Recent advances in stem cell therapy
Two medical centers have obtained permission to use autoimmune cells to treat cancer since the Chinese cell therapy special management system was launched in September last year. Two more projects, including the first non-cancer cell therapy, are expected to be approved by the end of this month (July), the head of China’s health authorities said today.
According to the current statistics, there are 57 cases applied for in the 6 large cell therapy projects opened by special management methods, including 26 clinics and hospitals. Among them, autologous chondrocyte, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, immune cells and other projects for the treatment of degenerative arthritis and cancer are the main ones in hospitals, while adipose stem cells and skin repair projects are the main ones in clinics.
The head of China’s health authorities said that most of the diseases are caused by cells, so in the past 20 years, the number of approved cell therapies worldwide has increased rapidly, and “cell therapies” have become the future direction of medicine. In the past, China was unable to carry out cell therapies due to regulations, and many patients had to go to overseas hospital.
The person who in charge of this said that the health authorities saw this trend and decided to make the regulation of the “Specific Medical Technology Inspection and Inspection Medical Instruments Implementation or Use Management Measures” (hereinafter referred to as “Special Management Measures”) to open six items of cell therapy technologies. In addition to ensuring the safety of cell therapy, they also managed fees and results tracking system.
Autologous cell therapy is the first step for China to enter the field of cell therapy, laying an important foundation for China. In the future, it will develop towards allogeneic cell therapy, so as to have the opportunity to stabilize quality, reduce costs and benefit more patients.
The head of a hospital said that in April, the cell therapy plan of “autologous adipose stem cell transplantation for degenerative arthritis and articular cartilage defect of knee joint” had been submitted for approval, and was currently being examined by the health authorities.
The person who in charge of the project explained that China has basically entered an advanced age society and more and more people are seriously affected by degenerative arthritis. However, in the past, only supportive therapies, including by using painkillers and hyaluronic acid, were given to degenerative arthritis patients. The effect is quite limited. About 30,000 to 40,000 people still have to replace artificial knee joints every year. If early intervention with cell therapy use , it can improve joint injury and reduce knee arthroplasty for patients.
The reason for choosing adipose-derived stem cells to treat degenerative arthritis and articular cartilage defect is that the stem cells in this area originally developed into articular cartilage stem cells when the embryo grew. When applied, the fat of 2cc below the patella was taken. After 2 weeks, about 100 million stem cells could be cultured and then injected into the knee with ultrasound waveguide. Articular cartilage can be reconstructed. International animal and human experiments show that up to 80% of patients have improved their symptoms by using cell therapies.
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