There are many ways in which human stem cells can be used in research and clinical treatment. Studies of embryonic stem cells give information about the complex events that occur during human development. The main purpose of such study is to determine the differentiation of stem cells that form tissues and organs.
Human stem cells can also be used to test new drugs. For example, new drugs can be tested for safety on differentiated cells derived from human pluripotent cell lines. Cancer cell line is used for screening potential anticancer drugs. (Pano 2006)
Perhaps the most important potential application of human stem cells is the generation of cells and tissues, which can be used for cell therapy in the treatment of many diseases. Today there is a tendency of donor organs and tissues, which are often used to replace diseased or destroyed tissues and organs. However, the need for organ and tissue transplantation in most cases significantly exceeds the available supply. Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the potential of renewable replacement cells and tissues to treat many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, and many heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and others. (Pano 2006)
For example, it is quite possible to generate healthy heart muscle cells in vitro and then transplant these cells into patients with chronic heart disease.
Today the therapeutic use of stem cells is hotly debated among experts, and also causes great public interest. Nowadays stem cell research has generated more questions than give answers.