Medical researchers are trying a new treatment for low back pain. Their hope is that harvesting and then re-injecting the body’s own bone marrow — which is rich in stem cells — may repair worn-out discs in the spine.
In a small new study, the approach appeared to be safe — and none of the patients reported that their pain got worse after the procedure.
But both the doctors who are testing the technique and outside experts say much more research is needed before they can say whether the treatment offers real relief.
“I tell everybody that this is experimental, with a
Stem-cell science is one of the most promising areas of biomedical research with the potential to dramatically improve treatment of the most intractable diseases, but it will likely take several more years to fully realize its potential.
That was the message at the annual Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research on June 6. The day-long event, which marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, assembled the country’s leading stem-cell investigators to discuss the field’s achievements, its challenges and future.
“The potential for stem cells is tremendous: If someone has a
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Nerve stem cell transplants may help slow the progression of macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the developed world, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
They said putting nerve stem cells from StemCells Inc near the retinas of rats with a form of macular degeneration helped keep the disease from advancing to blindness for several months.
“These cells improve the chemical environment in the back of the eye,” said Ray Lund of the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, whose findings were presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.