Lupus is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. This means that the body cannot distinguish between its own cells and foreign cells. Stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to self-generate themselves into many different cell types in the body. The treatment starts by first collecting the stem cells, there are two different way in which this can be done. Autologus is when the stem cells come from the patient themselves. This involves collecting stem cells from the patients’ bone marrow. Another approach is to find a suitable donor.
The stem cell treatment works by the patient undergoing very high doses of chemotherapy, this virtually destroys the immune system so that the body can re-learn how to defend itself. The stem cells are then implanted back into the bone marrow and with the aim to regenerate the immune system so it becomes much healthier.