Cell Therapy to Complement and Substitute Traditional Treatment Methods In The Near Future
Cell therapy may have seemed like something out of a science fiction TV show some 10 or 20 years ago, but recent developments in the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries show that many diseases could be successfully treated with cell therapy in the foreseeable future. The basic premise of cell therapy is the modification of cells or genes to cure various medical conditions or at least make them more manageable. As a result, large medical companies are showing increasing interest in cell therapy and becoming more willing to invest into related research.
The Current State of Cell Therapy
Most forms of cell therapy are still being developed and have to be tested extensively before they can be released to the general population. The process of developing and evaluating them is very dynamic, so cell therapies are able to evolve and adapt to the standards and requirements of the rapidly advancing healthcare industry. Since the number of available cell therapy methods is constantly growing, careful assessments of the quality and safety for each and every one of them are becoming more and more challenging. Yet, it is crucial to build up a reliable base of data for every cell therapy form through a variety of clinical trials before it can actually be performed on patients outside of clinical studies and research.
As of right now, there are approximately 20 cell therapy forms being commercially marketed towards the general public. Most of them (including Apligraf and Dermigraf) are used to treat tissue and skin conditions, as opposed to the majority of the 750+ cell therapies that are currently in the Preclinical phase. Over 80% of the cell therapy methods that are about to enter the first phase of clinical trials are intended to treat more serious and complex conditions such as various types of cancer, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular problems.
Cell Therapy Advantages and Limitations
Some of the currently available cell therapy forms are extremely effective in treating their respective medical conditions, but unfortunately, there are relatively few patients who can resort to them due to the high cost of the treatment. However, healthcare professionals still have a lot of hopes and expectations for products like Provenge or Yescarta due to their innovative methods of action, which result in remarkable safety and efficiency.
As the cell therapy research and development advances, various cell therapy methods are expected to be able to treat a very wide range of medical conditions. Nowadays, most efforts in cell therapy research are directed towards treating neurological, inflammatory, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer. This is explained by the high mortality rates caused by these conditions. In addition, some research teams are focusing on cell therapy techniques that could help obtain functioning pancreas cells. These cells could then be turned into artificial pancreas that would considerably improve the quality of life in diabetes patients.
The Future of Cell Therapy Research and Techniques
The potential of cell therapy techniques is not to be underestimated. In addition to providing a more effective treatment option for conditions such as diabetes (a one-time procedure as opposed to taking prescription medications on a daily basis), cell therapies are also capable of reducing the long-term healthcare costs for many people. Healthcare experts expect cell therapy to be a huge breakthrough in pain relief, significantly lowering the overall costs of pain management as compared to the currently used opioid-based pharmaceuticals. Thus, cell therapy can bring lots of new opportunities to people who would otherwise have had to undergo traditional and highly invasive treatment methods, which are often associated with high risk levels and expenses.
Overall, cell therapy techniques are sure to become the widely accepted and practiced treatment options for a large number of medical conditions. Numerous healthcare professionals all over the world hope that quality research in the field of cell therapy will accelerate the acceptance and wide use of cell therapy products, resulting in a better quality of life for thousands of patients.