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Stem Cells (3/3)

Sue Broom looks at major clinical trials using adult stem cells to treat people with heart failure, and at the first trial in humans of embryonic stem cells used to treat people with spinal injuries.

Sue Broom concludes her examination of the remarkable world of stem cells.

Some of these special cells, found in the early embryo, make up all the cells in our developing bodies.

Others, the adult stem cells, are found in our bone marrow, skin, liver and some other organs and these play more specialised roles in regenerating these tissues throughout our lives.

As our understanding of the behaviour of these remarkable cells increases, their potential use, for therapies for a whole host of diseases and disorders, grows.

In the future, it is hoped that diseases such as heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sickle cell anaemia and type one diabetes as well as injuries like spinal cord damage, could be treated using stem cells.

It could be argued that stem cells have been used for medical procedures for years. Bone marrow transplants, in fact, make use of a whole host of stem cells. But it wasn’t until this decade that stem cells have been deliberately isolated and used specifically for various medical applications.

In the final part of her series. Sue Broom takes a look at the major clinical trials using adult stem cells to treat people with heart failure and Type 1 diabetes; and the first ever trial in humans of embryonic stem cells to treat people with spinal cord injuries. Sue also explores where stem cells have been used to grow organs for transplant.

26 minutes

Last on

Thu 18 Jun 2009 00:32GMT

Broadcasts

  • Wed 17 Jun 2009 09:32GMT
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  • Wed 17 Jun 2009 19:32GMT
  • Thu 18 Jun 2009 00:32GMT

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