A stem cell factory is being set up by NHS in Liverpool to help those with diabetes. An experimental therapy is being given out by NHS Blood and Transplant to patients with a high risk of developing kidney problems related to diabetes.
The experimental therapy is hoped to stop or slow down the tissue damage while removing transplants and dialysis from the picture. 40,000 people a year are killed by kidney diseases related to diabetes in the UK.
These studies will involve 48 patients and will be treated at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, the Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust or an off shore site in Italy.
Stromal Cells Injection
Stromal cells – to be injected to the patients – donated and grown from human bone marrow have the ability to release proteins that reduces inflammation in the kidneys. They are immature cells that can grow and transform into other tissue types like cartilage, fat and bone, but that isn’t why researchers are interested in it.
Scientists have used stromal cell injections in animal studies which shown significant improvements in kidney functions, where they hope the same result can be attained in people.
During the experiment, only half of the patients will be administered with the injection at varying doses, while the others will receive a dummy injection. These controlled situations will allow investigators to see if the treatment really works and check for any possible side effects.
Any treatment that can slow the progression of kidney diseases caused by diabetes can provide a huge impact as per Prof Timothy O’Brien of National University of Ireland, Galway.
Three-fourths of people with diabetes will develop kidney diseases, as it is the result of blood vessels towards the kidney being damaged. Proper maintenance and control of blood pressure and blood sugar can delay or even prevent the onset of this disease.
Head of NHS Blood and Transplant’s Stem Cell Immunotherapy Dr. Eric Austin in Liverpool stated that the outcome of their research project could potentially save hundreds of lives from this major illness.
Their research project NEPHSTROM is funded by a euro giant from European Union Horizon 2020.