Our readers’ somewhat sobering predictions on the clinical future of iPS cells: I’m more optimistic

I put up a poll recently asking readers for their predictions on where iPS cells as a field will be one year from today.

We got a large number of responses to the poll and overall they appear to reflect surprisingly limited optimism. I am not as pessimistic as my blog’s readers, but I think there are still important hurdles to be addressed. I have also heard through the grapevine of some very encouraging in-the-pipeline pre-clinical studies that found no tumorigenesis after iPS cell-based transplants plus evidence of efficacy.

So what did our readers’ tell us?

On the positive side, only 9% of all respondents felt that in the coming year that iPS cells would be shown conclusively to have minimal clinical potential, however importantly the most common response with 25% of answers was that trans-differentiation will take the lead from iPS cells.

Close behind tied at third with 22% each were (1) “no change from where they are today”, which is not very encouraging, (2) “some positive pre-clinical studies”, and (3) “the focus will shift to disease modeling in a dish.

Thus, overall only 22% out of the total respondents felt that in the coming year that iPS cells will making significant strides from a pre-clinical perspective, while 78% did not.

Keep in mind that a very large % of our readers are scientists actually working with iPS cells.