Francisco Vizoso – Doctor of Medicine and Researcher
«At the Jove Research Unit we have discovered a new applied cell that also secretes regenerative substances»
Francisco Vizoso, a current member of the research unit of the Jove Hospital in Gijón, has a degree in Medicine from the University of Santiago de Compostela, a Doctor and a Master’s degree in Hepatology from the University of Oviedo, a specialist in general surgery and the digestive system and more than fifty Worthy of Honorary Awards. He will be speaking at 7 pm this afternoon at the Aula de Cultura in La Voz about the use of stem cells in current medicine.
At what point of progress is medicine in Asturias?
Medicine is one of the areas that is most talked about in terms of progress, and it’s not that none has happened, but the pandemic has brought it into question. A virus has killed 600 million people and managed to cause millions of other infections. Clearly we still need more.
Is it common to have a disease that is difficult to treat?
-Many people are now becoming aware that they are carriers of diseases that are difficult to cure. We are talking about popular names like ALS or Parkinson’s, but also about common names: Diabetes, Osteoarthritis, Glaucoma… All of these occupy a very important part of the population. In fact, 40 percent will have a disease that does not have an adequate solution.
What is it that decides right now that there is no solution to a disease?
The common denominator of these diseases is tissue loss. They are diseases resulting from negative information that manifests itself in our body in an abnormal way. The problem is that the organism has no regenerative potential, so, a priori, these damages leave the organ permanently affected.
Do stem cells offer an alternative?
-Yes. We need new medical solutions that our own immune systems can’t fight. For this classical medicine is not worth it. For this reason, it has been three decades since research crews set their sights on stem cells, but this has meant assuming a significant range of risks.
– What kind of risk?
Depending on the type of cell, different problems occur. For example, there is a type of stem cell called mesenchymal, which is derived from fat, from the umbilical cord… and they are resistant, but still transplanting them from person to person causes rejection. can form, give rise to tumors or cause disease in the patient to whom it is addressed. Needless to say that the maintenance of the cells is very expensive.
What is the ethical problem with using stem cells?
-This is the case, for example, with embryonic cells, as it can range from cloning to storing all your genetic information available in a laboratory, which is viewed from the point of view of data protection law.
In your research team you have changed the paradigm around the world.
-Yes. One thing is clear, and that is that man will never be able to conquer nature. We have discovered a new type of cell in the anterior chamber of the uterus that has regenerative, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
So it is a cell that eliminates all possibilities of rejection in the transplant process.
-Not only that, but we have also observed that, when a nutrient is supplied, it secretes a cocktail of substances such as proteins, extracellular vesicles, which have the same regenerative effect as the cell itself. You avoid the risks of transplants and benefit from the healing properties naturally produced by the cell. This also applies in the veterinary field. This is a milestone.
-Is it already implemented?
-In dry eye syndrome we are already in the clinical trial phase to develop it at the pharmaceutical level and now we are also working with Crohn’s intestinal disease, which has increased its incidence in recent decades increased up to thirty times.
-What is needed to develop the project?
Funding to work with bioreactors, machines that will scale up lab production to industrial levels.