There are proven stem cell therapies; the most commonly used is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, better known as bone marrow transplantation. Developed in the 1950s to 1970s, this method is now routinely used against life-threatening cancers, such as multiple myeloma and leukemia. Stem cells have been called everything from cures to miracle treatments. Some unscrupulous providers offer stem cell products that are not approved or tested.
Therefore, be careful with potentially dangerous procedures and confirm what is actually offered before considering any treatment. Stem cells are attractive to researchers because they can essentially replicate any cell in the body. The hope is that stem cell therapies will allow scientists to replace a patient's damaged or lost cells. You can learn a lot about stem cell research and its potential to impact human health on the A Closer Look at Stem Cells website, designed, maintained and presented by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).
This website offers many resources for patients and those looking for more information on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. It includes information on what to consider when joining a clinical trial. Currently, the only stem cell therapy that is routinely reviewed and approved by the United States,. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a hematopoietic (or blood) stem cell transplant.
It is used to treat patients with cancers and disorders affecting the blood and immune system. Stem cell-based therapies for all other conditions remain experimental. The ClinicalTrials, gov website has the most up-to-date information on clinical trials that are testing whether stem cell-based therapies are safe and effective in humans. If you have questions about specific clinical trials, the only people who can answer them correctly are those who are listed as the primary contact for each study listed on ClinicalTrials, gov.
HSCI Does Not Enroll Any Volunteers in Clinical Trials. Harvard Stem Cell InstituteBauer Building, Administrative Suite7 Divinity AvenueCambridge, MA 02138. Until now, no treatment with mesenchymal stem cells has been shown to be effective. However, there are some clinical trials investigating the safety and effectiveness of MSC treatments to repair bone or cartilage. Other trials are investigating whether MSCs could help repair blood vessel damage related to heart attacks or diseases such as critical limb ischemia, but it is not yet clear whether these treatments will be effective.
Researchers continue to advance knowledge about stem cells and their applications in regenerative and transplant medicine. Clinical studies in patients have shown that tissue stem cells removed from an area of the eye called the limbus can be used to repair damage to the cornea, the clear layer on the front of the eye. Before using investigational drugs in humans, researchers may use some types of stem cells to evaluate the safety and quality of medications. However, in recent studies, researchers have created human pluripotent stem cells by modifying the therapeutic cloning process.
Nearly a third of patients who consulted with the clinic ask about unproven stem cell therapies, according to a study by visitors. For FDA approval for use in human trials, stem cells must be cultured under good manufacturing practice (GMP) conditions. For example, blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells found in bone marrow regenerate blood cells, while brain neural stem cells produce brain cells. Stem cell researchers are making great strides in understanding normal development, discovering what is wrong with the disease, and developing and testing possible treatments to help patients.
Without laboratory manipulation, tissue-specific stem cells can only generate the other types of cells found in the tissues where they live. Even in bone marrow, a relatively rich source of stem cells, it is believed that only 1 in 10,000 cells, or fewer, is a stem cell. The best established and widely used stem cell treatment is blood stem cell transplantation to treat diseases and conditions of the blood and immune system, or to restore the blood system after treatments for specific cancers. If you have diabetes, receiving treatment with blood-forming stem cells does not make sense, because the problem is in the pancreas, and not in the blood itself.
Researchers hope that stem cells will one day be effective in treating many medical conditions and diseases. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that some patients seeking cures and remedies may be vulnerable to stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful. In addition to fat cells, some clinics give bone marrow stem cells or stem cells from the umbilical cord or placenta, which come from unrelated donors. For example, adult stem cells are currently being tested in people with neurological or heart disease.