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Medical News & Perspectives
July 18, 2001

Many Say Adult Stem Cell Reports Overplayed

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JAMA. 2001;286(3):293. doi:10.1001/jama.286.3.293-JMN0718-2-1

Washington—In the first half of this year, a steady drumbeat of news reports presented adult stem cells—from muscle, bone marrow, and adipose and other tissue—as a viable alternative to the besieged embryonic stem cells. But at a recent Institute of Medicine workshop, both adult and embryonic stem cell researchers voiced a resounding theme: hints of the versatility of the adult cells have been vastly overinterpreted, overplayed, and overhyped.

The work with adult cells remains promising, they said; the cells hold transformative potential not seen before. But available evidence stops far short of placing adult cells on the same scientific tier as embryonic cells.