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Medical Miracles: Stem Cell Therapy

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I am Tayler Corbett, a senior at Monona Grove High School, Class of 2015.  I was interested by the topic, stem cell therapy for cancer, because my grandpa was diagnosised 3 years ago.  Although he wasn't the first in my family to be diagnosised with cancer, he was the first survivor. Due to new medical discoveries and techniques over the years, my grandpa was able to stop the cancer before it became severe and/ or changed into a more severe type of cancer.  I want to know how and why my grandpa recieved cancer, and learn about new medical discoveries (like stem cell therapy) that could have saved other members of my family.

Stem Cell Therapy for Leukemia

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Medical Miracle

 Cellular therapy is the process that uses cells to prevent, treat, or cure diseases. From the 1970's, doctors have been using bone marrow and blood and umbilical cord-derived stem cells to restore bone marrow/blood/immune system cells destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation used to treat cancer. But today, reasearchers have developed more advanced mechanism to treat diseases more accurately.  Today, according to investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, cellular therapy is one of the most exciting methods of cancer treatment today.  88% of patients with advanced leukemia were able to complete remissions after being treated with cellular therapy.  This gives tons of people hope today, because it demostrates that cell therapy is a extrodinary treatment for patients who have tried many other treatments with no luck.

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Significant Discovery

 

Cell therapy can be traced back to nineteenth century, when ​injected animal testicle extracts was an attempt to stop the effects of aging.  Later on, in 1931 Paul Niehans attempted to cure a patient by injecting material from calf embryos. Niehans claimed to have treated many people for cancer using this technique. In 1953, researchers found that laboratory animals could be helped to reject organ transplants by pre-inoculating them with cells from donor animals.  In 1998, James Thompson created the first embryonic stem cell lines. Later in that same year, James Gearhart got germ cells in tissue. The old way to get these cells was through in vitro fertolization. This was a great accomplishment but it did cause some ethical complications. In 2004, it was made legal to perform stem cell research in CaliforniaRecently, cell therapy using human material has been known as an important field for treatment of human diseases. Stem Cell Therapy has shown promising way to cure cancer in patients today.  

 

Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_therapy

 

Emerging Innovations

Since the beginning of stem cell therapy in 2004, people have founded two different groups of stem cells to help cure patients.  The first type of stem cell is pluripotent stem cells. These cells have the ability to change into any type of tissue.  They are very abundant and easy to identify.  Pluripoten stems are obtained from embryos cells. Another group of stem cells, multi-potent stem cells, have several advantages and disadvantages. Their advantages are that they can be isolated from adult patients and that there isn’t the possibility of rejection by the immune system. However, its disadvantages are that they are only found in some tissues, they are rare and hard to identify. Both stem cells are still a work in progress due to the fact society hasn't come to a conclusion over whether they wants to create a new life or repair an existing one. People are also arguing over the question if human life starts when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Some people believe that embryos only have the potential to develop into a human being, because they do not have brains, memories, internal organs, limbs, consciousness and sensory organs. They believe that the life of humans only begins when the heartbeat develops, which is during the 5th week of pregnancy or when the brain starts to develop activity, which is 54 days after conception. 

 

Learn more about these two different types of stem cells: 

http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/pluripotentstemcells.html cells:                      

http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/case-studies-category.html

 

Social Impact

 

Positives

Negatives

Medical:

  • Stem Cell is constantly moving forward - creating better cures
  • Will have ability to save many more cancer patients lives
  • Has created a way to lower deaths from cancer - prolong lives
  • have led to many therapies now available to treat a range of diseases and disorders, from various types of cancer to spinal cord injuries
  • amazing ability to regenerate all areas of the body, repairing damaged or diseased tissues
  • can cure such degenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s disease

  • Science is a long and difficult process to fully be developed
  • Stem Cells will have to be instructed to behave in specific ways.
  • Stem Cells might not be safe for YOUR body - even though they came from your body

Professional:

  • Curing cancer has become global goal that brings medical professionals from all over the world together
  •  Will create many new jobs in medical field

  • Not all cancer patients will survive – some people can’t deal with medical stress

Ethical:

  •  Researching these stem cells can lead to progress and medical discoveries that will help us live longer, healthier lives.
  • Donor give permission.

  • We can use stem cells to clone transplantable organs.
  • Stem cell therapy is still under process of research and number of things that needs to be established before it used as a treatment line.
  • The use of human embryos.

 

Legal:

  • Stem cell researches are developing ways of isolation stem cells that are as effective as embryonic stem cells, and do not need human embryos.

  • No federal law to ban stem cell research in the United States, but only placed restrictions on funding and use, under Congress's power.
  • People don’t agree with creation or destruction of human embryos for medical research

Economic:

  • Trying to create private organizations to support stem cell therapy, so government doesn’t have to help fund. This will reduce outcry of citizens who disapprove.
     

  • Stem Cell extraction and cloning is expensive and complex.
  • NIH funded $607 billion dollars to stem cell research in 2005.

 

 

All useful information found at: 

http://www.stemcelltherapies.biz/learning/stem_cell_therapy.asp

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12366/1/Pros-and-Cons-of-Stem-Cell-Therapy.html

https://explorable.com/stem-cell-pros-and-cons

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell_laws_and_policy_in_the_United_States

http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/the-pros-and-cons-of-stem-cell-research-7440/

Media

Watch this video to learn about negative side effects chemotherapy can have on the body, and learn about all the ways stem cell therapy can help cure cancer in harmless ways.

 

 

 

Read

http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/leuks.html
[text]

What do you think?

Have you done any charitable work for any of the following organizations?
Breast Cancer Fund: 0 votes (0%)
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: 0 votes (0%)
Prevent Cancer Foundation: 0 votes (0%)
Prostate Cancer Foundation: 0 votes (0%)
Cancer Research Institute: 0 votes (0%)
none: 1 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 1

Video

Although this video may be long, I recommend watching this video so that you can form your own opionons on how you feel about stem cell therapy.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQfAwtDIdlo

Picture

Future Directions

Discovery of key new biomarkers and the development of new molecular diagnostic tests that may be linked to new therapies are likely to transform cancer patient care. New molecular diagnostic tools have the ability to predict disease progression and drive personalized care. This will allowdoctors to more clearly and specifically define medical conditions.  Personalized medicine can increase the percentage of patients who benefit from treatment, lower the rate of serious adverse events and ultimately improve outcomes. As far as cancer care is concerned, immunotherapy, the use of a vaccine for cancer treatment, is recognized as a potential breakthrough treatment option for patients. Immunotherapy is likely to deliver the promise to “cure cancer,” or at a minimum, convert cancer to a more manageable chronic disease promising extended time periods of disease free survival and minimal side effects. Advancements in laboratory automation and multiplex testing will continue to evolve also. 

 

                          

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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