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Stem cell treatments ready to replace medicine in 10 years: Expert

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, May 23, 2017 | 03:03 pm
Stem cell treatments ready to replace medicine in 10 years: Expert

Currently, there are only 11 hospitals that are authorized to give stem cell treatments in Indonesia. (Shutterstock/File)

Developments in science and technology have enabled humankind to achieve the unthinkable, including advancements in healthcare. In the next 10 years, patients may not even need medicine to cure certain illnesses as reported by kompas.com.

Principal investigator of Stem Cell and Cancer Institute, Dr. Yuyus Kusnadi, said health scientists are developing stem cell treatments. Stem cells are cells with the ability to renew or regenerate any kind of cells.

Degenerative conditions such as kidney failure and the weakening of heart muscles in the future may be cured by injecting stem cells into the patient’s body. 

Stem cells can be obtained from umbilical cord blood that is kept in a stem cell bank, back bone marrow and fat. However, fat and bone marrow will decline in quality as a person grows older. Stem cells stored in a stem cell bank can be used for future treatments if needed.

Read also: Scientists take first steps to growing human organs in pigs

Health treatments using stem cells exist today although they are not yet developed due to limitations in funding and technology. Yuyus said in Indonesia, those who are allowed stem cell treatment are those who have no option. 

“For now, stem cell treatment require a doctor’s approval. It’s still subjective,” he said.

For those with recommendations for stem cell treatment, the stem cell is obtained from blood or fat. Manipulation in the laboratory is needed to strengthen the stem cell. 

Although stem cell treatments are not yet popular these days, Yuyus is optimistic, “Let’s wait five to ten more years. The current use of medicine only stops symptoms and does not fix the sickness,” he said. 

Stem cell treatments will not be cheap either, as it will cost patients up to hundreds of millions of rupiah.

Currently, there are only 11 hospitals that are authorized to give stem cell treatments in Indonesia. The hospital’s right to provide stem cell treatments is regulated in the Health Minister’s Regulation no. 32, 2014 on the “Incorporation of Medical Research Service and Education of Tissue and Stem Cell Centers.”

Hospitals authorized to provide stem cell treatments in Indonesia include Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangun Kusumo, RS. Sutomo, RS M. Djamil, RS. Persahabatan, RS. Fatmawati, RS. Dharmais, RS. Harapan Kita, RS. Hasan Sadikin, RS. Kariadi, RS. Sardjito and RS. Sanglah. (asw)

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