Cell-based therapy approaches: the hope for incurable diseases

Regen Med. 2014;9(5):649-72. doi: 10.2217/rme.14.35.


Cell therapies aim to repair the mechanisms underlying disease initiation and progression, achieved through trophic effect or by cell replacement. Multiple cell types can be utilized in such therapies, including stem, progenitor or primary cells. This review covers the current state of cell therapies designed for the prominent disorders, including cardiovascular, neurological (Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury), autoimmune (Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease), ophthalmologic, renal, liver and skeletal (osteoarthritis) diseases. Various cell therapies have reached advanced clinical trial phases with potential marketing approvals in the near future, many of which are based on mesenchymal stem cells. Advances in pluripotent stem cell research hold great promise for regenerative medicine. The information presented in this review is based on the analysis of the cell therapy collection detailed in LifeMap Discovery(®) (LifeMap Sciences Inc., USA) the database of embryonic development, stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

Keywords: autoimmune diseases; cardiovascular diseases; cell therapy; mesenchymal stem cells; neurological diseases; pluripotent stem cells; regenerative medicine; stem cell therapy; stem cell transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Liver Diseases / therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy
  • Regenerative Medicine / trends*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Vascular Diseases / therapy