Stem Cell Therapies, Underway

From Newsweek, a short but illustrative look at the present breadth of stem cell work, a great deal of it focused on the repair of aging bodies and age-related conditions: "There are now more than 1,000 stem-cell therapies in early human trials around the world. The vast majority use cells from patients' own bone marrow, but doctors are also using cells from healthy adults, and last month saw the first patient treated with embryonic cells ... Burt alone has now treated patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other immune disorders. ... [researchers] also plans trials for two diseases in which 'nothing else really seems to work': Lou Gehrig's disease and a rare type of autism involving the immune system. ... Next year may also bring hope for patients with cancer and heart disease. The FDA has fast-tracked a stem-cell therapy for leukemia patients; it could reach the market in late 2007. And an approach that has helped many congestive heart failure patients abroad is also making inroads in America."



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