own cord blood if the need arises.
Private cord blood banks charge fees, but parents retain the rights to the cord blood. This means that the blood is well preserved and is available immediately in the event that the child or family member needs it.
Since it’s their cord blood, it’s always a perfect match. This is important for people who have rare blood types that are hard for public cord blood banks to hold onto.
Stem Cell Therapy and the Fight Against Mesothelioma
If stem cell therapy is the answer to winning the war against mesothelioma, then cord blood banking is more important than ever before.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has declared July cord blood awareness month. Cord blood banking might also be the answer to fighting other diseases such as diabetes and leukemia.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is for illustrative purposes only.
News source: Mesothelioma.net