| REVIEW ARTICLES
|Year : 2005 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 138-141
Stem cell therapy - Hope and scope in pediatric surgery
Devendra K Gupta, Shilpa Sharma
Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell in the body with undetermined function capable of forming various tissues under definite signals received from the body. Stem cell research in animals using embryonal stem cells has been an ongoing program in the west with fruitful results. However, only limited information is available with the use of stem cells in human beings. Of the various sources of stem cells, umbilical cord blood stem cell research has shown potential for future treatment in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart attack, stroke and spinal cord injuries. Human trials have been done in diseases like spinal cord injury and chronic liver cirrhosis. Cord blood stem cells have already been effectively used in the treatment of sickle cell, leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and some other cancers, life threatening anemias and auto-immune diseases.
Current challenges with the use of stem cells in clinical practice include the provisions to direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into specialized cell populations, and also devise ways to guard their development or proliferation once placed in vivo. Only further research and its clinical application will solve the many unanswered queries.
Devendra K Gupta
Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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