The promise and perils of stem cell therapeutics

Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Jun 14;10(6):740-749. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.05.010.


Stem cells are the seeds of tissue repair and regeneration and a promising source for novel therapies. However, apart from hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation, essentially all other stem cell treatments remain experimental. High hopes have inspired numerous clinical trials, but it has been difficult to obtain unequivocal evidence for robust clinical benefit. In recent years, unproven therapies have been widely practiced outside the standard clinical trial network, threatening the cause of legitimate clinical investigation. Numerous challenges and technical barriers must be overcome before novel stem cell therapies can achieve meaningful clinical impact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*