- Fat-Fighting Foods Slideshow
- Take the Human Body Quiz
- Causes of Fatigue Slideshow Pictures
- Patient Comments: Stem Cells - Experience
- Stem cell facts
- What are stem cells?
- Why are stem cells important?
- Embryonic stem cells
- Fetal stem cells
- Adult stem cells
- Peripheral blood stem cells
- Umbilical cord stem cells
- Induced pluripotent stem cells
- Why is there controversy surrounding the use of stem cells?
- What are some stem cell therapies that are currently available?
- What are experimental treatments using stem cells and possible future directions for stem cell therapy?
What are experimental treatments using stem cells and possible future directions for stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is an exciting and active field of biomedical research. Scientists and physicians are investigating the use of stem cells in therapies to treat a wide variety of diseases and injuries. For a stem cell therapy to be successful, a number of factors must be considered. The appropriate type of stem cell must be chosen, and the stem cells must be matched to the recipient so that they are not destroyed by the recipient's immune system. It is also critical to develop a system for effective delivery of the stem cells to the desired location in the body. Finally, devising methods to "switch on" and control the differentiation of stem cells and ensure that they develop into the desired tissue type is critical for the success of any stem cell therapy.
Researchers are currently examining the use of stem cells to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue in many conditions, including those listed below.
- Heart disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Diabetes mellitus
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Medically reviewed by a Board Certified Family Practice Physician
Stem Cell Information, US National Institutes of Health resource for stem cell research