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therapeutic cloningMolecular medicine The cloning of human cell lines to replace nonfunctional tissue. See Cloning.
therapeutic cloningmedical and scientific applications of cloning (see CLONE that do not result in the production of genetically-identical foetuses, but rather involve the use of STEM CELLS grown IN VITRO to provide specific cell lines. Essentially a form of TISSUE CULTURE to produce human stem cells and ultimately TISSUES and ORGANS for transplantation. Therapeutic cloning is so called because of the potential therapeutic benefits stem cells possess to alleviate or even cure such debilitating diseases as PARKINSON'S DISEASE, ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE,
DIABETES, stroke, BONE diseases, HEART diseases and SPINAL CORD injuries. By culturing stem cells in the presence of, for example, specific HORMONES they may be able to differentiate into different cell types, including NERVE CELLS for treatment of Parkinson's disease, INSULIN-producing ISLET cells for diabetes, or heart muscle cells for heart diseases. Such an approach would be likely to avoid problems of transplant rejection (see TRANSPLANTATION), if the cells are genetically-identical to the patients’ own. Ethical problems (see BIOETHICS).surround the use of embryonic stem cells in therapeutic cloning because a human embryo has to be found. This may be from a frozen embryo, surplus to requirements for IVF treatment, an aborted FOETUS or an EMBRYO produced using nuclear transfer procedures.Sometimes therapeutic cloning is called spare part cloning.