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Transfus Med Hemother. 2016 Jul;43(4):247-254. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine: Astray or on the Path?

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Institute of Medical Radiology and Cell Research (MSZ) in the Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine (ZEMM), University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
Blood Center Zürich, Swiss Red Cross, Schlieren, Switzerland; Red Cross Blood Service Graubünden, Chur, Switzerland.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the best characterized adult stem cells and the only stem cell type in routine clinical use. The concept of stem cell transplantation laid the foundations for the development of novel cell therapies within, and even outside, the hematopoietic system. Here, we report on the history of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and of HSC isolation, we briefly summarize the capabilities of HSCs to reconstitute the entire hemato/lymphoid cell system, and we assess current indications for HCT. We aim to draw the lines between areas where HCT has been firmly established, areas where HCT can in the future be expected to be of clinical benefit using their regenerative functions, and areas where doubts persist. We further review clinical trials for diverse approaches that are based on HCT. Finally, we highlight the advent of genome editing in HSCs and critically view the use of HSCs in non-hematopoietic tissue regeneration.


Autologous and allogeneic transplantation; Hematopoietic cell transplantation in hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic conditions; Hematopoietic reconstitution; Hematopoietic stem cells

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