Cell therapy dates back thousands of years. Written in 1552 B.C., the oldest preserved medical document, the Eber Papyrus recommended medicinal preparations of animal organs to improve human vitality. Animal organs for therapeutic use were also mentioned many times by Aristotle in the Materia Medica. In the Middle Ages, Parcelcus observed, for the first time, the organisational unit of all life; the cell, was the element in ‘like heals like’.
In the late 19th century, French Nobel laureate Dr.Alexis Carrel discovered the potentially immortal nature of cells by keeping alive fragments of a chicken heart 25 years after the fowl had died. He performed this by combining cellular material from different hearts into one cell culture. At the end of the 19th century, Paris physiologist C.E. Brown-Sequard recognised the potency of cellular therapy by injecting himself with an extract made from the testicles of a young bull. His virility was subjectively increased due to the testosterone in the extract. In the 1920’s, ophthalmologist Vladimir Filatov initiated the application of foetal cellular and aloe plant extract therapies for non-specific rejuvenation of chronically ill patients. His earliest claimed successes were in reversing retinitis pigmentosa and retinal macular degeneration
In the 1930’s, Swiss surgeon Prof. Dr. Niehans became increasingly interested in endocrinology while serving as head of staff at one of the renowned hospitals in Switzerland. He studied the work of colleagues who were experimenting with the implantation of animal glands into patients whose organs were malfunctioning. One of Niehans’ first discoveries was that cells derived from the organs of foetal sheep could be injected into the human body without triggering the natural defence mechanism that acts to reject foreign protein.
In 1931, Prof. Dr. Niehans was summoned to an emergency operation where he was requested to perform a transplant for an elderly woman whose parathyroid glands were accidentally removed during a thyroid surgery. The patient was in critical condition and in a race against time, Niehans sought instead to inject the woman with a steer’s parathyroid cells suspended in a saline solution, crudely prepared at the scene. The woman’s condition quickly stabilised and continued to improve as she went on to live another 30 years.
Niehans continued his research and work into the 1960’s, publishing extensively, only interrupted by World War II. His major opus on theory and practice of cellular therapy was published in German in 1954. Niehans later collaborated with Bauer of Clarens Clinic in Switzerland to study the therapeutic effects of fresh and preserved cells.
He used cells from the frontal brain to treat mongolism. He used skin and eye cellular extracts to treat albinism, injected liver cells to treat cirrhosis, and utilised testicle cells to treat impotence. Swiss publisher Thoune released the English version and update of Niehans’ original work which also included papers by researchers from Germany, Niehans, age 84 at work in his home in Burier. Austria, Greece and Spain.
Cell therapy aims to awaken dormant cells within the human body, thereby stimulating the growth and function of existing tissue and repairing or regenerating old and malfunctioning cells. Cellular therapy offers what vitamins, minerals and other conventional or natural treatments cannot. It can provide the exact components necessary for injured or diseased tissue to heal and regenerate. While most pharmaceutical drugs work by suppressing certain symptoms over a short period of time and only for as long as they are taken, cell therapy stimulates the body’s own healing and revitalising powers and exerts a long term effect.
“Longevity is only desirable if it prolongs youth, not age”
– Prof. Dr. Alexis Carrel –