Attitude of A Sample of Iranian Researchers toward The Future of
Stem Cell Research
Stem cells that have unlimited proliferation potential as well as differentiation potency are considered to be a promising future treatment method for incurable diseases. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the future trend of stem cell researches from researchers’ viewpoints.
Materials and Methods
This was a cross-sectional descriptive study on researchers involved in stem cell research at Royan Institute. We designed a questionnaire using a qualitative study based on expert opinion and a literature review. Content validity was performed using three rounds of the Delphi method with experts. Face validity was undertaken by a Persian literature expert and a graphics designer. The questionnaire was distributed among 150 researchers involved in stem cell studies in Royan Institute biology laboratories.
We collected 138 completed questionnaires. The mean age of participants was 31.13 ± 5.8 years; most (60.9%) were females. Participants (76.1%) considered the budget to be the most important issue in stem cell research, 79.7% needed financial support from the government, and 77.5% felt that charities could contribute substantially to stem cell research. A total of 90.6% of participants stated that stem cells should lead to commercial usage which could support future researches (86.2%). The aim of stem cell research was stipulated as increasing health status of the society according to 92.8% of the participants. At present, among cell types, importance was attached to cord blood and adult stem cells. Researchers emphasized the importance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) rather than hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs, 57.73%). The prime priorities were given to cancer so that stem cell research could be directed to sphere stem cell research whereas the least preference was given to skin research.
Regenerative medicine is considered the future of stem cell research with emphasis on application of these cells, especially in cancer treatment.