Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each question to show the answer:

Understanding Stem Cells

  • 1. What are stem cells?

  • 2. What are the different types of stem cells?

  • 3. What are adult (tissue-specific) stem cells? Where do they come from?

  • 4. What are embryonic stem cells? Where do they come from? What can they teach us?

  • 5. What are "induced pluripotent cells" or iPS cells?

  • 6. Can induced pluripotent cell research replace research on embryonic stem cells?

  • 7. What are cancer stem cells?

  • 8. What is a stem cell line?

  • 9. What are the potential uses of human embryonic stem cells?

  • 10. Why is umbilical cord blood a valuable resource?

  • 11. Why are researchers interested in developing disease-specific or patient-specific pluripotent stem cells?

  • 12. What is somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)?

  • 13. Why derive embryonic stem cell lines using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)?

  • 14. What is regenerative medicine?

  • 15. Why is stem cell research important?

  • 16. What is bioethics?

  • 17. What are some of the ethical questions in stem cell research?

Stem Cell Treatments

  • 1. Are stem cells currently used in therapies today?

  • 2. What are the obstacles that must be overcome before the potential uses of stem cells in cell therapy will be realized?

  • 3. I have heard that there are clinics offering different types of stem cell treatments. Is this true?

  • 4. How does science become medicine?

  • 5. What is an experimental treatment?

  • 6. What is a clinical trial?

  • 7. What is the difference between a clinical trial and an experimental procedure?

  • 8. Can the ISSCR recommend any clinics or clinical trials that are doing legitimate therapies for specific conditions?

  • 9. Are stem cell treatments dangerous? Can stem cells cause cancer?

  • 10. Are treatments using my own (autologous) stem cells safe? Why should these be regulated?

  • 11. What can I lose in trying an unproven treatment?