Progress in the field of regenerative medicine continues to give hope to patients with a variety of medical conditions, including Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and cancer.
The latest breakthrough comes from a Canadian-led team of researchers who, in five recently published papers, detailed the process of reprogramming skin cells into stem cells, which can then be used to generate nearly every other kind of cell in the body.
The international team of 50 researchers based their work on that of Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, who won the Nobel Prize in 2012 for his stem cell research. The team plans to make the more recent findings available across the globe, giving researchers, scientists and medical professionals access to a database that will improve treatment and help cure disease.
Of particular interest is the researchers' identification of a new kind of cell -- an F-class stem cell -- which can be grown more quickly and at a lower expense than other kinds of stem cells.
The cataloging of the process of stem cell growth is expected to help medical professionals identify the cells' best therapeutic properties, which could then be harnessed to treat specific conditions. Growing the cells up to a certain point may be appropriate for one condition, while cell growth up to another point may be appropriate for another condition.
Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins praised the researchers' achievement as extraordinary. "This research can and will and is leading to new medical treatments using a patient's own cells," he said. "That kind of individualized treatment is something that physicians like me have only dreamed of in the past."
At Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers, we know the importance of breakthrough treatments for patients with serious medical conditions. In addition to our team of lawyers and law clerks, our firm has an in-house medical consultant for clients who have questions about any aspect of their recovery.
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