The ABCs of stem cells The ABCs of stem cells

The ABCs of stem cells

CORPORATE 17 December, 2020 Ana María López de Mesa


Regenerative medicine is emerging as an option for treating diseases. Coomeva Private Healthcare facilitates its users’ access to this service through a partnership with America Cell Bank.

Advisor
Andrés Felipe Torres
Specialist in Stem Cells
and Cell Regeneration

Stem cells are the basis of regenerative medicine. They represent a biological insurance that allows people to improve their quality of life or that of their families, implementing a more friendly treatment for diseases such as lymphoma, Alzheimer’s, leukemia, or anemia. Anticipating the future to know if diseases like these are going to affect an individual or not is impossible. Genetics and lifestyle play a major role; however, prevention is still the best medicine and, in this case, translates into the preservation of the body’s cells for later use as a therapeutic tool in the processes of tissue regeneration. How is this possible? Coomeva Private Healthcare, together with America Cell Bank, laboratory, and stem cell bank, made a partnership that makes this option more accessible.

These cells are present in various tissues of the body, such as bone marrow, teeth, blood, skin, and the umbilical cord. In fact, thanks to them and their constant renewal, the body has the possibility of healing naturally. Dr. Andrés Felipe Torres, a specialist in stem cells and cell regeneration, states that, after years of research, it was concluded that stem cells in the umbilical cord have better plasticity and greater effectiveness in the treatment of degenerative diseases when compared to other adult stem cells. “They are at a stage where they are looking to multiply rapidly, and this makes the therapeutic response in patients much higher.”

It is possible to collect them at the time of birth, where in addition to collecting the blood, a sample of umbilical cord tissue is taken. “Blood and tissue cells have different characteristics because some are precursors of blood cells. The cells present in Wharton jelly, as we know this tissue, are those that can be regenerated. They are called mesenchymal cells and have the greatest potential in regenerative medicine. Applications have demonstrated that they can be used in any person because they do not present incompatibility,” adds Dr. Torres.

Preservation

The cells must be stored in a stem cell bank with specific conditions, where they guarantee not only the reserve, but also the quantity and quality of the biological material. This process is known as cryopreservation and its main objective is to prevent cell aging and degradation that happens over the years. “The good thing about this technique is that it can be stored for many, many years. In addition, they can be expanded and stored in greater quantities,” adds the specialist.

One of the areas of greatest application of regenerative medicine is childhood cancer. During chemo and radiotherapy sessions, the body’s malignant cells are destroyed, but healthy bone marrow cells are also destroyed, and one way to regenerate them is through a stem cell transplant. To determine whether it is feasible, compatibility and viability studies are carried out. If the family has saved a sample of the umbilical cord, in this case the child would be one hundred percent compatible, while the viability is determined by the patient’s weight.

From America Cell Bank’s perspective, transplants can also be done with bone marrow cells from a compatible donor, whether a family member or not, or in some cases from the patient himself. The specialist emphasizes that Wharton’s jelly “is an extraordinary help for families. It would be the best therapy in the event that one of these diseases knocked on our door. For example, a person can ensure their child’s treatment or the treatment of grandparents or other family members who have difficult to manage diseases.”•

Coomeva’s new partnership  Private Healthcare with America Cell Bank allows its users to access this service at a lower cost. They will also receive a $276,000 bonus and 12 additional years of storage.

Figure 70 diseases can be treated by direct application of stem cells from the umbilical cord.