Medical research over the past decade has drastically impacted the way that we view medical treatments. Researchers in the medical field have made some huge discoveries that have completely altered the way that we treat certain diseases and cancers of the human body. As the medical research field continues to grow and evolve the possibilities for treatment are seemingly endless. One especially exciting branch of the medical research field is called regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine focuses on how the body repairs itself to be restored to its proper function. By gaining a better understanding of the body’s natural repair system researchers have been able to develop treatment options for many diseases that have been considered untreatable in the past. Regenerative medicine offers great potential for the future of medical treatments options. This field of medicine focuses exclusively on biologics or biopharmaceuticals, which is the use of naturally occurring substances as medicine for various diseases. Medicine biologics can be found in humans, animals, and other living organisms and include vaccines, blood or blood components, organs, and stem cell therapy, among other things.
Regenerative medicine is a relatively new field of medicine that holds great potential for the future of all medical fields. One type of regenerative medicine that has been widely used for many years is called a stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow is the soft tissue that is stored inside of our bones and helps to promote the growth and development of blood cells. There are two types of bone marrow, red marrow and yellow marrow. Red bone marrow develops red blood cells and white blood cells, which help to fight infections in the body. Yellow bone marrow is made up of fat cells. Normal function and development of the bone marrow can be interrupted by a number of different diseases and cancers, including multiple myeloma and certain forms of anemia. When the proper functioning of the bone marrow is disrupted, a patient may require a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow transplants are also common among cancer patients who have received chemotherapy or radiation. Chemotherapy and radiation can be very hard on the body and can kill cells that make up the bone marrow. In order to return the body to healthy functioning many patients will have a bone marrow transplant following chemotherapy or radiation.
Bone marrow transplants can be performed in two different ways. The first is through an allogenic transplant, which requires a donor to donate their healthy bone marrow that is then implanted in to the affected patient. Before an allogenic transplant takes place the affected patient is given drugs that will kill of their diseases bone marrow to allow room for the healthy bone marrow to grow and develop. There is a risk of graft versus host with an allogenic transplant, which means that the affected patient’s body rejects the donor’s bone marrow. Another type of bone marrow transplant is called autologous transplant, which takes the bone marrow from the affected patient which is then stored and implanted back in the same patient later on.