A host of experimental stem cell therapies are poised to make the switch from animal studies to clinical development. But as human studies begin, experts have been quick to warn against giving into the hype that life-saving treatments are just around the corner. Some warn that therapies using adult stem cells are still likely years away from reality while embryonic stem cell therapies could be 10 years in the future. Stem cell therapies are available for growing new skin for burn victims and bone marrow transplants for leukemia patients. And there is promising work being done in repairing damaged heart tissue, eyes and cartilage. There are also hucksters selling fake stem cell treatments to desperately ill patients. In coming years, the hucksters are likely to multiply while the legitimate scientists slave away in the clinic doing the hard work of finding out what works best and what should be avoided.
- here's the BBC's report on stem cell trends