The Regeneration Promise: The Facts Behind Stem Cell Therapies


Peter Hollands
Bentham Books £17.00

It is always a pleasure to read about a scientist’s work in a book written for the non-specialist who may be interested in knowing more about a subject for a variety of reasons. It is no mean task to cover all of the various aspects of therapeutic cell transplantation: Peter Hollands has described not only the proven methods, but also the latest research in a technology which could lead to new treatments for wide variety of diseases.

The history and treatment of a number of life-threatening diseases with stem cell therapy is described in non-technical terms, dealing first with those regularly now used routinely, such as those with stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral and umbilical cord blood. Because blood-cell precursors are of limited application in treating other conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, stroke, burns, tissue cancer, osteoarthritis and various neurological diseases, such treatments will have to await the results of research using embryonic, pluropotent, tissue-specific mesenchyme and induced pluropotent stem cells.

With the rapid growth of private clinics, some offering unregulated transplantation treatment and often with profit solely in mind, potential patients are warned of the pitfalls of spending large sums of money on what may prove to be fruitless treatment. The moral, ethical, religious and legal aspects of cell transplantation are also discussed in this lively and informative book, which could nevertheless, have benefitted in places from some careful editing out of peculiar English usage.

Dr G Godfrey CBiol FRSB