Author(s): Lowry WE, Quan WL
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Abstract Since the first studies of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and, more recently, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), the stem-cell field has been abuzz with the promise that these pluripotent populations will one day be a powerful therapeutic tool. Although it has been proposed that hiPSCs will supersede hESCs with respect to their research and/or clinical potential because of the ease of their derivation and the ability to create immunologically matched iPSCs for each individual patient, recent evidence suggests that iPSCs in fact have several underappreciated characteristics that might mean they are less suitable for clinical application. Continuing research is revealing the similarities, differences and deficiencies of various pluripotent stem-cell populations, and suggests that many years will pass before the clinical utility of hESCs and hiPSCs is realized. There are a plethora of ethical, logistical and technical roadblocks on the route to the clinical application of pluripotent stem cells, particularly of iPSCs. In this Essay, we discuss what we believe are important issues that should be considered when attempting to bring hiPSC-based technology to the clinic.
This article was published in J Cell Sci
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy