In Cuba, stem cell therapy; the use of bioactive proteins with the capacity to regenerate damaged tissues and perform in vivo tissue engineering (practiced directly on individuals) are methods that Cuba has included in regenerative medicine.
With nearly 8,300 patients that have undergone the stem cell therapy, Cuba’s results in this sense are comparable to those attained by highly developed countries, said Porfirio Hernández, Doctor of Sciences and deputy director of the Hematology and Immunology Institute.
First practiced in Cuba in 2004, this modern scientific method is being implemented in 14 of the 15 Cuban provinces, mostly in the specialties of orthopedics and angiology.
According to Hernández, the use of stem cells shows promising results in patients with bone cysts, complex fractures, pseudarthrosis, and knee osteoarthritis, among other orthopedic afflictions, with a 60 to 80 percent improvement in the cases treated.
Likewise, this therapy shows encouraging results in patients suffering from chronic venous insufficiency of the lower limbs, avoiding major amputation (above or just below the knee) by 58 to 80 percent of the cases with likelihood of amputation.
Positive results also have been attained among patients with periodontitis and paraplegia resulting from spine injuries.
The use of stem cells in Cuba involves a limited number of people and is part of research projects but not as a mass treatment, until there is enough evidence proving that the method is completely safe and effective, the doctor explained.
A major achievement that led to the application of the stem cell therapy in Cuba was the development at the Promising Results in Cell Therapy Hematology and Immunology Institute of a simple, practical method for obtaining mononuclear cells from the bone marrow, which function to produce blood cells.
They were first obtained directly from the bone marrow and shortly afterwards from the peripheral blood through a stimulating factor that is produced in the country by BioCubaFarma (Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Group). The cell therapy using peripheral blood mononuclear cells is the most widespread method in Cuba today.
The island is also using platelets and its components in the field of regenerative medicine. By the end of 2014, platelet components had been used in more than 5,500 patients, mainly those with orthopedic and blood circulation issues, but also to treat burns, skin ulcers and for corneal injuries and dry eyes.
When the year 2014 came to a close, the number of patients treated in Cuba using stem cell therapy, the platelet method or the combination of both totaled more than 13,000 thus placing the country among the nations with the highest amount of applications in regenerative medicine.Share on FB Share on TT