The world has heard many varying opinions on stem cell research but the medical world has something new up its sleeve. It’s something that will put stem cell clinical trials at the forefront of medical breakthroughs, as opposed to controversy.
Stem cell guru and researcher Shinya Yamanaka has been credited with the extraction of stem cells from adult skin. This brilliant extraction paves the way – particularly for those who have suffered serious injury and thought perhaps there was no way back to health – by means of regenerating organs.
The trials are due to begin in late 2012 or early 2013 with the Yamanaka set to transplant 10,000 cells into a damaged eye. He says “It’s easy to transplant stem cells into the eye and observing any changes or side-effects is simpler.” It’s an excellent stepping-stone for clinical research and, what could prove to be, exceptional medical cures in the future.
Individuals with spinal cord injuries may have to wait a little longer due to the fact that, unlike an eye that requires 10,000 cells, the spinal column requires 10,000,000 at least. Considering it takes 6-7 months for the extraction of 10,000 stem cells, it would prove to be extremely lengthy to harvest ten million cells which would not necessarily be used because spinal cord injuries require cells within four weeks of injury. Yamanaka and his team are working to streamline and extract the stem cells faster without damage.
The study does not use embryonic stem cells for clinical trials, but sticks to the adult stem cells which are more applicable in the regeneration process. Yamanaka has said that it would assist greatly for them to set-up a stem cell bank for the iPS cells, to ensure more trials can take place in the way of different injuries being treated. It’s all extremely exciting for everyone in and outside of the medical community.
Everyone from the man on the street who could lose the use of his legs in a heartbeat, to the individuals who take care of the regulatory affairs job, are as excited about the stem cell clinical trials as the person who wishes they could have their energetic life back. Upwards and onwards!