Stem Cells From Bone Marrow Save Legs From Amputation in Diabetics
Vijaya Hospital vascular surgeons jointly with Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) have achieved a major breakthrough using stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow, which cured the leg ulcers and made patients walk on their own feet. This study on patients with severe uncontrolled diabetes has been published in an international journal, Cytotherapy.
“Stem cells are considered to be having enormous potentials in medicine including capability to restore the blood supply to the disease affected portions by their angiogenic capacity as published in the literature. Especially the stem cells taken from one’s own bone marrow are considered to be safe without any ethical issues and these stem cells have been used in this study in six patients who were suffering from severe debilitating ulcers in their legs due to diabetes. These patients were initially advised to have their legs cut off to avoid spread of infection and septicemia affecting the rest of the body. We took them for an autologous bone marrow stem cell application as a challenge and there was no need for amputation as the stem cells from their own bone marrow have helped the diseased portion rejuvenate with more blood supply and improve their quality of life”, said Dr S R Subrammanniyan, Chief Vascular Surgeon, Vijaya Hospital.
“This accomplishment on patients with diabetes could be the first in India. The wounds of our patients were significantly larger than what has been reported till date in the literature”, he adds.
In this treatment, the patient’s bone marrow was pricked and stem cells were taken. They were processed as per cGMP protocols at NCRM and injected at multiple sites at the affected portion after an angiogram. Within a week after the injection, healing was observed and healthy granulation started covering the ulcer gradually. “We followed a custom tailored methodology and made the stem cell concentrate optimal for each injection instead of making an 'one size-fits all' kind of common protocol,” said Dr Abraham, Director, NCRM.