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Annu Rev Med. 2007;58:313-28.

The leading edge of stem cell therapeutics.

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Stem Cell & Regeneration Program, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Stem cells, by virtue of their defining property of self-renewal, represent an unlimited source of potentially functional human cells for basic research and regenerative medicine. Having validated the feasibility of cell-based therapeutic strategies over the past decade, mostly through the use of rodent cells, the stem cell field has now embarked upon a detailed characterization of human cells. Recent progress has included improved cell culture conditions, long-term propagation, directed differentiation, and transplantation of both human embryonic and somatic stem cells. Continued progress in understanding basic human stem cell biology, combined with a better handle on the fundamental pathophysiology of human diseases one wishes to target (including the use of human stem cells in primate and other large animal models of human disease), should help to move this technology closer to clinical application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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