Column: Stem Cell Therapy – A medical revolution

Commentary by Dmitry M. Arbuck, MD, President and Medical Director, Indiana Polyclinic

We are at a truly revolutionary time in health and medicine. The introduction of stem cell technology represents innovation on the same level as the development of antibiotics or the invention of modern imaging (MRIs, etc.). Stem cells are already changing the way medicine is delivered, increasing lifespans and saving countless lives.


Scientists and researchers have been studying the benefits of stem cells for more than 30 years. They have found that these special cells provide great benefits all over the body, from muscles and joints to chronic diseases, to growing new teeth. You may have read about athletes treated with stem cells to speed healing after an injury or about burn victims who use stem cell therapy to minimize scarring.

Stem cells used to be associated with embryos, but this is no longer the case. Today, live cells for treatment are either adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood stem cells. Adult stem cells are most likely extracted from tissue, like bone marrow or fat, which can be a painful and invasive process. Additionally, as we age, so do our stem cells, which become less potent and productive over time.  Like every other tissue in our bodies, they are exposed to the toxins, radiation and other pollutants in the environment. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are collected from the donated cord blood and placenta of healthy newborns. The cells are then screened for disease and genetic problems. These umbilical stem cells are vibrant, vital and healthy.

When umbilical cord stem cells are infused, they carry a whole host of immune stabilizing factors throughout the body and work to repair the immune system. This is likely why stem cells are so helpful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, dermatitis and myasthenia gravis. Other things that may be successfully treated with this therapy include MS, lupus, graft vs. host disease and other immune conditions.

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