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Investors in Lithuania haven't "found" stem cells yet 2011-06-07

 "Valstybė" journal, No. 5 (49) 2011 


Last year scientists in Cambridge University were happy to successfully grow liver tissue, and just a month ago their colleagues in Japan announced about growing a retina and implanting successfully it into laboratory mouse. According to specialists stem cells can become a cure from many deadly diseases, however skeptics are afraid that experiments in laboratories with stem cells could rise human clones. <...>


Laimonas Griskevicius, Head Hematology, Oncology and Transfusion Centre in Vilnius Santariskes clinics, says that stem cell transplantation in medicine in not something new: "Many years we perform bone marrow transplantations using stem cells that are producing blood. It is true, that many fields of medicine starting from hematology to dentistry have ideas how to use stem cells for their patients." Retina cells grown in a laboratory could restore vision, and liver cells can help explore liver diseases. Stem cells could be used as universal treatment method: for example, Virginijus Norkus, businessman had a treatment in Belarus, that helped to win battle against liver cirrhosis, while Lithuanian doctors said they cannot save him (Magazine "Klaipėda"). Stem cells could speed up healing process after stroke by restoring nerval tissue. <...>


Stem cell are present in every tissue: from bone marrow to skin. Scientists can separate them even from teeth. Adult stem cells has few disadvantages: cell grow old and their ability to differentiate to early state become more and more difficult by the time. "In practical medicine there are cases of blood stem cell infusions directly to the heart muscle, hoping it will restore vessel tissue. There are experiments that proved it is effective, however some experiments have shown otherwise. Therefor possibility to grow muscle tissue form blood stem cells is more theoretical." - tells L. Griskevicius. However cord blood stem cells don't have this problem. According to Dr. A. Darinskas, they still have the ability to differentiate into any type of tissue. <...>


Looking from business point of view, stem cell therapy is more difficult then treatment with drugs. It is not enough to find suitable chemical mixture, pack it and start selling. In cell therapy every case is individual. You cannot go to a pharmacy and buy stem cells. However stem cell researches are well funded: „GlaxoSmitfKline („GSK“) made a contract of 1,4 billion USA dollars with „OncoMed“ for stem cell research for cancer treatment. <...> 


More about stem cell in Lithuania in: (language Lithuanian)