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End-Stage Organ Failure: Will Regenerative Medicine Keep Its Promise?

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Abstract:

End-stage organ failure is a major cause of death worldwide that can occur in patients of all ages and transplantation is the current standard of care for chronic end-stage disease of many organs. Despite the success of organ transplantation, it is becoming clear that there will never be enough organs made available through donation to meet the increasing demand. The past decade's rapid advancement in stem cell biology and tissue engineering generated an explosive outburst of reports that gave rise to regenerative medicine, a new field that promises to “fix” damaged organs through regeneration provided by transplanted cells, stimulation of endogenous repair mechanisms, or implantation of bioengineered tissue. Whether, and if so when, regenerative medicine will keep its promise is uncertain. As we continue to strive to find new effective solutions, alternative approaches based on the development of targeted, preventive interventions aimed at maintaining normal organ function, instead of repairing organ damage, should also be pursued.

Keywords: End-stage organ failure; Maintenance medicine; Organ shortage; Regenerative medicine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000006783982340

Affiliations: ISMETT-Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione, Palermo, Italy

Publication date: March 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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