HumanEmbryonic Stem Cell research is one of the most promising areas of medicalstudy but it is still at its infant stage (citation). Therefore, there might beseveral unavoidable flaws which likely to occur such as rejection from thepatient’s body.
Joshi et al. (2016) report that rejection rates for embryonicstem cell therapies are likely to be high as stem cells which are derived fromembryos that are not patients own will trigger the activation of immune system andin the end, body system will recognize the cells as foreign cells. Based on a recentstudy, Vittana (2017) highlights another health problem that is possible to appear during thetreatment which is the development of tumors.
Development of these tumorshappened as a result of the uncontrolled dividing process of embryonic stemcells. Another research proves that the implementation of embryonic stem cell ina treatment involving heart disease patients has led to the narrower ofcoronary arteries (Joshi et al., 2016). Generally, the condition of the patientbecame worsened and it subsequently leaves a negative impact on embryonic stemcell treatment. Despite all the benefits hESC might contribute for a better healthcare in the future, this therapy seems to have many drawbacks which makes it amediocre approach and a better approach is necessary.Countries around the world have outlinedseveral restrictions on embryonic and fetal research as a response to the variouscontroversies overstem cell research specifically embryonic stem cell research.
Legislationsgoverning embryonic stem cells are diverse and vary across countries all overthe globe (National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 2016). Accordingto The New Atlantis (2012), in Italy, they imposed strict laws in regulatingembryonic stem cells research based on Law 40 which came into effect on March10, 2004, and the law stated that both embryos research and research on humanembryos are banned including the use of embryos in determining the embryoniccells lines. Italian law also provides penal provision ranging from ten totwenty years for impermissible experimentation on embryos (The New Atlantis,2012).
NCSL (2016) reports that, underSouth Dakota law enacted in 2000, it strictly prohibits the research on embryosregardless of their sources. Furthermore, according to South Dakota law, the annihilationof embryos to run non-therapeutic research is considered as a crime (NCSL,2016). Hence, the formation and existence of effective legislation concerningrestriction on embryonic research demonstrates how harmful this experimentationcould be. Indeed, looked at as a whole, it may not necessary to use embryonic stemcells to pursue stem cell research. Adult stem cell, therefore, might be abetter choice.
Salim (2015) asserts that adult stem cells have been used morethan 40 years as active agents for bone marrow transplantations to cure variousblood disorders such as leukemia, anemia, blood cancers and immune systemdysfunctions. Interestingly, a new approach called “induced pluripotent stemcells ((iPSCs) has been introduced (Patil, 2014). Salim (2015) explains that a recentresearch showed that adult stem cells can be reprogrammed to become inducedpluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), cells that behave and in the meantime canperform the same function as embryonic stem cells. Through iPCS reprogramming, anytypes of cell tissues can be generated from adult stem cells (Vitanna, 2017). Thisincludes the involvement of reversing the differentiating cell signals toproduced desired or specialized cells (Joshi et al.
, 2016). Apart from that, Kirsten Riggan(2011) argues that direct cell reprogramming can be implemented in biomedicalfield as it has a higher percentage of success compare to human embryonic stemcell which is still at its infancy. As expressed, iPSCs are produced in amore ethical way without the destruction of human embryos compared to howembryonic stem cells are derived. In general, it is proven that the use ofiPSCs in stem cell research can avoid technical challenges and socialcontroversies.In a nutshell, human embryonic stemcells offer a better chance in treating malignancies diseases but inflict manyissues in term of moral, funding and in the establishment of law in term of effectivenessof the clinical application in the future.
Stem cell research is advancingbeyond time despite all of the controversies it has faced. Thus, all parties includingpolicy-makers, ethicists, and researchers should think of the right way topursue this research without violating human subjects. Adult stem cell researchmay be the best answer for this problem.
Therefore, we should focus more onthis research to increase the effectiveness and efficiencies of the adult stemcell application in future.