More on Frankencells

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As you may recall, I just wrote about the scientific wisdom of considering IPS as a source of therapeutic stem cells when adult stem cell research is much farther along-the conclusion being that moving these artificially programmed cells from the lab to the bedside was ill advised and likely driven far more by business models than any real world clinical need. On the heels of that blog comes this paper today. The authors injected human embryonic stem cells (hESC) side by side with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS). These injections were into immune deficient mice, so bad things were more likely to happen. The hESC cells developed teratomas (tumors filled with many different types of tissue) 88% of the time, the IPS cells 100% of the time. The IPS cell tumors were also more aggressive. Again, the risk profile of both of these cells types, hESC’s and IPS cells is drastically higher than adult stem cells-which have already been shown in many many animal models not to form tumors. As have I said before, business models should not be driving medicine, which is clearly the case with IPS.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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