This section details just some of the advances in stem cell research and the actual treatments that have resulted from using ethical adult stem cell research. Stories about stem cell treatments are sorted by specific conditions treated or body systems affected by the conditions.
Stem Cell Sources
June 17, 2009 - Brazilian researchers suggested that discarded fallopian tubes from hysterectomies could be a source of adult stem cells. The researchers were able to extract the adult stem cells and turn them into healthy muscle, fat, cartilage and bone cell lines. The cells could also be useful for studying and treating fertility problems.
Jan. 8, 2009 - Stem cells have been isolated from human testes by researchers at Stanford University. The cells showed some of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, and may be used in future experiments with fertility treatments and other research.
Jan. 8, 2007 - Wake Forest researchers have found that amniotic fluid contains stem cells that can be turned into a variety of cell types.
Apr. 21, 2003 - Researchers have discovered that baby teeth contain adult stem cells.
Oct. 18, 2009 - Scientists from Scripps Research Institute have developed a faster and more efficient process for turning regular cells into induced-pluripotent stem cells. Researchers used three chemicals to create 200-times the number of iPS cells in half the time of past techniques.
Oct. 8, 2009 - Researchers have developed several different techniques to activate the four genes needed to transform regular cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. This latest advance involves use of so-called small molecules to replace two of the genes. The researchers hope to overcome any safety concerns with using iPS cells in treatments by replacing all four genes.
July 24, 2009 - Chinese scientists have created live mice by injecting iPS cells into mouse embryos. Researchers say the test proves that iPS cells can function exactly like embryonic stem cells. "This clearly says for the first time that iPS cells pass the most stringent test," said Konrad Hochedlinger, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University.
Apr. 27, 2009 - Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute announced that they were able to transform regular skin cells from mice into cells that have the same properties as embryonic stem cells using proteins. Previously, researchers had been able to create induced pluripotent stem cells by manipulating the genes in skin cells but using proteins is considered safer.
Aug. 2, 2008 - Dr. David Prentice from the Family Research Council writes about the recent advance with turning skin cells from patients with ALS into a neuron similar to the type the disease attacks. This shows for the first time iPS cells can produce specialized cells from a patient with a disease. “The results of this study should put another nail in cloning's coffin,” Dr. Prentice said.
Nov. 20, 2007 - Numerous media outlets reported on breakthrough research by two groups of researchers. Researchers from Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin in independent experiments reprogrammed human skin cells to make them act like embryonic stem cells. These new cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells. This research was done without killing or cloning human embryos.
July 28, 2007 - Medical News Today reported on a retrospective study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The study found that patients with testicular cancer who aren’t treated successfully using traditional methods can be cured using high doses of chemotherapy and a transplant of their own stem cells.
July 11, 2007 - Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have used stem cells from umbilical cord blood to help treat patients suffering from leukemia. They've also been working on a method of growing the umbilical cord stem cells more quickly so patients spend less time being vulnerable to infection.
Feb. 24, 2010 - Two studies published in the journal Cell Transplantation show further advances in using bone marrow adult stem cells to treat heart conditions.
May 19, 2009 - Reuters reported a study showing that injecting bone marrow adult stem cells into patients with ischemic heart disease can help improve their condition. The treatments resulted in improved blood flow and ability to exercise.
July 27, 2007 - Medical News Today reported that an international biotechnology company called Theravitae claims to have successfully treated a man suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy using his own stem cells.
Mar. 26, 2007 - Researchers have extracted adult stem cells from the legs of patients suffering from heart failure and then injected them into the patient's heart. The researchers saw improvement in the health of patients who received the adult stem cell treatment while the health of patients who received traditional treatment worsened.
Sept. 21, 2006 - The Los Angeles Times reported on research by German scientists who found that adult stem cells could improve the function of patients’ hearts who experienced heart attacks in the past. Researchers were also optimistic that repeated treatments could continue to improve the function of damaged hearts.
Dec. 9, 2009 - Reuters reported that National Institutes of Health researchers cured sickle cell disease in 9 out of 10 patients using adult stem cells from the bone marrow of the patients' siblings.
Apr. 5, 2009 - The Charleston Post & Courier reported a study showing that bone marrow stem cells can treat limb ischemia. Doctors successfully healed a man with poor circulation in his foot caused by diabetes, saving the foot from amputation.
Nov. 27, 2008 - Biotechnology firm Regenocyte Therapeutic claimed their study showed promise in treating pulmonary hypertension with adult stem cells. Researchers used the adult stem cells from the patients' own blood to grow new blood vessels and reduce the high blood pressure affecting their lungs.
May 11, 2008 - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram featured a story on how a young man’s adult stem cells were used to treat his tissue decay, which he was suffering due to meningitis. Doctors believe this treatment saved his arms and legs and they’re hoping it will also save his hands and feet.
Dec. 14, 2009 - ABC News in Australia reported a man named Ben Leahy is now able to walk again after his multiple sclerosis was treated with his own bone marrow stem cells. The treatment involves destroying a patient's immune system and then replenishing it with bone marrow stem cells.
Nov. 9, 2009 - FOX News reported that a Colorado girl who suffered from cerebral palsy was successfully treated with adult stem cells from her own umbilical cord blood. The girl was two years old at the time of her treatment in 2008. The lead doctor of the study will conduct a clinical trial of the procedure in the near future, according to the story.
Mar. 28, 2009 - Science Daily reported that California researchers have published a report showing that bone marrow adult stem cells could be used to treat spinal cord injuries. Eight patients in the study showed some improvement after the bone marrow cells were injected into them by multiple routes.
Mar 13, 2008 - The Vancouver Sun reported on a young woman with multiple sclerosis who was treated in Canada with her own blood stem cells. She is one of 17 patients in Canada who have undergone this experimental treatment.
Apr. 10, 2006 - The Baptist Press contained a story on a young woman who received a transfer of olfactory stem cells from her nose to help with her paralysis. Jacki Rabon was paralyzed after being thrown from a car in August of 2003. In October of 2005, she traveled to Portugal to receive the surgery and then later went to Detroit for rehabilitation. She is now walking with the help of braces and a parallel bar.
May 19, 2005 - Science Daily reported the results of a study which found transplants of stem cells from umbilical cord blood could treat infants with a deadly degenerative disorder called Krabbe’s disease.
June 22, 2010 - Italian researchers have successfully treated seven patients suffering from periodontal disease by injecting their gums with bone marrow stem cells. Periodontitis destroys the bone tissue underneath the damaged gums. Traditional treatment options include bone grafts.
Apr. 20, 2010 - British and Italian doctors performed a stem cell organ treatment on a child to replace his windpipe. Doctors gave the boy a donor windpipe with his own adult bone marrow stem cells grafted onto it.
Dec. 16, 2009 - Sky News reported that British doctors successfully treated a man named Andrew Kent with stem cells from his own bone marrow after a boulder fell on him and broke his leg in five places. Without the treatment, Kent would have likely had to have his leg amputated.
Sept. 1, 2009 - The Telegraph reported that a British hospital used an adult stem cell treatment as an alternative to artificial hip replacements. The technique uses adult stem cells from a patient's own bone marrow mixed with ground-up bone fragments. Five of the six patients have had successful treatments.
Feb. 1, 2008 - Reuters reported on how Finnish researchers used stem cells taken from a patient’s own fat to help create a bone transplant to replace his upper jaw. The 65-year-old patient, whose upper jaw was removed because of cancer, was unable to eat or speak without a prosthesis before the transplant.
May 17, 2010 - Medical News Today reported that Australian researchers have successfully treated a woman suffering from a previously unidentified disease. The disease damaged the woman's immune system, so doctors destroyed her immune system and regrew it using adult stem cells from bone marrow.
Apr. 15, 2009 - The BBC reported that adult stem cells have been used to successfully treat patients with type 1 diabetes. Twenty of twenty-three patients were insulin-free for a period of months or years after receiving a treatment of their own adult stem cells.
Feb. 11, 2009 - CNN reported that a team of German scientists used adult stem cells to treat a leukemia patient who was HIV-positive and this treatment appears to have eliminated HIV from his body. The doctors used stem cells from a donor with a gene mutation that is resistant to HIV. Two years after the treatment the patient has no signs of HIV.
June 25, 2007 - Researchers from the University of Florida reported they found that children with juvenile diabetes can be treated with blood from their own umbilical cords. Children given infusions of their own cord blood had less severe symptoms. Researchers suspect the stem cells in the umbilical cord blood played a role in helping these children.
Apr. 11, 2007 - Researchers in Brazil have used a patient's own stem cells to help treat juvenile diabetes. One patient has been insulin free for nearly three years.
Jan. 31, 2006 - The New Scientist carried a story on 33 people with lupus who haven’t had lupus symptoms since they received a transplant of stem cells from their own bone marrow. The study of these patients appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Jan. 9, 2002 - Science Daily reported that Duke University researchers reported a 95 percent sucess rate in treating infants afflicted with the autoimmune disease SCID by giving them adult stem cell injections from bone marrow. The long-term study lasted for 19 years.
Apr. 8, 2010 - Reuters reported that Biotech company Celgene has used adult stem cells from placentas in a clinical trial to treat Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. The preliminary trial tested safety of the procedure and resulted in remission in four of 12 patients. Umbilical cord blood and placentas are usually thrown away if not donated after birth.
Jan. 24, 2008 - Scientists were able to use adult stem cells from a kidney donor’s bone marrow to help kidney recipients live without taking drugs that suppress their immune system. The scientists discovered the transplanted stem cells multiplied and protected the transplanted organ from the patients’ immune systems.
May 21, 2007 - Researchers have used adult stem cells from the muscle tissue of patients to treat urinary incontinence.
Mar. 27, 2007 - The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail shared the story of how researchers have used adult stem cells from the hip bones of patient and then injected those cells into the liver of patients with liver cancer. This allowed the patients’ livers to grow so they could remove the cancerous part of their livers.
Oct. 31, 2006 - Researchers from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have used stem cells from umbilical cord blood to create “mini-livers.” They hope these “mini-livers” could be used to test drugs and think they could be used to treat patients in possibly 10-15 years.
June 18, 2010 - USA Today reported that stem cells taken from patients' damaged eyes were used to treat their blindness caused by chemical burns. Of 112 patients treated, more than 75 percent had their vision restored.
Dec. 22, 2009 - The Guardian reported that British researchers have restored sight to eight patients suffering from Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD) using their own bone marrow stem cells. A larger study of the treatment is underway according to the story.
May 28, 2009 - The BBC reported that researchers from Australia used adult stem cells grown on contact lenses to heal the damaged corneas of three patients. According to researchers, each patient saw dramatic improvement in their vision in weeks.
June 3, 2008 - A 2-year-old boy with a fatal skin disease, recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, was treated after receiving a transplant of stem cells from his brother.