COVID-19 made the world stop at its tracks, who would have thought that the busiest cities in the world have to stop and require almost everyone on the planet to self-isolate? Despite the medical advancements, pandemics like Covid-19 remain a bit mysterious to us.
Currently, vaccines are still on their second phase of the trial, there is still no cure for Covid-19 and the world is scrambling for solutions that are out of the usual strategies. One of the most promising fields in the world right now is Stem Cell Therapy.
COVID-19 attacks the immune system and weakens the lungs and other parts of the body as it progresses, and if not given immediate care and attention the person infected could die. While Stem Cell therapy does not offer a quick remedy for COVID-19, it is a promising way to help protect the body especially with the most vulnerable- the elderly.
COVID-19 as a Preventive Measure
Doctors and medical researchers are looking into stem cell therapy as a way to reduce the death rate caused by COVID-19. Mesenchymal stem cells are now proposed as a suitable therapeutic approach and several clinical trials have begun to check the impact of mesenchymal stem cells in the lungs. Stem Cell Therapy is one way to protect the environment around the lungs so lung dysfunction can be prevented.
Initially, experts around the world thought that COVID-19 was simply a seasonal flu disease, but as the research progresses we now know that COVID-19 is fatal and highly dangerous compared with other types of seasonal influenza.
Stem cell therapy is useful for is boosting the immune system so that people who get exposed to COVID-19 do not succumb easily. Mesenchymal stem cells are considered as a therapeutic approach that can boost the immune system and give people a burst of energy and fighting chance against diseases.
A fresh batch of mesenchymal stem cells can survive even if they are transplanted into a patient who has confirmed COVID-19 making scientists and doctors excited to study Mesenchymal stem cells and its immunological responses to COVID-19.
A professor at Lund University in Sweden named Niels-Bjarne Woods has created lung-specific mesenchymal stem cells to treat the inflammation of lungs and fibrosis. His research is now being considered as vital and a necessary breakthrough for curing severe respiratory issues that are related to COVID-19. If his research is proven effective, mesenchymal stem cells would be applied to the Swedish Medical Products Agency, and clinical trials will be soon underway.
Mesenchymal stem cells are not vaccines, they do not treat COVID-19 as of the moment, but the results give us hope. It is promising,
The results are giving doctors hope because we can use lung-specific stem cells to reduce inflammation, it can also be used to reduce the damage around the lung area. This is why a lot of medical researchers now believe that stem cells can be used to prolong lives and reduce the impact of lung damage on individuals who are critically ill of COVID-19.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden are hoping to get an approval from the Swedish Medical Products Agency, and if all goes according to plan, the first patients will get stem cells to fight COVID-19 in the autumn of 2020.
Stem Cell Treatment and How It Works?
COVID-19 patients undergo what they call as severe oxygen deprivation that requires them to undergo mechanical ventilation, it is likened to a process called cytokine storm wherein the immune system goes into overdrive and the tissues of patients and organs get damaged leading to death.
Even before the pandemic COVID-19 arrived, stem cell treatments are already being tested for certain diseases like Cytokine Storm.
It is undergoing clinical trials to help combat immune responses that result in inflammation inside the body especially the lung area. Cytokine storm cases are now being studied, the results are then applied to severe COVID-19 cases for comparison. As of the moment, certain drugs like tocilizumab are now approved for clinical trials in Europe for the treatment of severe COVID19.
Stem Cell Treatment is changing the way we see and do health care, it is undergoing numerous clinical trials because it is highly promising. Research institutes like Bioscience Institute are already working on a protocol for using mesenchymal stem cells to treat COVID-19. They are also working on how to increase the mesenchymal stem cell reserve because it will be fundamental to the process.
Stem Cell Therapy and COVID-19
According to scientific experts, a Coronavirus named (HCoV-19) caused COVID-19. They are looking into preventing and reversing that they call the cytokine storm as a way to help save patients with severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19. Mesenchymal stem cells are proven to contain strong immunomodulatory function.
A study conducted in Beijing YouAn Hospital, China made use of MSC transplantation, and it caused significant improvements with 7 enrolled patients who have COVID-19 from January 23, 2020, to February 16, 2020. They observed the patients for 14 days after injecting them with mesenchymal stem cells and the patients with severe cases in their pulmonary function showed amazing progress. Two common and one severe patients recovered and got discharged in 10 days. Because of this clinical trial, significant interest in the use of Stem Cell therapy to cure COVID-19 has increased.
There are numerous clinical trials that prove how effective stem cells are in curing acute respiratory diseases including respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS, which was identified as the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. The concept or basic framework of stem cell therapy is like that of bone marrow transplantation, and decades of cell therapies in reputable hospitals and clinics will attest that stem cell therapy is safe.
“I don’t know why people pay attention only to vaccines and treatments against the new coronavirus. Stem cell therapies are more useful to treat Covid-19.”Lee Hee-young, President of the Korean Association of Stem cell Therapy