We pride ourselves on being a substantive informational resource for anyone considering stem cell research and therapy. At times, technical questions regarding stem cell therapy arise from both laypeople and members of the growing world of research and medicine. To help navigate and address these topics we have provided supporting evidence for the questions below.
Can stem cells derived from adipose tissue differentiate into cells other than fat, bone, or cartilage?
Several studies (1-9) have demonstrated that stem cells derived from adipose tissue are capable of creating a vast array of cell types. One important type is neurons, which are potentially critical for treating many kinds of neurological diseases.
Can mesenchymal adult stem cells derived from adipose tissue or bone marrow benefit sufferers of Parkinson’s disease?
Some scientists believe that only stem cells chemically, genetically, or otherwise artificially altered in a laboratory setting have therapeutic value in Parkinson’s Disease. However, two recent studies demonstrated that even unmanipulated mesenchymal stem cells reduced many of the symptoms experienced by individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (10-11). Additionally, the cellular mechanisms behind this therapeutic benefit have been extensively researched in an experimental setting (12-14).
What other medical conditions may benefit from stem cell treatment?
In addition to the articles already cited, there is a growing body of medical literature demonstrating the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for a number of conditions. These range from musculoskeletal issues, such as Osteoarthritis, to neurological issues, such as Multiple Sclerosis (15-22).
What is the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current position on stem cell therapy?
The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing – Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products was held in September 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Currently, stem cell treatment is not FDA approved.
In March 2016, bipartisan legislation, the REGROW Act was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.1.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X02004692 2.) http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2003&issue=05000&article=00018&type=abstract 3.) http://jcs.biologists.org/content/117/18/4289.long 4.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X04028487 5.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X05004183 6.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X06001483 7.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1567713/ 8.) http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/113407 9.) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10561-014-9476-3 10.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328274/ 11.) http://www.translationalres.com/article/S1931-5244(09)00220-5/abstract 12.) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899309024950 13.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05589.x/abstract;jsessionid=CAF9BBB09496379CCDEE555EDF15B759.f04t0 14.) http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728(09)00345-2/abstract 15.) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/pre-prints/content-CT-1300_Michalek_et_al 16.) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/2014/00000023/00000009/art00003?token=0057193c6bd1c0d43275c277b42573a6773483f3b772c236e5f592f653b2a2d3a7c4e72477 0820fa10f7152 17.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279697/ 18.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3343764/ 19.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3102237/ 20.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.20501/abstract 21.) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/stem.430/abstract;jsessionid=E 9A27A99D363BFC9054268145B9EE3BC.f03t01 22.) http://www.clineu-journal.com/article/S0303-8467(12)00533-1/abstract