Researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago have conducted a review of the medical literature in which adult stem cells derived from blood and bone marrow were utilized in the treatment of nonmalignant, nonhematologic conditions. In particular, the scientists and doctors reviewed reports that were published between 1997 and 2007 on the use of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the treatment of autoimmune, cardiac and vascular diseases. From a total of 926 reports, 323 were specifically analyzed for feasibility and toxicity.
The team of researchers, which was led by Dr. Richard Burt, concluded that adult stem cell therapy is effective at treating the diseases and at relieving the symptoms of the diseases, while contraindications and side effects were negligible, at less than 1% in most studies. As the scientists stated in their own words, and as published in their report in JAMA, “Stem cells harvested from blood or marrow, whether administered as purified HSCs or mesenchymal stem cells or as an unmanipulated or unpurified product can, under appropriate conditions in select patients, provide disease-ameliorating effects in some autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disorders.”
Researchers hope that the conclusions drawn from such a literature review might encourage further progress in the formal recognition by legislators and the medical community of the clinical safety and efficacy of adult stem cells.