How will stem cell therapies impact patient care?

October 23, 2013
Credit: © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

The stem cell field is at a critical point, with the potential for a major impact on clinical medicine if stem cell-based therapies can overcome serious and immediate challenges. These challenges and key action items to overcome them are described in an article published on Fast Track as part of the World Stem Cell Report 2013, a special upcoming supplement to Stem Cells and Development.

The World Stem Cell Report is the official publication of the World Stem Cell Summit, to be held December 4-6, 2013 in San Diego, CA. More than 1,000 researchers and clinicians from around the globe will attend the Summit.

In the article "Key Action Items for the Stem Cell Field Looking to 2014," author Paul S. Knoepfler, University of California Davis School of Medicine, describes the building momentum behind , both for their impact as transformative basic science discoveries and their potential for translation to clinical medicine. At the same time, however, he outlines several critical challenges, including "stem cell tourism," the complex balance between innovation and regulatory/FDA compliance, and the need to educate physicians and patients about stem cell therapies.

"Paul Knoepfler is being honored at the World Stem Cell Summit with the Stem Cell Action 'National Advocacy Award' from the Genetics Policy Institute," says Bernard Siegel, JD, Co-Chair of the 2013 World Stem Cell Summit and Executive Director, Genetics Policy Institute (GPI, Palm Beach, FL). Siegel is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the World Stem Cell Report."Dr. Knoepfler's unique perspective as a scientist and patient advocate provides a fresh perspective to the stem cell universe. As a communicator, Paul is unsurpassed. We are proud to include his views in the Report."

"Key opinion leaders in the field like Paul Knoepfler bring into focus where we are, and where we are not yet, in regard to the further translation of ," says Editor-in-Chief Graham C. Parker, PhD, The Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine (Detroit, MI).

More information: The article is available free on the Stem Cells and Development website.

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