The human placenta is a unique temporary organ which ensures mutual coexistence of the organisms of mother and fetus, determining growth and development of the latter . Initially, it was believed that the fetus and placenta are closely related genetically to the mother; but with the development of assisted reproductive technology of the egg donation, it became clear that their genotypes could be completely foreign , which can be regarded as a natural model of engraftment after allogeneic transplantation.
Umbilical cord blood (CB) is an important alterna-tive source of hematopoietic stem cells for allogenic transplantation in children and adults with cancer, bone marrow failure syndromes, hemoglobinopathies and many genetic metabolic disorders . In the last 20 years several cord blood banks have been created worldwide in order to collect and store related and unrelated CB units for the treatment of hematological disorders [2–4].
Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells. Since the first successful sibling cord blood transplant for Fanconi anemia in 1988, UCB has been used to treat a variety of life-threatening conditions, including hematologic malignancies, hemoglobinopathies, and metabolic and immune disorders (Gluckman et al. 2011).
A panel of experts at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has predicted that stem cell research will survive the fallout of the recent scandal involving falsification of data by South Korean stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang . As the field of regenerative medicine regroups, it is important that recent events do not overshadow the potential benefits of the field.
Regenerative medicine is one of modern science’s most exciting developments. Defined by the Medical Research Council, “regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to develop the science and tools that can help repair or replace damaged or diseased human cells or tissues to restore normal function”.
Stem cell biology has become one of the most widely studied fields of biology, especially in the context of regenerative medicine for the repair and replacement of damaged tissues and organs [1,2]. Based on their origin, stem cells can be classified into four categories. Embryonic, induced pluripotent, perinatal, and adult stem cells.
LFB is a French state owned group LFB specialized in biopharmaceuticals which develops, manufactures and markets biological medicines for serious, often rare diseases in its therapeutic areas of excellence in Immunology, Hemostasis and Perinatal & Intensive Care. CELLforCURE is a subsidiary of the French group.
Tissue regeneration after damage remains a major challenge. ‘Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary field of research and clinical applications focused on the repair, replacement or regeneration of cells, tissues or organs to restore impaired function resulting from any cause’ (Daar and Greenwood, 2007). Strategies that have been applied include cell-based therapies, the use of biomaterials (scaffolds) alone and the use of scaffolds seeded with cells (Hipp and Atala, 2008).
Reading and interpreting the literature in a jargon-intensive field of science are very difficult for non-scientists. A brief overview of basic knowledge in the field of stem cell science provided in this manuscript should enable readers, not familiar with the field, to follow and understand more easily the issues that will be outlined and discussed in the series of commissioned articles on the current status and prospects of regenerative medicine and stem cell biology.
Thanks to more than two decades of extensive research, scientific evidence confirms a promising potential for mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapeutic strategies. This is largely due to the advancement in the knowledge of their basic biological properties, which was translated into clinical opportunities. MSC are isolated from different tissue/organs of both humans and animals.
Rare bone diseases account for 5% of all birth defects and are an important cause of disability Worldwide, yet they remain a difficult group of conditions to treat . In the 2015 Nosology and Classification of Genetic Skeletal Disorders (GSDs) there were 436 GSDs with hundreds of causative genes .
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) are increasingly viewed as sources of cell therapy applications due to their known immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and capacity to stimulate angiogenesis. Despite the desirable features such as high proliferation levels, multipotency, and immune response regulation, there are important variables that must be considered.
Regenerative medicine is currently a dynamically growing field of modern medicine. The use of different kinds of stem cells can be viewed as an alternative to organ transplantation and treatment of many diseases such as neurological or cardiovascular diseases [1,2] that cannot be effectively treated by conventional methods.
Various types of stem cells have been isolated to date in the human from a variety of tissues including preimplantation embryos, fetuses, birth-associated tissues and adult organs. They can be broadly classified into embryonic stem cells (ESC), mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) based on biochemical and genomic markers.
‘Stem Cells’; never in the history of science and medicine have two words sparked off so much interest, passion, controversy and hope from the scientific, medical, public, ethical, religious, political and commercial communities. It is, however, important to state clearly that despite many significant clinical achievements and great promises, stem cells are not the sole means to cure all diseases.
Central nervous system (CNS) injuries and disorders seri-ously affect human health and quality of life. Hitherto, neurosurgery and pharmaceutical agents can alleviate symptoms, but no effective therapy is available to repair/- replace damaged or degenerated neurons and restore neurological functions .
Approximately 80 % of the population experience at least one episode of low back pain at some point during their life-time and low back pain is a leading cause of adulthood disability . Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is considered to be a major cause of low back pain, even though the definite etiology of IVD degeneration is largely unknown [2–4].