New York: The U.S. researchers set another milestone in the medical research arena when they successfully used therapeutic cloning to treat Parkinson's disease in mice. On Sunday, the team of researchers, who used cloned embryonic stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease in mice, reported that they worked better than other cells.
Conducting a study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, a team of researchers tried to prove that it was possible to make embryonic stem cells using cloning technology and use them to provide a tailor-made treatment. The study in Nature Medicine provided the best evidence so far that the controversial technique could one day help people with the condition.
According to researchers, it was promising and exciting development. It was the first time animals have been successfully treated with their own cloned cells. However, they found that a mouse's own cloned stem cells were far less disruptive to its body than cloned cells taken from other mice.
Viviane Tabar of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York, who worked on the study, said, "It demonstrated what we suspected all along -- that genetically matched tissue works better." In a telephonic interview, Tabar said, "When you give the other type of tissue, non-autologous tissue, you get more inflammation than we anticipated. This is in a lab animal where we expect it to be tolerant. Normally when you do this in mice, you don't give matched cells."
The study published in the journal Nature Medicine reported that the mice given non-matched brain cells did more poorly than the mice given cells from their own clones. Stem cells are the master cells of the body and embryonic stem cells are the ultimate master cells, giving rise to all the other cells and tissue.
Cloning researchers hope one day to be able to take a little piece of skin and grow embryonic stem cells from it for personal, tailor-made medical treatments. The therapy may best benefit Parkinson's, the incurable, fatal illness is caused by the destruction of specific brain cells.