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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 521343, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/521343
Review Article

Emerging Stem Cell Therapies: Treatment, Safety, and Biology

Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Genome Institute of Singapore, 60 Biopolis Street, Singapore 138672

Received 4 May 2012; Revised 3 July 2012; Accepted 4 July 2012

Academic Editor: Erdal Karaöz

Copyright © 2012 Joel Sng and Thomas Lufkin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Stem cells are the fundamental building blocks of life and contribute to the genesis and development of all higher organisms. The discovery of adult stem cells has led to an ongoing revolution of therapeutic and regenerative medicine and the proposal of novel therapies for previously terminal conditions. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was the first example of a successful stem cell therapy and is widely utilized for treating various diseases including adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The autologous transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells is increasingly employed to catalyze the repair of mesenchymal tissue and others, including the lung and heart, and utilized in treating various conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. There is also increasing interest in the therapeutic potential of other adult stem cells such as neural, mammary, intestinal, inner ear, and testicular stem cells. The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells has led to an improved understanding of the underlying epigenetic keys of pluripotency and carcinogenesis. More in-depth studies of these epigenetic differences and the physiological changes that they effect will lead to the design of safer and more targeted therapies.