Navigation Links
Moving beyond embryonic stem cells: Encouragement on the horizon

ROCHESTER, Minn. For nearly two decades, the medical world and the American public have grappled with the lightning-rod topic of stem cells, in particular the controversy surrounding cells from human embryos. But when researchers four years ago successfully "reprogrammed" adult body cells to become stem cells, some thought the ethical debate was nearly over. Those redirected cells, known as induced pluripotent cells, or iPS cells, show potential as therapy.

"The benefit is they require no destruction of human embryos," says Mayo Clinic hematologist/oncologist C. Christopher Hook, M.D., an author reviewing the science and ethics of stem cell technologies in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "The hope is that these cells may make embryonic stem cells unnecessary, but, according to the stem cell scientists, we're not there yet."

Scientists who specialize in stem cells continue to regard embryo-derived cells as the gold standard among stem cells in pluripotency, the capacity to become any tissue in the body. Other stem cell technologies have benefits: Blood, bone marrow, and umbilical cord cells contain stem cells that treat leukemia and other blood cancers, but because they are adult stem cells lacking pluripotency, they've shown limitations as universal regenerative therapies. The newcomers on the scene, iPS cells, can be taken directly from each patient and genetically redirected to replace ailing cells, avoiding immune rejection or the need for existing embryos or eggs to create embryos.

Hook cautions that there are still challenges with iPS cells, and the public shouldn't expect therapies to roll out in the next year or so.

"One of the problems with the history of stem cell technologies in general has been the unrealistic hype and promise of therapies far faster than the science could produce," Hook says.

In an editorial in the same issue, medical geneticist Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., the Marriott Family Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Mayo Clinic, states that iPS technology may not have reached fruition, but is invaluable for learning about diseases and testing new treatments.

"We need to accelerate the pace of this research, and speed discoveries in regenerative medicine to help patients," Terzic says.

Worldwide, however, state-of-the-art research still depends on embryonic stem cells, at least in serving as a biological yardstick.

"This is a topic that remains charged and highly politicized," Hook says. "Some claim the controversy about the need for embryonic stem cells should now be resolved. Hopefully, in time, with iPS's the perceived need for and use of human embryonic stem cells will rapidly become obsolete, but, according to many in the scientific community, we're far from being done with them. There may be another option in the use of these new cells, but it's going to take time."


Contact: Rebecca Eisenman
Mayo Clinic

Related medicine news :

1. Miles for Hope’s Moving Towards A Cure(SM) Brain Tumor Walk in Boston Raising Funds for Brain Tumor Vaccine and Massachusetts General Hospital
2. Minnesota Moving Company, Barrett Moving & Storage Launches New Online Look at
3. Moving Closer to a Urine Test for Colon Cancer
4. Active and healthy schools get kids moving
5. University of Colorado Hospital Moving Forward with $400 Million Expansion
6. Moving repeatedly in childhood linked with poorer quality-of-life years later
7. Wii Games Can Get Seniors Moving
8. Removing Gallbladder Sooner Cuts Costs, Readmissions
9. Watchful Waiting Often Best Strategy for Slow-Moving Prostate Cancer
10. Moving On With A Pen
11. Get Moving Can Be Vital Advice for Seniors
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast cancers found with MRI ... to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said that in ... a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the most sensitive technique for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season is ... pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are ... get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of the nation’s top ... culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist among greater Cincinnati’s ... a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati Best Places to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... NV (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. ... patients to learn more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy ... effective solution for thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, ... of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services ... home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... USP 800 applies to all healthcare ... pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, home healthcare ... covers all entities which store, prepare, transport, or ... institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, practice facilities, and ... --> What is the purpose of USP ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies ... pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research . ... all play a key role in boosting the profitability ... . --> Developmental, commercial, and ... the profitability of pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> ... the  "Global Drug Device Combination Products ... offering.  --> Research and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: