Human Embryonic or Adult Stem Cells: An Overview on Ethics and Perspectives for Tissue Engineering

  • Philippe R. Henon
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 534)


Over the past few years, research on animal and human stem cells has experienced tremendous advances which are almost daily loudly revealed to the public on the front-page of newspapers. The reason for such an enthusiasm over stem cells is that they could be used to cure patients suffering from spontaneous or injuries-related diseases that are due to particular types of cells functioning incorrectly, such as cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, cancers, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries or genetic abnormalities. Currently, these diseases have slightly or non-efficient treatment options, and millions of people around the world are desperately waiting to be cured. Even if not any person with one of these diseases could potentially benefit from stem cell therapy, the new concept of “regenerative medicine” is unprecedented since it involves the regeneration of normal cells, tissues and organs which could allow to treat a patient whereby both, the immediate problem would be corrected and the normal physiological processes restored, without any need for subsequent drugs.

However, conflicting ethical controversies surround this new medicine approach, inside and outside the medical community, especially when human embryonic stem cells (h-ESCs) are concerned. This ethical debate on clinical use of h-ESCs has recently encouraged the research on “adult” stem cells (ASCs) regarded as a less conflicting alternative for the future of regenerative medicine.


Stem Cell Neural Stem Cell Human Embryonic Stem Cell Adult Stem Cell Blood Stem Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe R. Henon
    • 1
  1. 1.Département d’Hématologie and Institut de Recherche en Hématologie et TransfusionHôpitaux de MulhouseMulhouseFrance

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