Stem cell transplants are used to treat patients whose bone marrow and other blood cells have been negatively affected by cancer and other diseases. Because stem cells immediately ready for transplant are nearly impossible to obtain, any patient seeking to undergo a stem cell transplant must use cells that have been frozen, or cryopreserved. Unfortunately, the best way to currently freeze stem cells involves using DMSO, a potentially toxic solution that aides in cryopreservation.
Typically, frozen-thawed stem cells are filtered into the body along with DMSO, because there is not an effective way to remove the DMSO without losing a significant amount of stem cells. Unfortunately, the effects of DMSO on a patient range from fever and nausea to violent cramping and even death. The biotech company General BioTechnology LLC in Indianapolis, Indiana has developed a machine that filters out the DMSO from thawed stem cells and therefore lessens the negative affect of the preservative on the patient.
Following chemotherapy treatments and radiation treatments, more and more cancer patients are seeking stem cell transplants as a method of recovery. If a patient’s bone marrow stops producing new blood cells, a stem cell transplant can destroy the dysfunctional marrow and will ideally regenerate growth of new blood cells. But since the cryopreservative DMSO’s side effects are just as bad as those from chemotherapy, many patients neglect considering the benefits of a stem cell transplant because the immediate risk is too great. General BioTechnology LLC (gnrlbiotech.com) believes its device can change all this. During Phase I research, General BioTechnology CEO Dr. Erik Woods developed a sophisticated cell washing process that results in a nearly complete recovery of unharmed stem cells.
Dr. Woods’ device has the potential to be operational in any hospital or health care facility. The device will be easy to use and ideally will arrive at a health care facility with everything a provider needs to use the machine. The dialysis process utilized by the device can also remove other, unwanted constituents from blood using the same dialysis process, so the usability of this machine extends beyond stem cell transplants and into mainstream health care.