Il Sussidiario.net :: RAISMAN/ The best results are coming from the adult stem cell research programmes

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

spine-sci-treat-heal-cord-spinalRAISMAN/ The best results are coming from the adult stem cell research programmes

Geoffrey Raisman, lunedì 30 marzo 2009

In many countries – and certainly on media – the research on stem cells seems to be concentrated on embryonic stem cells considered as the way to provide treatments for many genetic disease that are at present not curable. This approach risks to overshadow the research on adult stem cells that many evidences show to be probably more effective and at hand. Professor Geoffrey Raisman is the director of the Spinal Repair Unit at the University College London Institute of Neurology. He leads a research team whose work could ultimately lead to the repair of spinal cord injuries in humans and he is working with adult stem cells. Ilsussidiario.net has asked professor Raisman to take stock of the situation.

Professor Raisman, stem cells and particularly embryonic stem cells are at the centre of media attention. But, from a scientific point of view, what is the real state of the art in the research on stem cells?

Embryonic stem cells have the property to divide indefinitely and turn into any tissue in the body. From the point of view of transplanting embryonic stem cells these are not entirely an advantage. Uncontrolled division would lead to an invasive tissue not properly integrated into the body. What is required for repair are cells already differentiated into the tissue type requiring repair. Embryonic stem cells used as donor issue would be foreign to the host and therefore under immune attack.

You recently said that adult stem cells are much more promising therapeutically. Could you broaden this statement?

Transplants of adult stem cells are matched in state of maturity to the recipient, they are already committed to making the tissue required, and they are not immunologically incompatible.

via Il Sussidiario.net :: RAISMAN/ The best results are coming from the adult stem cell research programmes.

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