Stem cells have been used for treating end stage arthritis where bone rubs on bone. They have also be used for treating cardiovascular conditions (e.g. heart failure following a heart attack). Today bone marrow derived and liposuction derived mesenchymal stem cells are often mixed. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then added, which activates the stem cells. In order to use stem cells as future therapy one needs to overcome the present limitations. The limitations at present are that stem cell preparations today only use mesenchymal stem cells. These are already committed to help only organs that derived from the mesoderm in fetal life (bones, joints, heart). Only these will be supported as mesenchymal stem cells are not pluripotent.
Pluripotent stem cells in experiments with horses
But research has been done in horses where pluripotent stem cells were induced. Later it was found that treatment with a blue-green algae compound could also activate pluripotent stem cells in the blood. Researchers found that only 6 hours after giving the algae product stem cells from the blood had recruited pluripotent stem cells. These stem cells support tissues derived from the ectoderm and endoderm layers in fetal life as well. Ectoderm tissues are the skin and the central nervous system. Endoderm tissues include the lungs, the liver and the pancreas.
The blue-green algae product was used to pretreat horses. Their system produced more of the pluripotent stem cells in their blood. This could be used to heal tendinitis or arthritis in the horses. The procedure of stimulating blood cells using the blue-green algae to become pluripotent has been patented.
Later medical researchers gave humans the same blue-green algae substance to ingest. Again blood tests showed that there were many more blood derived pluripotent stem cells circulating in the blood. This was a breakthrough!
Pluripotent stem cells as future therapy in humans
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have aging lung cells. COPD patients are suffering because these cells exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen poorly. An end stage COPD patient, a woman from Houston, TX was part of a group of 11 COPD patients. They all received chest physiotherapy. She was the only one who received this new pluripotent stem cell therapy by inhalation. Her pluripotent stem cells were derived from her own blood after stimulation with the algae product. She is now the only surviving COPD patient left from that group. All the others passed away. Her oxygen saturation is in the high 90% range, which is very good. She gets the pluripotent stem cell inhalations made from her own blood twice per year.
We do not have all of the answers to treatment with stem cells. But physicians are learning more about various stem cell applications. The newest is that even COPD patients can be helped with pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells can be stimulated by an algae product. As more research will be done, the treatment will be promising for various health problems.
More info about COPD: https://nethealthbook.com/lung-disease/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/