Stem Cells

Table of Contents
 What
are Stem Cells?
 Classification of Stem Cells
 Current Uses of Stem Cells
 Legal Restrictions
 Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
 Therapeutic Cloning
 Potential Use of Stem Cells
 New & Exciting Research
 Conclusion
Stem Cells
Stem cells are pluripotent.
Stem cells serve as a repair system for the body.
Stem cells have the potential in many different areas of
health and medical research.
By studying stem cells we can understand diseases and
how serious conditions occur.
Stem cells may be used one day in the future to make
cells and tissues for therapy for many different diseases.
Formed as a normal part of embryonic development
Can be isolated from an early embryo and grown in
a dish
 ES cells are pluripotent
 ES cells are a promising source of cells for treating diseases
 Patient’s immune system
will recognize
transplanted stem cells
as foreign and attack
 when hES cells are
isolated from an embryo
the embryo is destroyed
Also called adult stem cells
Exist naturally in body
Important for growth, healing, and replacing cells lost
through daily wear and tear
Can become only a subset of related cell types
 Can treat blood and skin diseases
 Only certain cells can be produced from somatic stem cells
 Cells low in abundance
 Difficult to isolate and grow in
 Can be transplanted but will
be attacked by patient’s
immune system
 Not controversial
 Same ethical
considerations that
apply to all medical
Current Uses
 Regenerative capabilities of human skin to treat victims
severe burns using skin transplants
cell therapies are not new
 Possible cause stem cells located under top layer of
that reproduce
worn out skin
daily and
Cell Therapy
 After severe burns, source of these reproducing stem
skin diseases
cells are destroyed
 Past: used to treat burns by transplanting sections of
skin of undamaged area to burned areas but if not
enough unharmed skin found then no treatment
 Now: scientists grow sheets of new skin by culturing
stem cells from small pieces of healthy skin
Current Uses
 Can already treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, bone marrow
 Now we can drive hematopoietic stem cells from blood in
damage, some metabolic disorders and immunodeficiencies
umbilical cords and placentas at birth and from peripheral blood
where the body has lost ability to replenish its healthy blood cells
 Problem with PBSC’s is that due to small quantity it’s difficult to
 Hematopoietic stem cell gives rise to all blood cells
collect enough for a transplant
 Only way to use hematopoietic stem cells is bone marrow
 Umbilical cord blood lacks immune cells so there is less chance of
transplanted cells will attack recipients body
 Scientists are exploring new use for these stem cells that go
 Stem cells from umbilical cords and placentas are more
beyond blood related diseases
accessible than from the bone marrow
 Governed by Assisted Humans Reproduction Act Protect
principles of free and informed consent, human dignity, noncommercialization of gametes and embryos and respect for
 Not ethically acceptable to create human embryos for research
 In vitro fertilization embryos may be used
 Reproductive and research cloning are prohibited and
Created artificially by reprogramming patient’s cells
Made from readily available somatic cells
An alternate to hES but not the same
 Mouse iPS cells can become any cell in body of a mouse
 Predictably same for humans
 Promising source of cells for treating diseases
 Much cheaper to generate
than ES cells from
therapeutic cloning
 No danger or immune
system rejection
 Same ethical
considerations that
apply to all medical
Method of cloning patient-specific embryonic stem
Also known as nuclear transfer
 in theory, can generate hES cells with potential to become
any type of cell in human body
 No possible rejection by immune system
 Not successful in creating
human embryo to blastocyst
 In animals cloning has been
time consuming, inefficient
and expensive.
 Involves creating clone
of human being
 Destroying cloned
 Requires human egg
Potential Uses
 By either obtaining or producing stem cells (from
embryo, iPS or therapeutic cloning) we can test new
medications on these stem cells to see how they
There are many potential uses and applications of
Stem Cells.
The three I am going to discuss are:
• Resource
for Testing
New Medical Treatments
of Embryos
• Development
and Disease
Research on diseases
like Parkinson’s
or Cancer
Normal stem cells
and tumor stem cells exist in low
• Regenerative
number but can replicate and differentiate
 Cancerous stem cells lack control to stop diving
 Research in difference in gene expression between
normal and tumor stem cells may lead to treatments
where the root of the problem occurs
Potential Uses
 New field that aims to use stem cells to repair damaged tissues
that can’t heal itself
 Many animals can grow new body ports
 Regeneration in humans is limited , human stem cells can only
heal injuries not replace missing pieces
 Scientists are looking for ways to activate stem cells inside the
body and coax them to go beyond their natural healing
 Some existing drugs can activate stem cells, thus scientists may
be able to develop new drugs that will activate other types of
stem cells to heal damaged tissue
 Scientists trying to use hES and iPS stem cells to grow organs or
stem cells to treat diseases or damages
 Tissue engineers can grow patches of repaired damaged
heart tissue
 In animals they can grow whole hearts, livers, lungs and kidneys
New Research
Antipsychotic drug, Thioridazine, found by
McMaster University researchers, is a “smart drug”
that kills only cancer stem cells and appears to
have no effect on normal cells
Was removed from shelved by Health Canada
because it causes irregular heartbeat that may
cause sudden death
One of 26 drugs found by Bhatia and his team
Studying how Thioridazine works also led McMaster
researchers to discover new ways in which cancer
stem cells grow and evolve.
As we grow from fertilized eggs
into fully formed human beings,
stem cells give rise to all of our
differentiated tissues and
organs. Stem cells continue to
play an important role
throughout our lives as they
help to heal and maintain our
bodies. Stem cells offer an
exciting promise for future
therapies and may be used
one day to make cells and
tissues for therapy for many
devastating diseases like
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and
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Picture References
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Slides 4, 5, 10 & 11
Slide 6
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Animation Slide 15

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