Almost 1400 patients suffering from incurable or terminal diseases have got a new lease of life with human embryonic stem cell therapy till date. This was revealed at the 11th National Comprehensive Course In Cardiovascular Surgery commemorating 50 years of excellence in cardiac surgery organised by GB Pant Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research.
The technology was first invented in 2002 by Dr Geeta Shroff after successfully isolating purely human embryonic stem cell lines using just a single, spare fertilised egg from a regular IVF cycle. Over the last 13 years, the technology has helped many patients recover from various incurable conditions via cell repair and tissue regeneration. Studies have shown it can help regenerate heart muscles destroyed by heart attacks.
The human embryonic stem cell therapy involves injecting the cells to help repair the affected area and restore the missing function of the body. These cells neither require any cross matching as in the case of adult stem cells nor do they require storage of umbilical cord blood. Upon transplantation, they do not elicit any immune reaction.
Human embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into more than 200 cell types. The technology can be successfully used to treat many of the incurable diseases and injuries that were not possible before, said Dr Geeta Shroff, Founder and Medical Director, Nutech Mediworld Hospital.
Human embryonic stem cells have a unique ability to transform into different tissue or organ specific cells, thereby increasing the scope of its applications. The technology developed by Dr Shroff is being used for treatment of many incurable diseases ranging from spinal cord injury, diabetes, ALS, cerebral palsy, stroke, Parkinsons disease and others.
Human embryonic stem cell technology differentiates itself from other stem cell therapies in three major ways. Firstly, it has universal application, i.e. anyone and everyone can take these cells without the need for matching. Secondly, it is available in a ready to use form with a shelf life of six months and can be transported easily. Thirdly, it has an easy non-invasive delivery mechanism and can be administered in the simple form of an injection.
The national conference was attended by doctors, researchers, scientists, physicians and delegates from various medical institutes and hospitals such as AIIMS, MAMC, RML, Sir Ganga Ram, Max, etc. The main objective of the course was to share knowledge and findings about the latest scientific advancements.
Nutech Mediworld Hospital has been at the forefront of medical innovation over the last 15 years. It is the first facility in the world to provide human embryonic stem cell therapy. In recent years, patients from as far as Iceland, US, Europe and Australia have come to undertake the Made in India treatment and promoting medical tourism footprint in the country. The technology is patented in 66 countries including USA, Japan, Australia and Singapore. The first patient to receive human embryonic stem cell therapy on 31 Mar 2002 had cortico basal degeneration, a progressive neurological disorder characterized by the loss of nerve cells and brain tissue in multiple areas.