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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is it worth investing in stem cell banking?

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Dr. Vaishalee Punj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2171 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 28 Oct 2015 in Internal Doctor Category
Question: Hi Doc, had a question.. Is stemcell preservation, worth an investment?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Its your decision

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for your query.

I personally would not invest in any such venture.

But it is your decision and it should be an informed decision. Stem cells have regenerative potential. That is when these cells are injected in some place they will proliferate, differentiate into specialised cells (say brain cells) and regenerate the tissue. So it is used when some tissue loss is causing disease.

The conditions where it is being used and researched is brain conditions (like Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer, Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis), intestinal conditions (like Radiation Induced Intestinal Injury, Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Liver Disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Bone Disease, Renal Disease, Chronic Wounds, Graft-Versus-Host Disease, Sepsis and Respiratory diseases.

So as you can see it has some potential. In case the child suffers some condition in future, he may get his umbilical cord stem cells and use them.

Stem cell transplantation is not so commonly used. I feel it is still in research phase. Secondly, the extent of side effects of medicines used during transplant is also high (comparable to cancer medicines). Another issue seen is that if stem cells for example are put in heart muscle, it is observed that they travel to other organs and produce side effects.

I personally feel that if doctors find a cure to one condition, then another one emerges. For example we found antibiotics that kill bacteria, now people are succumbing to viral infections like AIDS, for which no cure is found.

Hope it helps.

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Vaishalee Punj 15 minutes later
Great, Thanks Doc for the detailed explanation
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Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thanks

Detailed Answer:
Thanks and take care

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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