History of stem cells
Stem cells have been applied in the treatment of serious diseases for 60 years. As early as in 1957, allogeneic bone marrow was transplanted in radiation victims for the first time. About ten years later, the first targeted application of allogeneic stem cells to treat congenital immune deficiency disorders was documented.
Stem cells have been applied to treat hematopoietic disorders, diseases of the immune system and mainly cancer since 1988. It is necessary to apply them in the oncological treatment process after high-dose chemotherapy in order to restore the hematopoietic and immune system. Transplantation in case of tumor diseases is one of the most frequent applications ever since classical stem cell medicine has been established. Neuroblastoma accounts for approx. 8 percent and is thus the most common infantile malignant growth. Vita 34 was able to contribute in this regard too. In 2015, a little 5-year-old girl from Spain who suffered from neuroblastoma was treated with its stem cells stored previously stored with Vita 34.
So far, stem cell deposits stored at Vita 34 and prepared in high quality for medical therapies have been applied in 30 patients. The attending doctors have applied our cord blood preparations to treat diseases of the immune system (e.g. Wiskott Aldrich syndrome) and metabolic disorders (e.g. type 1 diabetes), infantile brain damage (e.g. cerebral palsy), oncological (e.g. multiple myelomas, neuroblastoma) and hematological diseases (e.g. hematopoietic disorders, beta thalassemia) as well as in the scope of a clinical study on type 1 diabetes. This excellent application rate of stem cell deposits previously stored for private medical precaution is unique in Germany and proves the top quality of the stem cell preparations stored at Vita 34.
Autologous applications make sense in the treatment of aplastic anemia, bone marrow cancers (e.g. plasma cell leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia) or solid tumors (e.g. retinoblastoma) or metabolic disorders. Furthermore, the focus regarding the application of autologous stem cells – especially from the umbilical cord – will be increasingly in the field of regenerative medicine (i.e. the regeneration of bone, cartilage, muscle, and nerve tissue or the treatment of autoimmune diseases) in the future.
Currently, scientists are more than anxious to examine new clinical fields to apply stem cells. Vita 34 too stands out due to a multitude of intensive research activities. Vita 34 participates actively in the applied stem cell research in order to examine the optional medical applications of stem cells from cord blood and to develop new cell products and collaborates with numerous renowned research institutions and universities.
We are convinced that stem cell research will continue to make great progress and create entirely new possibilities to treat even the widespread common diseases or diseases that come with age.”
Dr. Andrè Gerth, CEO of Vita 34
Between 2008 and 2012, Vita 34 supported a clinical study on children suffering from type 1 diabetes, which today is regarded as an important basis of further therapeutic developments. At present, the possible prophylactic effect of cord blood transplants is discussed and in a large-scale study examines, whether the transplantation of autologous cord blood prevents the outbreak of type 1 diabetes in high-risk children.
The potential of stem cells is enormous and provides access to entirely new therapeutic options in the field of individualized, regenerative medicine. Leading scientists therefore assume that every seventh person will need a therapy based on stem cells in the course of their lives in the near future.