The Frontiers of Organ Transplantation and Cell Therapy
The biggest problem in the area of organ transplantation is often the mismatch between supply and demand. Extrapolating the transplant waiting lists in Spain at the end of a year to the global population, more than one million people would be able to benefit from a transplant if there were enough available organs and adequate infrastructure. The first frontier and the most important is therefore the donation of organs. The aim of this chapter is to set out the most notable points concerning the various themes (donation, rejection, xenotrasnplants, tissue transplantation and stem cells therapy), and describe new avenues to be explored: The frontiers that it will be necessary to cross in order to continue the progress in saving lives and improving the health of hundreds of thousands of people across world.
In the last years, embryonic stem cells have become in the great hope of many millions of patients across the world. In theory, the possibility to have unlimited quantities of these cells, to culture them, and to make them differentiate into cells of the liver, nervous system or heart would in fact become the ideal solution for the treatment of millions of patients. It is quite plausible that what organ transplantation has represented in the 20th century, bringing down taboos and saving hundreds of thousands of lives, is going to be replaced by stem cell therapy in the 21st Century.
KeywordsStem Cell Transplantation Cell Therapy Organ Transplantation Organ Donation Brain Death
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