Stem cell treatments are a type of cell therapy that introduce new cells into damaged tissue in order to treat a disease or injury. Many medical researchers believe that stem cell treatments have the potential to change the face of human disease and alleviate suffering. The ability of stem cells to self-renew and give rise to subsequent generations that can differentiate offers a large potential to culture tissues that can replace diseased and damaged tissues in the body, without the risk of rejection.
A number of stem cell treatments exist, although most are still experimental and/or costly, with the notable exception of bone marrow transplantation. Medical researchers anticipate one day being able to use technologies derived from adult and embryonic stem cell research to treat cancer, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, cardiac failure, muscle damage and neurological disorders, along with many others.
More research is needed concerning both stem cell behavior and the mechanisms of the diseases they could be used to treat before most of these experimental treatments become realities.
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