, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 158-165
Date: 19 Jan 2014

Cell therapies and regenerative medicine

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Molecular and cell biology has resulted in major advances in our understanding of disease pathogenesis as well as in novel strategies for the diagnosis, therapy and prevention of human diseases. Based on modern molecular, genetic and biochemical methodologies, it is on the one hand possible to identify disease-related point mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms, for example. On the other hand, using high throughput array and other technologies, it is for example possible to simultaneously analyze thousands of genes or gene products (RNA and proteins), resulting in an individual gene or gene expression profile (‘signature’). Such data increasingly allow defining the individual disposition for a given disease and predicting disease prognosis as well as the efficacy of therapeutic strategies in the individual patient (‘personalized medicine’). At the same time, the basic discoveries in cell biology, including embryonic and adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, genetically modified cells and others, have moved regenerative medicine into the center of biomedical research worldwide with a major translational impact on tissue engineering as well as transplantation medicine. All these aspects have greatly contributed to the recent advances in regenerative medicine and the development of novel concepts for the treatment of many human diseases, including liver diseases.