Medicíně zítřka nesmíme stát v cestě

Nacházíme se dnes na kritickém rozhraní mezi novou a starou medicínou: svazují nás sice ještě stará omezení, ale přitom na obzoru sledujeme něco, co se už na první pohled liší. Toto něco je tak nové, tak převratné, tak revoluční, že si své jméno bezpochyby zasluhuje. Vstupujeme do světa regenerativní medicíny. Začneme sami sebe "opravovat". Budeme dávat dohromady a nahrazovat ty části našeho těla, které nám vypoví službu, části, které onemocní, degenerují nebo přestanou fungovat.

Medicína 21. století bude fungovat na zcela novém paradigmatu. Její zájem se obrátí dovnitř, k pochopení a využití způsobů, jakým lidské tělo funguje na molekulární a buněčné úrovni. Na rozdíl od druhé biomedicínské revoluce dneška - dekódování lidského genomu, využívající špičkové technologie - je výzkum kmenových buněk spojen s nejmodernějšími technologiemi mnohem méně. Není to nedostatkem vědeckých nástrojů, ale restriktivními zákony a politikou.

První ovoce těchto revolucí neuzraje příští týden, ba ani za rok. Je proto důležité nevzbuzovat ve veřejnosti nerealistická očekávání. Kudy přesně vést transformaci embryonálních kmenových buněk žádoucím a předvídatelným způsobem, zatím nevíme. Domníváme se ale, že už do pěti let by se část tohoto výzkumu mohla přenést do klinické praxe. Daly by se pak účinněji řešit takové dosud neléčitelné choroby jako Parkinsonova nemoc či diabetes anebo dokonce takové rizikové stavy jako srdeční selhání.

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