Hopes raised for spinal injury as stem cells are ‘virtually identical’

Published: August 6, 2010  |  Source: seriousinjurylaw.co.uk
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Spinal cord injury patients may be another step closer to treatment that could repair damaged nerve tissue.

According to research from the Whitehead Institute in the US, human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells display very few differences.

iPS cells are created by introducing three genes that effectively “reprogramme” the cell to a more flexible, embryonic state.

It had been suggested that iPS and ES cells vary in the types of genes they express, suggesting a major hurdle to regenerative therapy.

“iPS cells may indeed hold the clinical promise ascribed to them earlier,” said the study’s authors.

The main benefit of iPS cells, if they can be harnessed, is that the patient is far less likely to reject the cells as they have been taken from his or her own body.

“This difference overcomes a major hurdle in regenerative medicine,” the researchers explained.

The news comes after the biopharmaceutical firm Geron received approval to commence human clinical trials of stem cell treatment on spinal injury patients.

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Posted by Matthew HeapADNFCR-2547-ID-19921193-ADNFCR