recent years. Through an organ growing technique called organogenesis, scientists can use stemcell cultures to grow tissue and whole organs. In areas like the brain, where stem cells are scarce,illness can be especially devastating. These areas are unable to produce new cells to replace oldor dying ones, so injury and diseases of the brain are often permanent. Patients who suffer fromgenetic illnesses can also benefit from stem cell therapy. Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy is adisease which slowly weakens and deteriorates muscle tissue in the body. Stem cells could beused to restore muscle tissue for sufferers of this debilitating disease. (National Institutes of Health).The potential of stem cell based therapies seems almost limitless and stem cells are becoming more widely accepted as viable treatments in the scientific community. Stem cells canhelp eliminate frightening and deadly diseases in the same way that vaccines have in the past.We still don’t understand stem cells enough to say for certain what they can or can’t do, but theyhave the potential to permanently alter the way we look at and treat disease.
How Does Cancer Fit the Stem Cell Model?
Though the scientific community has known about stem cells for quite some time, the potential link between stem cells and cancer is a recent more recent discovery. While not allscientists accept the idea of cancer cells, most agree that there is more to cancer than geneticmutations. In an article by Suling Liu, Hasan Korkaya, and Max S. Wicha called “Are StemCells Ready for Primetime”, they explain that the majority of cancers actually come from cancer stem cells (CSC), which as their name suggests, behave in a similar way to normal stem cells.Cancer stem cells have the ability to self-renew and produce more malignant cells, while also being able to differentiate into the cells which produce the bulk of the tumor. Cancer stem cellswere first discovered when scientists were studying leukemia. When leukemia cancer cells were