Doctors Discover New Organ in Human Body To Help Treat Cancer
Scientists discovered a new organ in the body that turns out to be one of the largest. The interstitium is a series of fluid-filled compartments found beneath the skin, and could hold the key to understanding the spread of one of humanity’s biggest medical dilemmas: cancer.
Originally perceived as connective tissue, the interstitium has eluded doctors and biologists as an organ of its own, with a specific task of transporting and filtering fluids throughout the body.
Before this discovery, it was assumed that our skin was the largest organ, but now the interstitium may prove to be even larger. This new distinction would mark the body’s 80th organ.
The word interstitium derives from the Latin “inter,” meaning between, and “sistere,” meaning to place, – the place between. Doctors believe this in between organ may also act as a sort of cushioning to keep our organs safe.
The interstitium is the source of lymph, where white blood cells are transmitted to fight infections. It is also important for transporting protein from the blood to a multitude of organs and cells.
Researchers still need to confirm whether it qualifies as an organ, but a new perception of the interstitium seems promising for tracking and advancing the spread of diseases. While the tissue is important for transporting fluids throughout the body, it is also likely to be responsible for spreading cancer.
The organ was originally looked over because of its pervasiveness and the way it was studied. In the past, doctors sliced into the interstitium during biopsies, upon which all of its fluid would drain, leaving it flat and solid.
But now through an endoscopy procedure, in which doctors examine organs using a tiny camera attached to a thin, flexible tube, they gained a new perspective on the interstitium and the important role it plays in supporting bodily functions.
The paper published in the journal Nature says the existence of the location and structure of larger inter- and intra-tissue spaces is described vaguely in literature and that in vivo advances in microscopy were responsible for better understanding it. These advances will likely lead to further discoveries in the future, while also showing just how much we still have to learn about our own anatomy.
Theories and Treatments for Cancer
Stem Cells From One's Own Body Show Efficacy in Treating Pain
Stem cell therapy is still a relatively new concept that few understand, but it continues to garner a lot of support and promise — especially for medical problems that have traditionally been very difficult to treat. In his fascinating discussion with Open Minds host Regina Meredith, naturopathic doctor Harry Adelson N.D. reveals a new way to address pain by using stem cells as curative agents. This may come as a welcome idea for at least a fifth of the population, who suffer from chronic pain that affects quality of life, the ability to work, sleep patterns, and more.
According to the Mayo Clinic stem cells create other cells with specialized functions, and “[u]nder the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells called daughter cells. These daughter cells either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or become specialized cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells. No other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types.”
Adelson, says treatment with stem cells can help treat musculoskeletal pain and increase energy using cells from one’s own bone marrow and fat to prompt regeneration. Citing his own use of stem cells on his road to recovery from injury and pain, Adelson says how regenerative therapy using biological tissues found in the human body can restore normalcy to someone living with pain and suffering.
One of the more exciting aspects of stem cell therapy is that each of us can create our own cells to heal ourselves. Emerging evidence suggests that adult stem cells can not only replicate, but also create various other types of cells. For example, bone marrow stem cells may be able to create bone or heart muscle cells.
Adelson is highly experienced when it comes to using stem cells for pain treatment, having performed numerous procedures using bone marrow combined with adipose (bodily fat) stem cells. He’s also injected more than a thousand intervertebral discs with stem cells.
Adelson’s excitement for stem cell therapy began with an accident as a young man, while rock climbing in the early 1990s. He was in naturopathic school at the time, when an injury to his shoulder set him off in a new direction, leading him to pursue an alternative to traditional surgery and injections for pain treatment. After receiving his naturopathic degree, Adelson discovered the potential of stem cell therapy.