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The Expanding Use of Growth Factors

Posted by Eclipse Med on Jan 16, 2019 3:07:50 PM

Less than a decade ago, the idea of growth factors was mostly limited to surgical procedures and laboratory settings. Today, physicians and scientists are discovering limitless ways to use the body’s own growth factors to improve our health and the way we look. These important micro-particles that exist in our blood and plasma have been used to help major athletes return to the playing field in record time and undo sun damage or remove decades-long acne scars. But the use of growth factors continues to expand.

Growth Factors and Cancer

For many cancer patients, treatment is aggressive and debilitating as radiation and chemotherapy target cancer cells throughout the body. While this type of treatment is often effective, it can also destroy important healthy cells containing growth factors that help restore the body. Recently, scientists have started using growth factors to trick the growth and spread of cancer cells, and improve targeted therapy of cancer treatment to only cancerous cells. While this type of focused treatment is still in its early stages, it offers new hope to combat cancer and improve the lives of patients[1].

Growth Factors and COPD

COPD patients often suffer from damaged tissue around the heart and lungs, which can lead to breathing complications, heart arrhythmia, asthma and a number of other related health issues. However, early lab results show that the use of growth factors can help to spur tissue remodeling without any tissue injury. When combined with other therapies such as anti-inflammatories, growth factors can halt the destructive nature of COP and help return the lung to normal function. [2]

Growth Factors and Skincare

Growth factors play an important role in wound healing and have been introduced into skin rejuvenation to help combat the aging process. Using new technologies, physicians utilize growth factors in plasma to help address skin issues in a format that is similar to that of a chronic wound. Studies have shown a reduction in fine lines and increased epidermal thickness. Researchers continue to evaluate this use and its bounty of growth factors that can improve skin issues and enhance the look and feel of the dermis.[3]

Growth Factors and Neuropathy

Growth factors bind to specific receptors on the cell surface, with the primary effect during nervous system development. These support cell proliferation, neuron differentiation and limit outgrowth. This process continues throughout adulthood, helping to maintain the nervous system in the body. For patients who suffer from nervous system disorders or age-related atrophy, the use of growth factors can help to regenerate those lost receptors. This new science is especially promising toward finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer[4].

[1] Medical Research Council. "New dual-action cancer-killing virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2018. 

[2] Martin Kolb, Jack Gauldie, in Asthma and COPD (Second Edition),2009

[3] Suzan Obagi, in Cosmetic Facial Surgery (Second Edition), 2018

[4] M. von dem Bussche, M.H. Tuszynski, in Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 2009

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