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Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Are We There Yet?

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Are We There Yet? content piece image
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have a remarkable potential to self-renew and differentiate into many blood cell types. Self-renewal is the property to retain the stem cell status following cell division whereas differentiation is the property to get committed to a more specific lineage. HSCs have been studied extensively for therapeutic purposes in the treatment of blood diseases, inherited blood disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Today hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is not only an established treatment for various malignant and non-malignant conditions, but it is the only acceptable therapeutic procedure using stem cells.
Thomas et al (1957) were the first to perform allogeneic HSCT to treat a patient suffering from a hematological malignancy. In 1968, severe combined immuno-deficient disease (SCID) patients treated with HSCT were the first reported long term survivors following transplantation using HSCs. The discovery by Till and McCulloch embarked on a new journey towards many investigations to clarify HSC biology, functional characterization, purification, cultivation and other aspects of stem cell research, and HSCT. Simultaneously, the use of various conditioning regimens prior to allogeneic HSCT also improved the probability of long-term remission.
Recently, the concept of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) along with HSCs is becoming a promising factor in improving transplantation success rates. Furthermore, the identification of novel HSC specific markers has proved beneficial in selectively isolating and transplanting HSCs especially in allogeneic transplantation using bone marrow, thereby greatly reducing the chances of graft rejection.
In the poster review we will discuss the various advancements in HSC research and their contributions in improving HSCT outcomes.