If the rapidly progressing field of stem cell research reaches its full potential, successful treatments and enhanced understanding of many diseases are the likely results. However, the full potential of stem cell science will only be reached if all possible avenues can be explored and on a worldwide scale. Until 2009, the US had a highly restrictive policy on obtaining cells from human embryos and fetal tissue, a policy that pushed research toward the use of adult-derived cells. Currently, US policy is still in flux, and retrospective analysis does show the US lagging behind the rest of the world in the proportional increase in embryonic/fetal stem cell research. The majority of US studies being on either a limited number of cell lines, or on cells derived elsewhere (or funded by other sources than Federal) rather than on freshly isolated embryonic or fetal material. Neural, mesenchymal, and the mixed stem cell mononuclear fraction are the most commonly investigated types, which can generally be classified as adult-derived stem cells, although roughly half of the neural stem cells are fetal derived. Other types, such as embryonic and fat-derived stem cells, are increasing in their prominence, suggesting that new types of stem cells are still being pursued. Sixty percent of the reported stem cell studies involved transplantation, of which over three quarters were allogeneic transplants. A high proportion of the cardiovascular systems articles were on allogeneic transplants in a number of different species, including several autologous studies. A number of pharmaceutical grade stem cell products have also recently been tested and reported on. Stem cell research shows considerable promise for the treatment of a number of disorders, some of which have entered clinical trials; over the next few years it will be interesting to see how these treatments progress in the clinic.
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Document Type: Research Article
Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL, USA
Publication date: 2010-11-01
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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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