Patients and physicians alike believe that stem cells are the future of medicine. In the future, it is possible that stem cells will even be used to replace drugs and we may find that stem cells are even more powerful and flexible than we imagined. By making use of the incredible power and versatility of stem cells, scientists all across the world have begun its clinical trials.
However, there are several challenges that need to be overcome before they can be used more widely to treat diseases and injuries. Since they are alive and can replicate inside the patient, they don’t fit the typical pharmaceutical business model, which is structured around putting medicines in people. Turning stem cells into the fully mature cells that you need for therapy will take more work. Scaling-up is another issue, if you’re going to treat a patient, you need to be able to grow millions of cells.
Safety is another key concern area. Pluripotent stem cells can divide indefinitely in the culture dish, and that’s also one of the scariest things about them because that’s also how cancer works. Also, since cells are genetically manipulated to get IPS cells, it’s very hard to know whether we’ve got completely normal cells in the end.
Despite the challenges, stem cell therapy is an emerging field of medicine that shows positive advances through various human clinical trials. Its approach of regenerative medicine has changed the landscape of medicine.