As evidenced by the recent NY Times article regarding tailor made organs grown with an individual’s own stem cells – the future of regenerative medicine is now. As we have reported in past blogs and newsletter posts, researchers are creating organs and tissue – for transplantation, utilizing the patient’s own [autologous] stem cells. We believe the processes outlined in the NY Times report represents the emerging gold standard in regenerative medicine; whereas, the individual’s own stem cells are recovered, expanded and cultured and then transplanted back into the individual.
According to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, “Millions of people in North America live with varying degrees of irreversible vision loss because they have an untreatable, degenerative eye disorder like retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which affects an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide, or age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in Canada and North America.”
“Ninety percent of the patients on the transplant list are actually waiting for a kidney. Patients are dying every day because we don’t have enough of those organs to go around,” explained Anthony Atala, a leading stem cell researcher from Wake Forest during a TED talk. Given this acute need for organs, researchers around the world are racing to develop techniques to grow organs and tissue with stem cells.