Stem Cell Therapies Hold Promise, But Obstacles Remain – University of Copenhagen

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21 August 2014

Stem Cell Therapies Hold Promise, But Obstacles Remain

In an article appearing in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and challenges facing the scientific community as therapies involving stem cells move closer to reality.

The review article focuses on pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which are stem cells that can give rise to all cell types. These include both embryonic stem cells, and those derived from mature cells that have been reprogrammed or induced - a process typically involving a patient's own skin cells – so that they possess the characteristics of stem cells found at the earliest stage of development. These cells can then be differentiated, through careful manipulation of chemical and genetic signaling, to become virtually any cell type found in the body.

The article addresses the current state of efforts to apply PSCs to treat a number of diseases, including diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease. Goldman, co-director of the CTN, reviewed the current state of therapies for neurological diseases.