In leukemia, there is a population of cells, known as leukemia stem cells, that are resistant to treatment that works on other leukemia cells. Scientists are investigating the use of drugs that can specifically identify and then kill these leukemia stem cells. In essence, this type of therapy might not be classified as a stem cell therapy, but rather a therapy that treats a disease caused by stem cells.
Scientists are turning human embryonic stem cells into special cells called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells that have been shown to support the health of the nerves in spinal cord injury. These cells can then be transplanted into the damaged spinal cord of patients and potentially support the health and restore function to the damaged nerves.