Stem cells have the distinct ability to transform into other cells as long as the patient is alive. In doing so they can help a person heal from their injuries and avoid surgery. Already you can see why this noninvasive procedure can be attractive to many people worldwide.
But just how alluring is stem cell therapy to consumers?
First discovered in the early 1980s and later extracted, for the first time, from human embryos in the late 1990s, stem cell research has continued to advance. Since then scientists have been able to mine stem cells from various body tissues including blood, blood vessels and bone marrow. Procedures have also grown in popularity, according to Persistence Market Research and researchers from EuroStem Cell, Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences and Elsevier.
"In North America, the U.S. is the largest market for stem cell
Persistence Market Research reported that in North America, the U.S. is the largest market for stem cell therapy. Globally, North America holds the greatest market share primarily because of consistent efforts to fund stem cell therapy research and development. The report noted that in the coming years, Asia is also likely to become a major player in research and treatment.
Those claims were indirectly supported by researchers from EuroStem Cell, Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences and Elsevier. In their report, "Stem Cell Research: Trends and Perspectives on the Evolving International Landscape," stem cell research has grown from 4,400 publications in 1996 to around 21,200 pieces of copy 16 years later. And that growth has only continued exponentially. Between 2008 and 2012, publications have increased 7 percent. That's nearly a 4 percent difference in the average amount of works published around the world, across all fields, during the same time.
Researchers also noted that stem cell research was highly regarded among industry professionals, holding a 1.5 citation impact between 2008 and 2012. This means people cited stem cell publications 50 percent more than they did other subjects in similar fields.
Where is stem cell therapy research going?
The question now becomes: How much and at what pace will stem cell research and development continue to grow? As we noted earlier, researchers are looking east and it's easy to see why. Singapore and Korea have devoted the most time and effort to research in recent years, and the latter just lifted a ban on research that will allow stem cell researchers to use human eggs. This isn't shocking, considering more and more countries are seeing the health benefits in investing in stem cell research.