Stem Cell Research Essay: Learning Entry Journal on Stem Cell Treatment
Acute kidney injury can be caused by a number of factors, including transplants and other surgeries. Research studies show that it affects between 7 and 10 percent of all hospitalized patients, resulting in the deaths of 35–40 percent of inpatients. Because stem cells have the unique ability to develop into any cell, stem cell therapy is being considered for treatment of kidney damage. While stem cell therapy has been deemed unethical by scholars, I think it should be explored as one of the remedies for treating kidney injury. In this journal, I will highlight three reasons why I think stem cell treatment for acute kidney injury should be explored.
Journal #1: Stem Cell Can Develop Into Other Types of Cells
Stem cell therapy is beneficial to the body because of its regenerative effects. This treatment has benefits that go far beyond the specific condition being treated. Stem cells can develop into other types of cells, leading to more benefits to the body. For example, when used to treat kidney injury, stem cells can become muscle or brain cells, further boosting the body. In addition, stem cells have regenerative ability through the process of division even after remaining inactive for years. The regenerative nature of stem cells implies that recurrent kidney injuries can be treated without the need for patients to undergo new procedures. The mesenchymal cells have been identified by researchers from Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers as playing a critical role in kidney healing. For instance, if someone’s kidney suffers an injury because of a damaged tissue, doctors would no longer hesitate to stimulate its regeneration by transplanting laboratory-grown stem cells into the person’s kidney. This could not only cause the damaged tissue to renew itself but also strengthen other surrounding muscles.
Journal #2: Stem Cell Therapy Minimizes Side Effects of Kidney Treatment
Stem cell therapy should be adopted in treating kidney injuries because it is harmless to patients. Kidney treatment procedures such as dialysis and transplant can cause adverse side effects such as inflammation. However, stem cells transplantation is a simple procedure that promotes the gradual regeneration of damaged kidneys while avoiding adverse side effects such as inflammation. The most ideal treatment method is one that does not affect the patient adversely through side effects and further risk to health. Data from National Kidney Foundation (2017) show that kidney patients undergoing operations are exposed to a wised range of risks, including infection, internal bleeding (hemorrhage), post-operative pneumonia, allergic reactions to anesthesia, and death. However, stem cell therapy minimizes these risks, as the kidneys begin regenerating themselves as soon as implantation is done. Therefore, it can be argued that stem cell therapy can help reduce the percentage of deaths from about 35 -40 percent to below 10 percent.
Journal #3: Stem Cell Therapy Preserve Kidney Functionality
Stem cell therapy helps restore kidney functionality, thus minimizing recurrent of injury, as well as promoting survival. Researchers have established that stem cell treatment has a therapeutic effect during the repair of renal injury, thus preserving renal function and structure of the kidney (Liu et al., 2020). More importantly, stem cells are beneficial because they can differentiate and replace damaged kidney cells, further promoting restoration of patients’ health. This minimizes the risk of patients experiencing adverse and life-threatening side effects.
Overall, I think the use of stem cell therapy in the treatment of kidney injury is encouraging and therefore, should be considered as safe. The benefits of stem cell therapy over other interventions such as dialysis and transplant should convince doctors to use it often, despite the ethical issues that may arise. The benefits of using stem cell therapy far surpass the ethical concerns involving the use of living cells for organ restoration purposes.
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Liu, D., Cheng, F., Pan, S., & Liu, Z. (2020). Stem cells: A potential treatment option for kidney diseases. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 11(1). doi:10.1186/s13287-020-01751-2
National Kidney Foudation. (2017, February 3). Nephrectomy. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nephrectomy