Stem Cell: A Possible Weapon Against Leukemia

Topics: Stem cell, Bone marrow, Cellular differentiation Pages: 12 (3756 words) Published: September 22, 2013


CHAPTER 1

Introduction
Leukemia has led to a significant change in the world of Science and Technology. It became the basis of research for discovering several possible cures to counter this killer disease. This is the beginning of a new medicinal era.

Leukemia is a kind of cancer of the blood or bone marrow which is caused by an immature increase of white blood cells. These are called blasts. For several years, there are approximately 256, 000 children and adults around the world who have developed some form of Leukemia and 209, 000 have died from it. To treat this, others have resorted to Chemotherapy: a cancer treatment that uses potent drugs to eliminate cancer cells. But still, it is hard to limit the side effects of this therapy because not only does it destroy Leukemia cells but also damages healthy Leukocytes, cells and tissues that may possibly result to side effects. Generally, the side effects may vary from person to person. When chemotherapy affects these cells, it may lower the patients’ resistance to infection: patients may lose energy frequently and may bruise or bleed easily. They may lose their hair. They may also experience having nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores. Chemotherapy can also affect a patient’s fertility. Women’s menstrual cycles may become irregular or may even stop. Men may stop producing sperm. Some of them may not be able to have children when they mature. Leukemia has not only given us negative effects but it has also led to unstable emotions felt by the patients and their families. Patients may look down on themselves and develop self pity. Others may lose hope. Families also carry the pain of thinking that their loved ones may leave anytime soon. The topic that will be discussed in the research paper is about a possible cure which may counter Leukemia: Stem Cell Therapy. This therapy may help the patients diagnosed with this killer disease to find hope and this may also lessen the number of deaths due to Leukemia.

Stem Cells are found in most cellular beings. These cells are described to have the ability of renewing themselves by mitotic cell divisions which makes them differentiate themselves into a range of specialized cell types.

Stem Cells are also important due to human development from these cells. Because of such, an understanding of their unique attributes and control can teach people more about early human development: diseases such as cancer which are thought to result from abnormal cell proliferation and differentiation. This means that an understanding of where things go wrong in stem cell division which results to cancer can help researchers find ways to prevent the dysfunctional changes or employ effective ways to treat such diseases with potent drugs.

Stem Cells are basically used for cell therapies. A cell therapy is a treatment that replaces dysfunctional or diseased tissues with healthy Stem Cells. The ability of Stem Cells to self-renew offers significant potential for generations of tissues that can eventually replace diseased and damaged areas in the body together with minimal risk of rejection and side effects.

Many medical researchers believe that Stem Cell treatments have the potential to change the current face of human diseases and alleviate suffering.

Statement of the Problem
The advancement in our technology greatly contributes to the progress of the economy of our country. The treatment for some various diseases like Leukemia, a kind of cancer in blood cells or bone marrow, was not that very successful until our very own scientists discovered the use of Stem Cell Therapy. Here are some of the problems that will be answered throughout the research: How does Stem Cell Therapy work?

Where do Stem Cells come from?
What are the characteristics of Stem Cells that make them special? What does the future hold for Stem Cell Therapy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Stem Cell...
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