Bridging stem cell research and medicine: a learning health system
Stem cell research is the area of research that studies the properties of stem cells and their potential use in medicine. As stem cells are the source of all tissues, understanding their properties helps in our understanding of the healthy and diseased body’s development and homeostasis. The various stem cells are based upon their origin and ability to differentiate.
Stem cell research are revolutionizing medicine because of their potential to regenerate damaged tissue that is otherwise unable to be repaired. Bone marrow transplantation is one of the most widespread uses of stem cells today, and it helps with the treatment of some cancers. Ongoing research can help popularize stem cells for the treatment of other chronic illnesses. This can potentially be used to form specialized and life-saving cells for people with severe chronic illness. Because they are able to divide and become specialized cells of the body such as liver, muscle, and blood cells, they are referred to as “undifferentiated” cells.
Some of the challenges unique to cell-based therapies, compared with molecular therapeutics, include dealing with an entity you need to keep alive after transplantation. There are immune system considerations, and there is also the environment. There is still progress being made in the field of regenerative medicine. Many of the restrictions on this research have been lifted over the last decade during the Obama administration. It is permitted under the condition that the utmost care is taken to preserve the ethics of stem cell research
Today, six of the seven leading causes of death are non-communicable diseases (heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes). Based on the early promise mentioned above, regenerative medicine may be our best hope to solve the great non-communicable diseases of our time, and perhaps the single most transformative medical innovation in a century.