The Latest Research on Stem Cell Treatments

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There are several clinics throughout the US working with stem cell therapy, and developments in the field are continually growing. Although we primarily use stem cells for treating degenerative conditions and diseases, there are also other studies that utilize similar biologics to further research in the field. Here are just a few of the latest scientific developments this year:

June 2016. Understanding Conversion of Stem Cells into Specific Organ Cells. Stem cells are the basic, universal cell material that allow all cells to develop within our body. We have not been able to readily understand the conversion of the cell into a given organ cell, but that is changing. Researchers have developed a nanoprobe capable of penetrating a stem cell wall and accessing its microRNA to assess how the stem cell’s divisions become a specific body part cell. They have tracked the stem cell division process for five days. By understanding the mechanics of stem cell RNA in the division process, we are potentially closer to guiding that process for specific organ cells desired for therapies. Read more by visiting the article here.

July 2016. CRISPR and Editing Human Pluripotent Stem Cells. Alternative stem cell sources can be derived from a variety of body tissues. They, just like fetal stem cells, have the capacity to develop into virtually organ cells from any part of the body. The problem has been, what can be done when there is a DNA falw in the cell (making its daughter cells flawed in terms of targeting an organ for repair)? The answer? Editing the stem cell. A specific editor, CRISPR/Cas9 can accomplish this purpose and be an aide to stem cell therapy. Read more by visiting the article here.

August 2016. Treatment for Macular Degeneration. Researchers have discovered a clinically efficient way to take the body’s “normal” cells (not the body’s normally occurring stem cells) and cause them to form specific cells of retinal pigment epithelium. These cells may ultimately be used to replace cells destroyed by the macular degeneration process. This discovery also has implications for other cell therapies for a variety of degenerative conditions. Read more by visiting the article here.

October 2016. Consumer Safety Becoming Clinic Focus. Stem cell treatments have become highly innovative and there is a burgeoning industry as new therapies are developed. A variety of research organizations are developing oversight guidelines for safe and effective stem cell therapy innovations that will provide a greater level of safety in the stem cell clinics providing patient therapies across the United States. Read more by visiting the article here.

November 2016. Alternatives for Fetal Stem Cells for Parkinson’s Disease. This nervous system disease is characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Symptoms are treated today with medicines, e.g., dopamine, but experiments with amniotic stem cells injected into the brains of Parkinson’s patients have shown some success. The source of these stem cells has had ethical and practical implications limiting widespread application of this therapy. Recent alternative stem cell sources appear poised to make this therapy more viable. Read more by visiting the article here.


Iffie Okoronkwo, M.D. is a Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Management physician at Manhattan Spine and Sports Medicine (, a private practice based in New York City with 40 years of experience providing the finest expert medical care and services to patients around the world.

Dr. Iffie is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and, as a physiatrist, utilizes ultrasound guided injections, fluoroscopy guided injections, PRP, regenerative medicine, and more to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions affecting muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerves.