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World J Stem Cells. Sep 26, 2020; 12(9): 1001-1012
Published online Sep 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i9.1001
Stem cell treatments for oropharyngeal dysphagia: Rationale, benefits, and challenges
Eric K Tran, Kevin O Juarez, Jennifer L Long
Eric K Tran, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States
Kevin O Juarez, Department of Otolaryngology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, United States
Jennifer L Long, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States
Jennifer L Long, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA 90073, United States
Author contributions: All authors contributed to literature review, drafting, and revising manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No potential conflicts of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Jennifer L Long, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, 650 Charles Young Dr, CHS Room 62-150, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States. jlong@mednet.ucla.edu
Received: February 28, 2020
Peer-review started: February 28, 2020
First decision: July 5, 2020
Revised: July 28, 2020
Accepted: September 1, 2020
Article in press: September 1, 2020
Published online: September 26, 2020
Core Tip

Core Tip: Oropharyngeal dysphagia, despite its widespread prevalence, is a difficult condition to treat, particularly in those who have undergone irradiation or resection in the head and neck. This challenge stems from the lack of native functional tissue upon which current therapies such as physical rehabilitation rely. There have been several studies examining the use of stem cell therapy as a potential new treatment option for these patients. Our objective is to review and consolidate the current literature regarding this topic and discuss the recent advancements, challenges, and future directions for research in this field.