LIVING CELL EFFECT
Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Neurology and Neurosurgery starts clinical testing of cell biotechnology methods
Cell biotechnology apologists claim, “Cells are like plasticine and they can seal damaged areas”. Belarusian specialists are also getting ready to implement these high technologies. To all appearance, clinical testing of stem cells application is most probable to be started by the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Neurology and Neurosurgery as early as next year.
As Professor Sergey Likhachev, Head of RSPC for Neurology and Neurosurgery, explained, cell biotechnologies are employed to cure various diseases, for example, when a person is suffering from disseminated sclerosis. In the Republican Center the methods are used in treatment of another serious pathology — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This disease causes cell degeneration and is characterized by upward expansion: it begins in the lower section of the spinal cord and gradually rises up to reach the stem section of the cerebrum. The usual result is death caused by pectoral muscles paralysis. Our experts have already selected a group of volunteers whose previous treatment, unfortunately, proved to be inefficient. The world medicine also knows some instances when such methods were used in the treatment of apoplectic attacks.
“However, it is too early to claim the effectiveness of cell biotechnologies and consider it a reliable fact”, thinks Professor Sergey Likhachev, Head of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Neurology and Neurosurgery and major neurologist of the Ministry of Healthcare.
The first stage of the research will involve the usage of hematological cells grown in special laboratory conditions in the Institute of Hematology and Transfusiology under the 9th clinical hospital in Minsk. The Center for Neurology and Neurosurgery is planning to open its own laboratory to develop production methodology for adult cells of nervous system.
The procedure of cell implantation in a patient’s body as itself is not that complicated and looks just like a regular injection whereas preliminary work to start the operation takes a long time and a lot of care.
“To exclude the risk of rejection we have to “switch off” a person’s immune system completely and at this stage our patients need special care “, says Sergey Likhachev.