A stem cell infusion replaces damaged cells with healthy ones. Stem cells can either be used in the blood or bone marrow of a patient, and are typically used when these cells are damaged and stop responding. Stem cells are like interchangeable cells, capable of fitting the mold required by any part of the body.
These cells can stop cancer from growing inside the body, or help the body replenish damaged organs.
Stem cell treatments may also help patients that have received a high dosage of chemo or radiation therapy. These treatments help strengthen the patient’s body during the process, making healthy white and red blood cells to reduce the patient’s risk to life-threatening infections.
Stem cells can treat a variety of ailments, including muscular disorders and life-threatening diseases. Stem cells can also be taught to do things, like produce insulin. This makes the cells invaluable to patients with manageable diseases.
A bone marrow transplant is not the only method of replacing stem cells. Patients can also undergo a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, or use cells from an umbilical cord. Cells can be harvested from one’s own body, reducing the need for a donor.
Patients must undergo a series of tests that help assess the body’s condition. A catheter is also required for the duration of the treatment, to help with the infusion of cells. Therapy will also include chemo and radiation in most cases, so patient health is a constant concern throughout the procedure.