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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 Sep;7(9):1311-22.

The potential of cord blood stem cells for use in regenerative medicine.

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University of Arizona, Department of Immunobiology, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.


It is estimated that up to 128 million individuals might benefit from regenerative medicine therapy, or almost 1 in 3 individuals in the US. If accurate, the need to relieve suffering and reduce healthcare costs is an enormous motivator to rapidly bring stem cell therapies to the clinic. Unfortunately, embryonic stem (ES) cell therapies are limited at present by ethical and political constraints and, most importantly, by significant biologic hurdles. Thus, for the foreseeable future, the march of regenerative medicine to the clinic will depend on the development of non-ES cell therapies. At present, non-ES cells easily available in large numbers can be found in the bone marrow, adipose tissue and umbilical cord blood (CB). Each of these stem cells is being used to treat a variety of diseases. This review shows that CB contains multiple populations of pluripotent stem cells, and can be considered the best alternative to ES cells. CB stem cells are capable of giving rise to hematopoietic, epithelial, endothelial and neural tissues both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CB stem cells are amenable to treat a wide variety of diseases including cardiovascular, ophthalmic, orthopedic, neurologic and endocrine diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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