Stem cell products have the potential to treat many medical conditions and diseases. How can stem cells treat the disease? What diseases could stem cell research treat? How can I learn more about CIRM-funded research on a particular disease? What cell therapies are available at this time? What about therapies available abroad? Why does it take so long to create new therapies? How do scientists get stem cells to specialize in different types of cells? How do scientists test stem cell therapies? Can't stem cell therapies increase the chance of having a tumor? Is there a risk of immune rejection with stem cells? How do scientists grow stem cells under the right conditions? Stem cell transplantation can cure sickle cell disease, but so far this has been limited to a lucky few. Stem cells don't necessarily provide a cure for these conditions. The premise is to allow the body to heal well enough to mitigate the symptoms of the conditions for long periods.
In many cases, this alone allows for a substantial increase in the quality of life of patients. Today, these are the only stem cell therapies that have been thoroughly established as safe and effective treatments. You may be wondering what stem cells are, how are they used to treat diseases and injuries, and why they are the subject of such intense debate. You've heard about stem cells in the news and you may have wondered if they could help you or a loved one with a serious illness.
Each source of stem cells has different advantages, and some can be transformed into cell types that other sources cannot. Stem cells have been used to treat a variety of conditions, and research continues to reveal more opportunities for their use. Scientists are exploring the different roles that tissue-specific stem cells could play in healing, with the understanding that these stem cells have specific and limited capacities. Blood-forming stem cells in bone marrow were the first stem cells identified and the first to be used in the clinic.
However, emerging evidence suggests that adult stem cells can create several types of cells. However, embryonic stem cells and iPS cells are not good candidates for direct use as treatments, as they require careful instruction to become the specific cells needed to regenerate diseased or damaged tissue. Stem cell therapy has become increasingly popular as a therapeutic opportunity for patients with rheumatoid arthritis due to the unique ability of mesenchymal stem cells to modulate the immune system. It also means that the United States drug regulatory authority, the FDA, is not normally involved in stem cell treatments.
The National Marrow and Marrow Donor Program in the United States has a complete list of diseases treatable by stem cell transplantation Although some studies have suggested that cord blood may contain stem cells that may produce other types of specialized cells unrelated to blood, none of these investigations have been confirmed. In addition, there is concern that iPS cells may induce tumor formation due to accidental expression of oncogenes when cells are being reprogrammed.