Why is stem cell research beneficial?


Quick Answer

According to the National Institutes of Health, stem cell research may lead to drug therapies that treat major ailments, such as cancer. Stem cell research may also lead to repairing or replacing organs.

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Why is stem cell research beneficial?
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Full Answer

Stem cell therapies are already being applied through stem cell transplants, according to the American Cancer Society. For instance, an autologous transplant is a method in which new cells are extracted from the patient's blood or bone and reused to treat the disease. This form of cell extraction is normally used to treat testicular cancer, lymphoma and leukemia. Researchers are also looking into the possibility of autologous transplants treating other diseases, such as Crohn's disease and systemic sclerosis.

The Washington Post mentions the field of pluripotent stem cells and the cloning of human cells for medical therapy. This can lead to cells that produce insulin for diabetic patients, and it may prevent macular degeneration of the eyes. There is also the possibility of growing new organs.

In an article for Organogenesis, researcher Benedetta Bussolati notes that stem cells can replace damaged cells in organs, which eliminates the need for organ transplants. This is known as the replace method, and it can be applied in cases of repeated organ failure. Another option within the field is to use new cells to repair damaged tissue, otherwise known as a support mechanism.

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