Stem cell transplantation into the fetal recipient: challenges and prospects

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The interest in therapeutic intervention for those inherited disorders that can be diagnosed early in pregnancy has recently intensified. In-utero transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells (IUT-HSC), a therapy which could be proffered before pathological manifestations of a disorder become apparent, offers considerable potential benefit. However, as reports of IUT-HSC procedures become more prolific, it is necessary to consider the optimum modus operandi for each group of disorders targeted for therapy in order to develop effective procedures that make a real difference to the outcome. This review outlines the current status and prospects of IUT-HSC. It also offers a view of some of the challenges for IUT-HSC to overcome to find wider clinical applications.

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