Stem cell-related therapies for vascular diseases.
Martin-Rendon E., Snowden JA., Watt SM.
The therapeutic potential of 'adult' or at least non-embryonic stem cells and their progeny has developed gradually over the past half century as a consequence of the wealth of knowledge derived from stem cell research. Translational research coupled with clinical trials and derived from basic research has led the way to the clinic. This commenced with the use of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), to treat haematological malignancies, to be followed by the most recent clinical trials to treat a variety of coronary and peripheral artery diseases. Stem cells and their progeny isolated from bone marrow or blood appear to exert an ameliorating effect in certain vascular disorders. Although promising, some of these treatments remain controversial and further research and, where indicated, appropriately powered trials are required to confirm the safety and determine the efficacy of these novel therapies.