Autologous stem cells for personalised medicine.

Developmental Biology Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK.
New Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 1.71). 04/2012; 29(6):641-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbt.2012.04.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Increasing understanding of stem cell biology, the ability to reprogramme differentiated cells to a pluripotent state and evidence of multipotency in certain adult somatic stem cells has opened the door to exciting therapeutic advances as well as a great deal of regulatory and ethical issues. Benefits will come from the possibility of modelling human diseases and develop individualised therapies, and from their use in transplantation and bioengineering. The use of autologous stem cells is highly desirable, as it avoids the problem of tissue rejection, and also reduces ethical and regulatory issues. Identification of the most appropriate cell sources for different potential applications, development of appropriate clinical grade methodologies and large scale well controlled clinical trials will be essential to assess safety and value of cell based therapies, which have been generating much hope, but are by and large not yet close to becoming standard clinical practice. We briefly discuss stem cells in the context of tissue repair and regenerative medicine, with a focus on individualised clinical approaches, and give examples of sources of autologous cells with potential for clinical intervention.

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