A new method for using stem cell therapy has just been published in the Stem Cell Research and Therapy journal by the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan. Instead of using them for transplants, they are "transformed into drug factories" capable of producing proteins and growth factors to accelerate the healing process.
The study highlights this innovative technique of regenerative medicine, which uses mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) to help the body heal chronic wounds (diabetic ulcers) at almost twice the normal rate. For Eugenio Parati, Clinical Neurosciences Director at the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute and study co-ordinator, "this heralds a totally new approach to using stem cells. Instead of using them directly, like a kind of panacea, capable of transforming into any type of cell, we have used them to produce active molecules, types of capsules containing several medicinal products, without any need to transplant them into the body". This new technique offers the following advantages: the same stem cells can be reused. The medicinal products do not generate any risk of rejection.
The publication concludes by stating that this technique is effective for treating skin lesions and improving skin regeneration in diabetic mice, thereby opening up a whole new line of investigation for human cell therapy.