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Survival Guide to Stem Cells

Survival guide to stem cell research and therapies provides comprehensive guidance to publicly available resource materials, libraries and registries for people who are interested in understanding currently available treatment options involving human stem cells.

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Potential: The first section explains how stem cells are currently used in research, drug testing, and therapy, and how they have to be manipulated before transfer to make any treatments possible.

Classification: Origin and ability of stem cells to differentiate into different cell types determines how different types of stem cells are typically used.

Clinical Research: In this section, we will introduce two most important registries of clinical trials: NIH registry ClinicalTrials gov and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. A project is part of this section to give students the opportunity to get hands on experience with collecting and collating relevant information from registries and libraries, and interpretation of the findings. Real time interactive sessions are included to allow students to ask questions and offer additional guidance.

Patient Demand: In this section, we briefly introduce challenges relating to marketing claims, objective outcome measures, advertising strategies and patient autonomy.

Regulatory and Legal Framework: Stem cell therapies are regulated differently in various countries around the world. In this section, we will focus on regulations that govern stem cell research and therapies in the U.S. and in the European Union. Policies on stem cell research are driven by ethical concerns relating to research that utilizes human embryos. China recently announced new ethical guidelines and new rules for their stem cell clinics, regulating both trials and treatments.

Professional Societies: The last section explains the role of professional societies in stem cell research and therapies.