Human therapeutic cloning or nuclear transfer stem cells (NTSC) to produce patient-specific stem cells, holds considerable promise in the field of regenerative medicine. The recent withdrawal of the only scientific publications claiming the successful generation of NTSC lines afford an opportunity to review the available research in mammalian reproductive somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) with the goal of progressing human NTSC. The process of SCNT is prone to epigenetic abnormalities that contribute to very low success rates. Although there are high mortality rates in some species of cloned animals, most surviving clones have been shown to have normal phenotypic and physiological characteristics and to produce healthy offspring. This technology has been applied to an increasing number of mammals for utility in research, agriculture, conservation, and biomedicine. In contrast, attempts at SCNT to produce human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been disappointing. Only one group has published reliable evidence of success in deriving a cloned human blastocyst, using an undifferentiated hESC donor cell, and it failed to develop into a hESC line. When optimal conditions are present, it appears that in vitro development of cloned and parthenogenetic embryos, both of which may be utilized to produce hESCs, may be similar to in vitro fertilized embryos. The derivation of ESC lines from cloned embryos is substantially more efficient than the production of viable offspring. This review summarizes developments in mammalian reproductive cloning, cell-to-cell fusion alternatives, and strategies for oocyte procurement that may provide important clues facilitating progress in human therapeutic cloning leading to the successful application of cell-based therapies utilizing autologous hESC lines.