It seems a new stem cell discovery hits the headlines almost weekly. But stem cells are a varied bunch and even defining the type of cell we’re talking about can be a challenge. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a case in point: their identity, capabilities and sources have been the subject of great controversy among researchers. Yet MSCs DO hold much promise for treating disease and are the focus of some 300 past and present clinical trials. So where is research on MSCs really at today? And why have these cells been at the centre of recurring debates about what they can do and how they might truly be used in therapies?
Bruno Peault, Professor and Chair, Vascular Regeneration, University of Edinburgh, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine. Professor, University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr Ilaria Bellantuono, Deputy Sheffield Lead for the MRC – Arthritis Research-UK Centre for Integrated Research into Musculoskeletal Ageing (CIMA).
Dr Massimo Dominici, Head – Laboratory of Cell Biology and Advanced Cancer Therapies, University Hospital of Modena & Reggio Emilia. President Elect of the International Society for Cellular Therapy