Need a unique essay?
Order now

Research Paper Example: Benefits and Risks of Stem Cell Technology

5 pages
1231 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Stem cells denote the totipotent progenitor cells that offer a chance for multilineage differentiation and self-renewal of cells in vitro manipulation (Lunn 355). Stem cell technology is a developing biological field that aims at combining the efforts of geneticists, biologists and the hope of clinicians to solve malignant and non-malignant diseases in patients. Just like any other therapeutic practices, stem cell technology has both benefits and risks in the process of finding possible solutions to patients diseases. This article seeks to analyze possible therapeutic benefits of stem cell technology and the risks related to the application of the various forms of stem cell technology on patients therapeutic practices.

Stem cell technology is a unique therapeutic for its potential effects and diagnostic advantages to the patients in question (Li et al. 4597). However, there are several advancements in stem cell technology in that there is the development of the induced pluripotent stem cells abbreviated as iPS that were revisited in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka Institute to suit patients needs to avoid the risks associated. In the later years, there was cellular programming that entailed the use of adult mouse cells that is a foundation for iPS cells that is extracted from adult human cells to create a library of disease-specific iPS cell lines. The cellular programming made grounds for the creation of a niche for new stem cell research that connects ES with iPS pluripotent which shows tremendous potentials for modeling disease processes. The benefits of iPS technology are that there are grounds for differentiation of dermal fibroblasts into dopaminergic neutrons through viral co-transduction for the regulation of forebrain transcriptional regulators that are usually done in the presence of neuronal survival factors and glial-conditioned media. Moreover, iPS has made it easy for differentiation of dermal fibroblasts into cardiomyocyte-like cells through the use of transcription factors like TBx5 and Mef2c. iPS technology has made it easy for the screening of potential contributors of environmental toxins hence made stem cell technology to be successful in complicated situations.

Another benefit of stem cell technology is the Embryonic stem cells (ES) that are extracted from developing embryo, especially during the blastocyst stage. ES cells have broad advantages over adult stem cells since they can give rise to any cell due to their pluripotent abilities through proper stimuli.

There is another benefit of stem cell technology that involves Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that are subsets of adult stem cells. They have extensive benefits and viable potentials, for instance, they can differentiate into various array cell types like osteoblasts chondrocytes hence shows that they portray broader therapeutic applications (Li et al. 4598). Additionally, MSCs show some other benefits like predominant mechanism that aids tissue repair. Furthermore, MSCs depict paracrine effects that are based on MSCs therapy which leads to antiapoptotic, angiogenic and immunomodulatory processes which sometimes secrete hepatocyte growth factors, vascular endothelial growth insulin-like growth factor among others which are viable for both injections of bone marrow in swine, and rat model as they improve cardiac performance.

Stem cells have contributed a lot in the fight against cardiovascular diseases that are currently the leading cause of deaths in the presently industrialized world. It has been found out that through paracrine effects, cardiac progenitor cell stimulation and regeneration of cardiac cells has bosted the aided in ventricular rebuilding which improves the functioning of the heart through myocardial regeneration. It has also been found out that bone marrow cells to injured myocardium supported by Y chromosomes have contributed to positive results among female recipients with ischemic heart diseases by the use of marrow-derived cells.

However, several controversial results have led to various effects of stem cell technology. For instance, lack of standardization of cells and delivering procedures has brought up several incompatibilities of stem cells leading to numerous complications and sometimes brings about cancer (Li et al. 4580). Also, there are several instances of proliferation, regeneration of transplanted cells and engraftment of the transplanted cells which is a threat to human the patients health.

Negro et al. (178) outline that ES cells pose challenges for medical practitioners; difficulties in directing ES cells for a particular cell type, potential risks of ES to transform into cancer and the occurrence of immunology mismatch after transplantation resulting to host rejection. Additionally, it results in ethical concerns for the harvesting of cells from potentially viable cells. Stem cells have been reported to show several replicative characteristics, and some have been rejected by the patients immune system and the host's immune system. There are also primary concerns regarding post-transplantation since research has found out that majority of stem cell technological trials show poor efficacy based on therapies and therapeutic potentials.

Additionally, Negro et al. (173) outline that majority of donor cell death takes place in the first hours of transplantation hence questions the efficacy of the potential therapeutic outcomes of stem cell therapies. With the current human ES cells, whole animal and live-cell tracing techniques have demonstrated that there is a rapid rejection of immunocompetent transplanted mice cells. It is also devastating to try stem cell therapy since the initial stage of ES and iPS requires sufficient adjunctive immunosuppressive treatment which puts the patient at higher risks of drug-specific adverse reactions. It, therefore, requires advanced application of alternative strategies to avoid immune rejection. Also, the donor cells that escape immune rejection later tend to become oncogenic due to the unlimited capacity to replicate (Li et al. 4599). Therefore, it needs a mature cell type analysis before carrying stem cell transplantation, but the results effectiveness is not a surety. In the application of utilitarianism theory, there are several ethical and technical issues in the use of ES stem cell technology and its potential effects and advantages. As a result, the moral discussions and controversies have limited federal funding of stem cell therapies thus posing more threats to the patients in question and the effectiveness of the therapeutic processes (Negro et al. 175).

In conclusion, stem cell technology is a widely progressing multidisciplinary effort that clinicians and doctors are trying out to manipulate stem cells to fit in the transplantation of organs and gene therapy. As much as stem cell technology offers significant benefits to patients with cardiovascular problems, there are several risks of the application of stem cells in the treatment of other complications since instances of host rejection are highly reported. It has also been discussed that stem cell technology applies to tissue repair by introducing a genetic material that leads to the cure of inherited diseases that are caused by somatic cells. Lastly, much has been outlined that stem cell applications sometimes results in drastic effects on the patients due to the incompatibility of the induced stem cells with the host organs. As a result, there usually exist complications that mind ends up replicating and cause destructive effects. Therefore, much needs to be done to eradicate any aspects of incompatibility of stem cells with the host organs through a thorough research that should solve the problem once and for all.


Works Cited

Lunn, J. Simon, et al. "Stem cell technology for neurodegenerative diseases." Annals of neurology 70.3 (2011): 353-361.

Li, Mo, et al. "A cut above the rest: targeted genome editing technologies in human pluripotent stem cells." Journal of Biological Chemistry 289.8 (2014): 4594-4599.

Negro A, St. Hilaire C, Boehm M. Cell-based regenerative therapies: role of major histocompatibility Complex-1 antigen. In: Hayat MA, editor. Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells. Vol. 3. Springer; Dordrecht: 2012. pp. 173178.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: