Diabetes is one of the deadliest diseases in the entire world. In fact, a sizable portion of the world’s population is either affected or predisposed to this deadly condition.
Although there are various medications to help treat the symptoms, Diabetes is still deadly due to the fact that it can affect multiple organs in the body.
One of the organs that it affects is the kidneys. This is so common that kidney disease due to diabetes complications kills more than 40,000 people in the United Kingdom per year.
To help combat kidney disease, the NHS Blood and Transplant division wants to create a stem cell factory in the hopes of helping treat people with diabetes by way of giving an experimental therapy.
There are 48 people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes who are willing to take part in the study. They will be treated at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
People will be given an experimental treatment that consists of Stromal cells. They are extracted from a person’s own bone marrow or it is donated by a compatible donor.
Stromal cells are known to be immature cells because they still have the ability to grow into a variety of different things, including bone, tissue, cartilage, or fat. However, those are not the intended effects. What the researchers want to get out of the cells would be their release of proteins that are known to reduce inflammation in the kidneys.
The reason why they want to push through with this is that a lot of studies have been conducted using stroma cell injections in animals and they have provided consistently good results. The research project is known as NEPHSTROM.
In the study, people will be divided into two groups. One group will receive stroma cell injections and the control group will receive a placebo. This is done in order for the researchers to know if the cell injections are indeed effective.
Professor Timothy O’Brien from the National University of Ireland and also the leader of the project said that kidney disease as a result of Diabetes is actually quite common, which is why any treatment that is effective in slowing down the progression of such would make a huge impact.
Three out of four people with Diabetes will often develop kidney disease. The main cause of this condition would be the sustained damage to the small blood vessels that are within the vicinity of the kidneys- supplying it with blood and nutrients.
This condition is highly preventable and it has something to do with lifestyle changes, along with careful monitoring of both blood pressure and blood glucose levels- making sure that they are in control.
Head of the Stem Cell Immunotherapy at NHS Blood and Transplant’s center, Dr. Eric Austin, if the project gave findings that the stromal cell injections indeed have a profound impact in slowing down the progression of kidney disease in people, then that treatment could have the potential of saving a lot of lives from a major illness.