Oneof the most prevalent studied aspects of stem cells is its relationship tocancer research and treatment. Stem cells can be used in treatment of cancersby transplanting healthy stem cells. However, in recent research cancer stemcells that are not functioning the same as stem cells. These cancer stem cellsare molecularly the same as normal stem cells but are more resilient tochemicals (Clevers 2011).
The cancer stem cell theory states that tumors aremaintained by their own stem cells and the renewal of the stem cells is whatcauses the constant growth of the tumor and maintenance of the cancer. Thetheory also states that the cancer stem cells are what causes the tumors tometastasize (Clevers 2011). Hermann and colleagues (2007) studied the cancerstem cells in human pancreatic cancer in relation to the tumor growth and itsability to metastasize.
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They concluded that pancreatic cancer does have cancerstem cells by its chemotherapy resistance (Hermann et al. 2007). Hermann and colleagues then found that thecancer stem cells identified the phenotype of metastatic tumor. Therefore,cancer stem cells are essential for tumor metastasis for human pancreaticcancer (Hermann et al. 2007). Discovering that cancer stem cells dominatecancer metastasis and growth gives further insight into therapeutic methods thatcan be developed. Methods intended at stopping the cancer stem cells so thatmetastasis does not occur is an area of clinical importance.
Stemcell research brings promise to scientists and medical professionals that theeffects of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can be reduced.However, with this scientific advancement, depending on the type of stem cellsbeing used there are ethical arguments against the use of stem cells for medicaltreatment. Embryonic stem cell research has caused much controversy because itinvolved the destruction of destruction of an embryo, which has a correlationto human life (Carvalho and Ramalho-Santos 2013). Using the umbilical cord fora source of cord blood and stem cells is controversial in some cultures becauseof beliefs and practices regarding the disposal of the placenta, even though itoffers medicinal value (Sugarman 2008). The finding of stem cells is anotherethical issue that is associated with stem cell transplants; insuring that allethnicities have equal opportunities to obtain stem cells is a challenge thatis faced. With the creation of iPSCs, the controversy over the origin of stemcells decreased but issues and concerns arose about their use in humans.
Furtherresearch into the effects of implantation in humans are needed to be donebefore the safety can be fully addressed (Sugarman 2008).