Greater cooperation needed for advancement of stem cell research

Tissue regeneration therapy inhibited by governmental restrictions

Nashville, Tenn. - December 13, 2006 -- Tissue regeneration strategies, such as stem cell research, have undergone notable developments over the past two decades. However, an article in the journal, Artificial Organs, suggests that many challenges must be overcome before regenerative medicine is accepted as a viable science.

Though the past decade has seen significant achievements in certain applications of regenerative medicine, it remains primarily a laboratory science with few successful products to attest to its promise. Despite widespread efforts for commercialization, the field failed to keep pace with the public’s expectations. "This brought about the perception that this was not a viable clinical alternative to organ transplantation," says Dr. V. Prasad Shastri, author of the study.

Stem cell-based therapy and other tissue regeneration strategies have the potential to revolutionize regenerative medicine and disease treatment. However, the challenges associated with this research, including limited access to stem cells and other materials, in addition to the fact that research is currently funded by the private sector, remain obstacles.

There is currently a lack of a coherent, comprehensive and unified government policy towards cutting edge research involving stem cells. Poor support from the government is further inhibited by geo-political considerations and there is inadequate public information on the research and a near complete absence of public debate.

In order to reverse the perception of regenerative medicine as non-functional, clear goals with tangible benefits must be set. All parties involved in this research must cooperate in order to ensure outcomes that are consistent with promises.

"With the proper framework and participation of all sectors of society and political support, tissue regenerative technologies are poised to change clinical medicine and significantly enhance the quality of life for all," says Dr. Shastri.

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This study is published in Artificial Organs. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net

V. Prasad Shastri, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D. is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University and can be reached for questions and interviews at Prasad.Shastri@Vanderbilt.edu.

Since 1977, Artificial Organs has been publishing original articles featuring the studies of design, performance, and evaluation of the biomaterials and devices for the international medical, scientific, and engineering communities involved in the research and clinical application of artificial organ development. Artificial Organs, published monthly, brings its readership the depth and breadth of the science and technology that continues to advance the Replacement, Recovery and Regeneration of organ systems. For more information, please visit www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/aor.

Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading society publisher, partnering with 665 medical, academic, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and has over 6,000 books in print. The company employs over 1,000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, Germany, and Japan. Blackwell’s mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with our clients that enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice. For more information on Blackwell Publishing, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or www.blackwell-synergy.com.


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