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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;16(6):713-20.

The clinical potential of stem cells.

Author information

  • 1Children's Hospital Boston and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 300 Longwood Ave, Karp 07211, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Stem cells are defined by their capacity for self-renewal and multilineage differentiation, making them uniquely situated to treat a broad spectrum of human diseases. For example, because hematopoietic stem cells can reconstitute the entire blood system, bone marrow transplantation has long been used in the clinic to treat various diseases. Similarly, the transplantation of other tissue-specific stem cells, such as stem cells isolated from epithelial and neural tissues, can treat mouse disease models and human patients in which epithelial and neural cells are damaged. An alternative to tissue-specific stem cell therapy takes advantage of embryonic stem cells, which are capable of differentiating into any tissue type. Furthermore, nuclear transfer, the transfer of a post-mitotic somatic cell nucleus into an enucleated oocyte, creates a limitless source of autologous cells that, when combined with gene therapy, can serve as a powerful therapeutic tool.

PMID:
15530786
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2004.09.007
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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