Stem cell therapy has massive potential as a widely effective medical treatment. However, it is still a developing field of study. Researchers all over the world are conducting studies and clinical trials in an effort to find new ways to use stem cells for treatment. Due to the significance of the treatment method, the history of developments is important.
1998 – Beginning of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
In 1998, a professor from the University of Wisconsin, Madison make the first breakthrough in understanding the potential of stem cell therapy. He and his team grew the first set of embryonic cells in a lab, also referred to as in-vitro. This step helped scientists all over the world begin to understand how the cells function and provided the foundational knowledge still used today.
2001 – First Heart Cells
A professor in the Netherlands developed the first heart cells to live outside of a body with stem cells in 2001. Most medicines are tested on animal hearts. This development gave researchers the ability to gain more information about how certain medicines will affect the human heart.
2003 – New Heart Muscle
One year later, a researcher in Atlanta discovered that you can use stem cells to form muscle cells in the heart. This was a massive realization that further opened the possibilities to heal the heart with stem cell treatment.
2003, 2004, and 2007 – Discovery and Development of Cardiac Stem Cells
An Italian professor in 2003 discovered something that researchers had spent years trying to unearth. Professor Antonio Beltrami found that the human heart holds a small collection of stem cells. The next year, a French scientist discovered that stem cells that live in fat tissue could be used to create cardiac cells. A Japanese researcher further advanced cardiac research in 2007, discovering that it is also possible to turn skin cells directly into cardiac cells.
2010 – Mobilizing Cardiac Stem Cells
By 2010, there was a wealth of information about cardiac stem cells. However, researchers still had not discovered how to mobilize the cells to begin repairing the heart. A scientist at Oxford found that a certain protein can help cells move toward the damaged area and begin the necessary repairs.
2013 and 2016 – Patching and New Blood
In 2013 and 2016, English and Scottish researchers found more ways to use stem cells. English professor Ipsita Roy developed a way to use bacteria to encourage cell growth in a damaged heart. Scottish researcher Jo Mountford conducted experiments that resulted in the discovery that stem cells can be used to create clean blood.
Future Possibility of Stem Cells in Brain Cancer Treatments
Scientists have recently discovered a possible way that stem cell therapy can treat brain cancer. It functions by using a mechanism that protects glioma stem cells to prevent them from being destroyed.
Stem cell research is ongoing. Researchers and scientists are slowly unearthing the massive potential of stem cell therapy.