Regenerative medicine, the most recent and emerging branch of medicine, deals with functional restoration of tissues and / or organs for the patient suffering from severe injuries or chronic disease. The spectacular progress in the field of stem cells has laid the foundation for cell based therapies of disease which cannot be cured by conventional medicines. The indefinite self-renewal and potential to differentiate into other types of cells represent stem cells as the last frontier of regenerative medicine.
After several decades of research, stem cell therapy is becoming a magnificent game changer for medicine. The influence of stem cells in regenerative medicine and transplantology is immense. Currently, untreatable neurodegenerative diseases have the possibility of becoming treatable with stem cell therapy. Induced pluripotency enables the use of a patient’s own cells. Tissue banks are becoming increasingly important, as they gather cells that are the source of regenerative medicine in a struggle against present and future diseases. We are better able to prolong and sustain a good quality of life with the use of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Scientists continue to research more ways to treat more diseases with cord blood SCs. At Duke University, for example, researchers are using patients’ own cord blood in trials for cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen). Trials are also under way for the treatment of autism at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, California.