Stem Cell Therapies in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: The Female Urogenital Tract and the Fetus as Sources and Targets for Molecular and Regenerative Medicine

Reproductive tissues are now recognised as sources of stem/progenitor cells and as targets for regenerative medicine. This paper briefly reviews the progress and future challenges of applying regenerative medicine to the urogenital tract and the use of stem cells for the treatment of inherited genetic diseases, especially those with irreversible perinatal damage. Stem cells sourced from reproductive tissues have been used or investigated for their potential use in other areas such as haematological disease, traditionally treated with haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from adult sources but for which toxic adjuvant treatments, or bone tissue engineering, are concurrently needed.1 However, applications of such methods, together with the use of stem cells for gamete generation, are beyond the scope of this paper.

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