Siriraj declares breakthrough in stem cell research

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BANGKOK, Oct 18 – A Siriraj Hospital medical team today announced its successful isolation of stem cells from amniotic fluid which they said will contribute to treatments of many chronic diseases.

Dr Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Siriraj medical school, said further research will be conducted on the use of stem cells to treat various illnesses including Alzheimers, osteoarthritis, diabetes and spinal cord pain. These chronic ailments are related to deteriorating stem cells in a human body.

A preliminary lab test has been done with animals but it will take some time before the medical team starts testing on human beings, he said.

Dr Udom said stem cells normally spread all over a person’s body but they are abundant and pure in an infant’s umbilical cord and placenta.

Dr Tassanee Permthai, chief of the stem cell research project, said stem cells from the placenta of a four-month-old baby can be transplanted in a patient like fully-developed stem cells.

Once transplanted in a patient’s body, the stem cells evolve into cells in different parts of the body, she explained, adding that the transplantation of stem cells can also prevent tumours.