Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews


Print Page Follow BioNews on Twitter BioNews RSS feed

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook



King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter






Testicular stem cells: more stem cell confusion

12 June 2006

By Dr Peter Hollands

Chief Scientific Officer, UK Cord Blood Bank Ltd.

Appeared in BioNews 362
This week's BioNews report on possible therapeutic uses of testicular stem cells helps to highlight the level of confusion and lack of focus in stem cell biology today. Sources of stem cells such as embryos, testicles and ovaries are technically difficult to manipulate and have worrying, potentially malignant properties should they ever be transplanted to a human being. These stem cells also carry significant moral, ethical, legal and religious objections to their creation and use.

There is another source of stem cells which is hardly ever mentioned in the news and is currently being discarded on a daily basis. It has no moral, ethical, legal or religious objections to use and it has been transplanted safely over 6,000 times to date to treat 45 different diseases. This source of stem cells is human umbilical cord blood.

Cord blood can be collected at every birth with no risk or pain to the mother or baby. Once collected cord blood is processed using tried and tested technology and can be frozen in liquid nitrogen for many years. Current applications of these stem cells are in the treatment of leukaemia, related blood disorders and the repair of the bone marrow following high dose chemotherapy for cancer.

Perhaps the most important aspect of cord blood is that it contains mesenchymal stem cells capable of producing many cell types including neuronal and muscle tissue. These cells have an availability and potential far greater than embryonic or testicular stem cells and we must focus our time, energy, resources and expertise on the full utilization of these priceless stem cells. Cord blood stem cells are currently being assessed in a clinical trial in Canada in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The umbilical cord itself also contains stem cells capable of producing a range of tissue types, most notably bone tissue.

If stem cell biology is to advance we must begin to collect, store and carry out research on as much cord blood as possible. We have a readily available source of stem cells with massive potential which is currently, for whatever reason, being ignored by researchers, media and politicians alike. We must stop talking about esoteric sources of stem cells and focus on cord blood stem cells as the source of stem cells for current therapeutic applications and ground breaking therapies of the future.

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

13 October 2008 - by Dr Charlotte Maden 
Scientists in the UK and Germany have found that cells extracted from human testis can be manipulated to make them act like human embryonic stem (ES) cells, resulting in another approach in the burgeoning stem cell field. ES cells can potentially be used to create 'repair tissue... [Read More]
09 June 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
UK researchers have been given the go-ahead to investigate the potential of human testicle stem cells to develop into other types of body tissue The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has licenced the team, based at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, to study the cells... [Read More]

09 June 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
UK researchers have been given the go-ahead to investigate the potential of human testicle stem cells to develop into other types of body tissue The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has licenced the team, based at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, to study the cells... [Read More]
27 March 2006 - by BioNews 
German researchers have isolated cells from adult mouse testicles that share some of the characteristics of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The team isolated stem cells that normally grow into sperm, and coaxed them into producing many different types of body cell. The researchers, based at the Georg-August-University of Gottingen, published... [Read More]
03 October 2005 - by BioNews 
A US woman who became infertile after cancer treatment has stunned doctors by becoming pregnant naturally, following a transplant of ovarian tissue into her abdomen. Ann Dauer, from Canton, Ohio has now given birth to a healthy baby girl, named Sienna. Mrs Dauer had one of her ovaries removed and... [Read More]
08 May 2005 - by BioNews 
US researchers have managed to grow human eggs in the laboratory, using cells scraped from the surface of ovaries. The team, based at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, say that the findings could lead to a new way of preserving female fertility, and also a potential new source of egg... [Read More]

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to Login or Register to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

 


 

- click here to enquire about using this story.

Printer Friendly Page

Published by the Progress Educational Trust
RISK ASSESSMENT:
BREAST CANCER, PREDICTION AND SCREENING
FREE public event in central London, 6.30pm on Thursday 8 May 2014 - find out more HERE

ANNIVERSARY APPEAL
Please donate HERE, so that the Progress Educational Trust can continue throughout 2014 (and beyond) while keeping BioNews FREE for you to read

The Progress Educational Trust was shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards 2011

Advertise your products and services HERE - click for further details

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE, and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation