Stem cells exist in all of us. They work to repair damaged or lost tissues due to trauma, disease, and wear and tear.
There are two ways to use cells as a medical treatment:
- To provide a source of missing cells to heal injured tissue. Or to renew a group of cells killed off by a disease such as Alzheimer's.
- To alter cells to produce a missing substance, such as pancreatic islet cells that let the pancreas make insulin.
People have studied adult stem cells for decades and are already widely using them to treat some conditions, such as leukemia.
Stem Cell Research to Treat Disease
McGowan Institute researchers commit to exploring the full potential of adult stem cells.
We're advancing cell-based treatments for an array of injuries and conditions using many different cell types, such as:
- Cancer stem cells — research to find, and one day kill dormant cancer cells.
- Diabetes — research to learn how to use stem cells to treat or cure diabetes.
- Facial reconstruction with fat grafting — research on minimally invasive surgery to improve soft tissue defects in the head and face.
- Heart disease — a phase II trial to assess the safety of AMI MultiStem®, a stem cell product to treat heart attack.
- Liver support — research on liver stem cell transplants for people with end-stage liver disease.
- Urinary incontinence — a clinical trial to test the McGowan Institute's stem cell therapy to treat stress-induced urinary incontinence.