If a patient is in need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, his treating physician will determine the source of the stem cells to be used. This decision will be based on several criteria, including the degree of compatibility between the donor and the patient (sometimes the donor and the patient are one and the same person), the expected rate of transplantation and the amount of time available to search for a suitable donor.
The following list of diseases currently treated with stem cells can be divided into three categories:
Diseases for which standard treatments are currently being used
These are diseases for which transplants of blood-forming stem cells (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplants, HSCT) are a standard treatment. For some diseases they are the only therapy, and in other diseases they are only employed when front-line therapies have failed or the disease is very aggressive. Most of the diseases for which HSCT is a standard treatment are disorders of blood cell lineage, ranging from the stem cells in the bone marrow down to specific cell types in the blood.
Diseases for which treatment is in the clinical study stage
These are diseases for which stem cell treatments appear to be beneficial, but have not been adopted as standard therapy. For some of these diseases, stem cell transplants only slow the progression of the disease, but do not produce a cure. For other diseases, stem cell treatments may help effect a cure, but further research is needed to determine the optimum stem cell dosage, the optimum method of cell delivery, etc.
Diseases currently being treated with experimental treatments
These are disorders for which stem cell treatments have not been proven yet to have any efficacy in human beings. These studies are being conducted either in the laboratory with cell cultures or in animals that mimic the human disease.
To diseases of this category>>