Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Stem Cell Clinical Trials: 11 Key Areas

What's happening as stem cell treatments are tested in people.


  • Goal: Use stem cells to offset brain damage done by stroke.
  • What's being done: A clinical trial is under way in Scotland. The trial, called "PISCES" (Pilot Investigation of Stem Cells in Stroke) involves 12 men who were disabled by stroke caused by a blood clot (the most common type of stroke). The researchers give the patients one brain injection of fetal neural stem cells 6-24 months after their stroke. The study is designed to test safety. If safe, the long-term goal is to repair tissue in the stroke-damaged areas of the brain and to reverse disabilities that can result from stroke (such as problems with movement, memory, attention, speech, language, or daily living). The U.K. company ReNeuron is doing this work.
  • Does it work? So far, the procedure appears to be safe. As of June 2012, six patients had gotten the stem cell injections. The therapy caused "no cell-related adverse events" and "no deterioration in the health of any of the patients," according to a news release from ReNeuron, the company doing the work. Another study is slated to start in 2013.

Spinal Cord Injury

  • Goal: Use stem cells to treat chronic spinal cord injury in patients with varying degrees of paralysis.
  • What's being done: A preliminary trial is under way, using adult neural stem cells. That trial is being done at Switzerland's University of Zurich and will involve 12 patients who have thoracic (chest-level) spinal cord injury. The stem cells will be directly transplanted into the patients' spinal cords. They'll be followed for 12 months after the procedure. A California biotech company, Geron, was testing using human embryonic stem cells to restore spinal cord function in patients with recent spinal cord injuries. But Geron discontinued the study in November 2011 when it ended all of its stem cell programs to focus on cancer programs.
  • Does it work? So far, there's no proof of lasting effect. In 2009, scientists at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil published a study involving 39 patients with chronic spinal cord injury. They took stem cells from the patients' blood and delivered the cells back into the femoral artery in the patients' legs. The therapy was safe and 26 of the patients (66%) showed some improvement in responding to stimuli, the researchers reported in the journal Spinal Cord. But ultimately, the therapy hasn't yet shown much effectiveness, according to a stem cell trial review published in 2011 in BMC Medicine.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Remember your finger
Are You Getting More Forgetful?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.