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Embryonic Stem Cell Research and HR 810/S471, Why The Senate Should Oppose S 471 And Support President Bush's Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding Policy.

September 1, 2005

             This May the United States House of Representatives, including all three of Nevada’s Congressmen, voted for a bill (H.R. 810) to change President Bush’s policy on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.  The president’s policy, described below, forbids any funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines using embryonic stem cells derived from human embryos after August 9, 2001, the day he initiated the policy.  The policy does provided funding for research on embryonic stem cells derived from human embryos prior to August 9, 2001.  The new bill would provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research regardless of the date embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos.  The Senate will vote on a similar measure (S. 471) soon.  President Bush is expected to veto this legislation. 

Nevada LIFE opposes this bill and these changes to the President’s policy.  What follows is a brief attempt to educate our state on embryonic stem cell research and the dangers it and this legislation present to our nation.  It is excerpted from our briefings to Nevada legislators.  Nevada LIFE urges Nevadans to contact their Senators and ask them to vote no on S. 471.  

1. Different Kinds of Stem Cell Research.  Not All Stem Cell Research Is Embryonic Stem Cell Research.  Not All Stem Cell Research Presents Ethical Problems.

Stem cell research attempts to repair or regenerate damaged tissues in our bodies.  If it can be mastered, it would have a tremendous impact on humanity.  Progress has already been made with Parkinson’s, blood disorders like Sickle Cell Anemia, Heart damage, diabetes in animals and certain types of cancers and leukemia, to name a few in some areas of stem cell research.  Some have experienced progress with spinal cord injuries.

One of the misconceptions about stem cell research is that all stem cell research is the same.  Stem Cell research can generally be divided into two types, embryonic stem cell research and “adult” (non-embryonic stem cell research).  The difference is the source of the stem cells.  The source is the moral difference for opponents of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). 

  1. Embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) obtains the cells by destroying human embryos-human beings in the embryonic stage of development.  Currently, there is no other way to obtain embryonic stem cells than to destroy the life of an embryonic human being.  New attempts to procure ESCs (embryonic stem cells) will be noted below under alternatives.

  2. Adult stem cell research (ASCR) uses stem cells from a person’s own body or from umbilical cord blood, placental and other tissues.  There is no moral objection to ASCR because it does not involve the killing of a human being. 

Note: Advocates for ESCR usually lump the results of ASCR and ESCR when they talk about the benefits of funding ESCR under stem cell research, as if ESCR and stem cell research were one and the same and that all stem cell research was ESCR.  This makes it appear (we believe intentionally) that opponents of ESCR oppose stem cell research.  The truth is that Nevada LIFE and other ESCR opponents support nearly all stem cell research.  ASCR is producing outstanding results, is ethical and should be pursued with vigor.  We only oppose unethical research, that smaller portion known as ESCR which kills embryonic human beings. 

2. Advantages Of Embryonic Stem Cells. Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research?” 

Embryonic Stem Cells are pluripotent.  That is, they have not yet differentiated and are thought to be more flexible and capable of becoming any kind of cell.  Supporters of ESCR believe this is the most important advantage of working with ESCs instead of ASCs which are multi-potent.  (A single cell embryo is totipotent.  They are capable of becoming a complete organism and producing all the cells of the body).  If ESCs can be controlled, then some scientists believe that they could program embryonic stem cells to become any kind of cell the body needs.

Do No Harm, The American Coalition for Research Ethics (www.stemcellresearch.org)  notes that “human embryonic stem cells do have the ability to form every tissue in the body — when they are left to grow and differentiate as part of an intact human embryo. But in the lab, researchers have not succeeded in turning embryonic stem cells into pure cultures of specific, viable tissue types -- the essential first step if these cells are to have any therapeutic application. Even after 20 years of experience with mouse embryonic stem cells they have been unable to do this.” (“The ‘Political Science’ Of Stem Cells, Lesson 9: Making A Difference?”)

The inability of embryonic stem cell to work is not the only problem.  Transplanted ESCs have caused teratomas and death in animal studies.  There are no human trials using ESCs.  ESCs also pose rejection problems since the cells will not match the patient’s genetic makeup.  Supporters of ESCR believe cloning will solve the rejection problem.  ESCR also has the disadvantage of being outrageously expensive.  If cloning were involved, the cost of creating one groups of cells for therapy are projected at costing at least $100,000 to cultivate.

Adult stem cells pose no rejection problems, are found through out our bodies and are able to be changed into any kind of cell, and as a result do not pose rejection problems.  There are no ethical problems because it does not require destruction of human life.  Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered master stem cells which can be turned into any kind of cell  “Since 2000, at least seven more major studies have demonstrated the amazing versatility of adult stem cells.”  (Do No Harm Lesson 3 “See PowerPoint presentation by David A. Prentice, Ph.D., “Cloning and Stem Cell Research,” www.stemcellresearch.org/testimony/prentice_2005-01-03.pdf, p. 20.”) 

Another advantage of ESCs has been their ability to multiply.  Recent discoveries at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg have discovered that adult, or post- natal, stem cells have the same ability as embryonic stem cells to multiply.  New technologies are emerging to make it easier to collect and culture embryonic stem cells. 

These last three paragraphs seem to indicate that ASCs can do just about everything ESCS are theoretically supposed to do, without many of the practical problems and most important to Nevada LIFE, the moral problem-the destruction of human life.

3. President Bush’s Policy on ESCR and Stem Cell Research

What is the Presidents policy on ESCR? This is a summary from the NIH Website, http://stemcells.nih.gov/research/registry/eligibilityCriteria.asp.  The policy can be found elsewhere throughout the NIH site.  (See attached sheet)

“On August 9, 2001, at 9:00 p.m. EDT, the President announced his decision to allow Federal funds to be used for research on existing human embryonic stem cell lines as long as prior to his announcement (1) the derivation process (which commences with the removal of the inner cell mass from the blastocyst) had already been initiated and (2) the embryo from which the stem cell line was derived no longer had the possibility of development as a human being.

“In addition, the President established the following criteria that must be met:

·        “The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes;

·        The embryo was no longer needed for these purposes;

·        Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo;

·        No financial inducements were provided for donation of the embryo.”

This means that the President’s policy on embryonic stem cell research:

·       Allows for funding on embryonic stem cell lines existing before August 9, 2001.

·       Prohibits funding for research on stem cells derived from embryos killed after August 9, 2001.

·       Does not bar private funding for research on embryos killed before or after August 9, 2001. 

4. The Congressional Letter and S. 471/H.R. 810-What They Propose.

A letter signed by 206 Congressmen, including all of Nevada’s Congressmen, asked President Bush to “relax the restrictions in the (President’s) current policy “which limits federal funding only to embryonic stem cells that were derived by August 9, 2001, the date of the policy announcement.”  S. 471/H.R. 810 would write this into law: “In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including any regulation or guidance), the Secretary shall conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells in accordance with this section (regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo).”

These words mean that the signers of this letter and supporters of S. 471/H.R. 810 want the President to allow, and the Congress to legislate and appropriate, federal funding for research involving the killing of embryos after August 9, 2001. 

The letter from the 206 members of Congress implies that there are not enough pre-August, 2001 embryonic stem cell lines to do the research certain scientists say are necessary.  Leon Kass PhD is the chairman of the President’s Council on Bio-Ethics.  Chairman Kass says there is no shortage of embryonic stem cells.  “…22 lines of eligible stem cells are available, up from just one line in the summer of 2002, with more coming -- enough lines for years of essential basic research that must precede any future therapy. Nearly 500 shipments of cells have already been made to researchers; 3,500 more sit ready for delivery upon request. There is no shortage of embryonic stem cells.” (Washington Post, October 8, 2004; Page A35).  Nevada LIFE does not support the use of these embryonic stem cells, but we support the funding restrictions on any new killing of human embryos for research.

Though Nevada LIFE opposes modifying the President’s Policy and S 471/H.R.810, Chairman Kass’s letter shows that targeting more embryos for destruction is unnecessary.  There are plenty of lines now available for basic research and the President’s policy does allow for funding of embryonic stem cell lines in existence before August 9, 2001.  $25 million was allocated last year for this type of stem cell research.  The policy sets no cap on further increases.  The United States leads the world in funding of ESCR.

5. S. 471/H.R. 810’s Ethical Guidelines

S. 471 offers ethical guidelines for embryos who can be killed for research after August 9, 2001. 

`(1) The stem cells were derived from human embryos that have been donated from in vitro

fertilization clinics, were created for the purposes of fertility treatment, and were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment.

`(2) Prior to the consideration of embryo donation and through consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment, it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded.

`(3) The individuals seeking fertility treatment donated the embryos with written informed consent and without receiving any financial or other inducements to make the donation.

These guidelines say that destruction of human embryos for scientific research is ethical if they were not created for research, are not going to be implanted and consent is obtained from their parents or creators.  These guidelines demean human dignity and promote harmful views of humanity.  They are not ethical because guidelines protect human lives.  There is no such thing as a left over human being.  There are no human lives who are mere medical waste.  The embryo is a human being not human property.  He or she has all the properties of being a human, but is not personal property.  Human beings can be in custody, but not owned.  One’s life and substance belongs to himself, not his parents.  No one can legitimately consent to give or throw away another person’s life away no matter how powerless or small.  Nor does another person’s designs or intentions for us make it acceptable to experiment upon or destroy human beings.  Whether anyone wants to help us does not make it acceptable to kill us either-in this case the willingness to allow embryonic human beings to be implanted or adopted. 

Perhaps the most fundamental problem with these guidelines is that they ignore the more important moral issue made by the President and begs the question on the nature of human embryos.  The real issue about embryonic stem cell research is the nature of the human embryo in the Petri dish, fertility lab or in a freezer, not the terms under which we can kill, dispose of or use them.  What is the human embryo?  The president answered that when he said that there shall be no more federal funding for killing of human embryos.  The human embryo is a human being with inherent dignity.  Even at that stage we cannot dispose of and use human life for our own purposes, no matter how great the ends are made to appear to be.  S. 471/H.R. 810 assumes that the embryo does not have worth or moral standing without proving it.  To oppose this policy, as S. 471/H.R. 810 does, is to say that human beings in the embryonic stage do not have worth.  That is the true moral point.  The other guidelines merely spell out the acceptable terms to commit the embryo to death and research. They are demeaning because they treat the embryo as property and as if the intentions others who own them have for the embryo have anything to do with her or her right to life.  If the human embryo is a human being, a member of our species homo sapiens, then no argument for ESCR will ever be sufficient because we cannot dispose of innocent human beings.

We concur with the President on the value and dignity of human embryo.  Nevada LIFE opposes ESCR because we believe that human beings at any stage of development are unique individuals with infinite value and worth in and of themselves and without regard to their usefulness to others and society.  We must never use any human being as a means to another person’s ends without consent. 

Senator Bill Frist has said that his decision to overturn the President’s policy is not just a matter of faith, but of science.  Nevada LIFE is not a religious organization and has no religious creed for membership.  But we recognize that society must have values and morality to guide us on what is right or wrong and what we can or can’t do to human beings.  Society must obtain those guiding values somewhere.  We can’t make those guiding values subject to the desires of the latest scientist to do whatever he or she wants to do. It is self evident that science is not capable of providing them.  Science can describe human life but it can’t give it value or say what is right or wrong to do with it.  Right and wrong are not found in test tubes, under a microscope or in the results of endless studies and experiments.  They are instead found in moral reasoning.  Religions have been thinking about these things out much longer than the scientific method has been around.  A science that is in conflict with faith that says that human life and the inviolability of life begin at existence needs to be stopped. 

The truth of these values, not their source is relevant.  Most people of faith are not anti-science.  They oppose unethical science.  This means that no policy maker should ever apologize for or fear using the insights and input from his or her faith.

6. Our Opposition To ESCR.

Nevada LIFE and other groups oppose ESCR because embryonic stem cells are harvested by unethical means.  It requires killing human beings in the embryonic stage to obtain these stem cells.  At any stage in life human beings are unique individuals with infinite value and worth and must not be used as means to another person’s ends without consent. It’s one thing to experiment on animals. It’s another to experiment on unwilling humans. Humanity is cheapened by the prospect of human embryo farms and human strip mines. Human beings are not commodities to be mined, harvested, bought and sold or manipulated for the benefit of others. When humanity is cheapened the sanctity of life and human rights are eroded.

We are also opposed because ESCR’s use of “left over” embryos is just the first step to cloning and the manufacture of human clones for body parts.  This legislation was crafted as a first step toward gaining public acceptance of cloning because previous attempts at ESCR and cloning have been rejected.  As we will note below, there is already legislation in the states (it has passed in at least one state) where it would be legal to implant a cloned human embryo in a womb (natural or fabricated) and allow it to be grown and used for research or transplantation purposes, as long as the clone is not birthed, or does not survive long after birth.  This is perfectly legal and can be accomplished with state funding.  Nevada LIFE believes this makes it important for the Senate to quit posturing and pass the Brownback Landrieux Cloning Prohibition Act, which has been passed more than once by the House, before the bioethical nightmare that awakes us becomes reality.  If we allow ESCR, we invite cloning for body parts and research.  This is not illegal in the United States and there is nothing the magistrates can do about it right now.  Nevada LIFE opposes ESCR and H.R. 810/S. 471 because it will lead to cloning for body parts.

7. Other Arguments Against ESCR and Defeating The President’s Policy.

a.      ESCR Will Lead To Human Cloning.  Why will it lead to cloning?  There may be enough embryonic stem cell lines for research but there will never be enough embryos from fertility labs to create mass cures for the more than 100 million sufferers who advocates of ESCR say could benefit from ESCR.  The only way that ESCR could ever result in mass cures would be through cloning (Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer-SCNT).  Cloning occurs when the nucleus of a body cell is transferred into an unfertilized egg that has been emptied of its contents.  An electrical charge is applied and a new human clone is created.  As noted above, scientists believe this will be necessary to overcome the rejection problems that ESCs and ESCR present. 

b.     ESCR Is Unethical Human Experimentation. Ethical research requires consent and a possible benefit to the subject.  Embryonic human beings cannot consent to this research.  ESCR cannot benefit the embryonic human being because it kills him or her.

c.      ESCR and Cloning Will Lead To Exploitation Of Woman.  Cloning is inefficient.  More than 250 attempts were made before Dolly the Sheep was created.   Human eggs will be harvested by giving women high doses of hormones to produce them and by using surgery to retrieve them.  The large number of eggs needed to commercialize this therapy will lead to the exploitation of women.  This year, a 33-year-old woman in Britain died of a massive heart attack after taking these super-ovulatory drugs.  This will be common in third world countries where there is poor health care.  It is a reason that many women who are abortion advocates support a cloning ban.

d.      Since Cloning Is Impractical And Inefficient, There Will Be No Mass Cures.  It would probably cost at least $100,000 to create one stem cell line for use in a patient.  The extra-ordinary costs will ensure that masses of suffers will not be able to afford it, nor will the government have resources to pay for these cures.  Only the rich will be able to benefit.

e.      ESCR Wastes Valuable Resources And Hurts American Sufferers.  ESCR is unethical and ineffective and wastes valuable tax dollars that could be spent on more effective research.  The taxpayer should not be required to fund what private enterprise is not willing to fund. The focus on this embryonic research is a set back to American sufferers.  There are 80 known applications of ASCR.  There are no ESCR applications or trials.  In his April 28, 2004 letter to the 206 members of Congress Richard Doerflinger with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote, “American patients have found they have limited access to some new treatments, in part because U.S. fixation on embryo research has let other countries take the lead in groundbreaking adult stem cell therapies for juvenile diabetes (Canada) spinal cord injury (Portugal and Israel), and cardiac repair (France, Germany and Brazil).” (Letter attached).

f.       ESCR Will Lead To Fetal Experimentation.  At first ESCR advocates swore they did not want to engage in cloning.  They only wanted research with embryos donated from fertility labs.  This was soon abandoned. Advocates then wanted cloning and promised that they would not allow the clone to grow to more than 10-14 days and make implantation illegal. But a new legislative trend has emerged.  The Catholic Bishops report that “With the support of groups favoring research cloning, many states are considering (and some have passed) laws that allow placing cloned human embryos in women’s wombs, but forbid any attempt to let them be born alive.”  “Researchers can plant the embryos in the womb, but ban their birth!”  “‘…Reproductive’ cloning is said to occur only if a cloned human being is brought to full term and born alive. In this way a law can be called a ban on ‘reproductive’ cloning even if its only legal effect is to mandate abortion for any woman carrying a cloned unborn child in her womb.” “The shift in legislation is due to a growing realization that human cloning will probably not produce usable cells and tissues unless cloned humans can be developed past the embryonic stage.” http://www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/cloning/farmfact31805.htm. .

Note: This has already happened in New Jersey.  Other states are proposing similar measures and the wording in CA proposition 71 will allow this too.  A New Jersey bill (SB 1909) was passed into law that defined cloning this way: “As used in this section, "cloning of a human being" means the replication of a human individual by cultivating a cell with genetic material through the egg, embryo, fetal and newborn stages into a new human individual.”  Until that time when cloning is said to occur, researchers may use “cadaveric tissue” for transplantation or research purposes.

8. Ethical Alternatives Exist.  ESCR Is Not Necessary And Has Been Unproductive.

Ethicists have noted that we may not engage in research at the expense of human beings unless there are no other alternatives.  There are other alternatives to embryonic stem cell research which would disqualify ESCR even on this lowest common denominator of ethical grounds. 

a. Non-embryonic stem cells. There are many positive results with ASCR.  In fact all the stem cell research results are from ASCR.  These treatments do not require the destruction of the lives of humans in the embryonic stage.  There are over 80 treatments right now produced by this research including treatments for heart damage, multiple sclerosis, corneal injury, spinal injury, Parkinson's and restoration in some muscle and bladder control in paralyzed human patients.  Mice with juvenile diabetes have been cured using human spleen cells.  Liver tissue has been regenerated by bone-marrow stem cells.

            All of this is well known.  Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered master stem cells which can be turned into any kind of cell.  This is much more promising than anything embryonic stem cell research has achieved so far.  Unfortunately, the medical media have not reported on this, perhaps with intent.  David Prentice, PhD has posted a PowerPoint Presentation of his testimony to Congress on cloning and stem cell research.  In it he notes  the successes and clinical trials currently under way with  ASCR.  The URL is: http://www.cloninginformation.org/congressional_testimony/prentice_2005-01-03.pdf.

b. Embryonic Stem Cell Alternatives.  Our present state of technology does not now allow us to obtain embryonic stem cells with out destroying human beings in the embryonic stage of life.  But four new proposals have been made to the President’s Council on Bioethics.  “The stem cells

could be derived: (1) by extracting cells from embryos already dead; or (2) by nonharmful biopsy of living embryos; or (3) by extracting cells from artificially created non-embryonic but embryo-like cellular systems (engineered to lack the essential elements of embryogenesis but still capable of some cell division and growth); or (4) by dedifferentiation of somatic cells back to pluripotency.  (WHITE PAPER: Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem CellS, p. 26)

The first three have some moral objections, but the fourth alternative would turn differentiated cells back to pluripotent cells without creating a new organism (embryo).  Other scientists have found a rich source of embryonic like cells in umbilical cord blood.  “British researcher Dr. Colin McGuckin said the new cells could be more effective than embryonic stem cells.

“Acquiring stem cells from embryos also has major limitations because it is difficult to obtain enough cells to transplant as well as getting the right tissue type for the patient… Using cord blood gets over that obstacle because we can produce more stem cells and, with a global birth rate of 100 million babies a year, there is a better chance of getting the right tissue type for the many patients out there waiting for stem cell therapy.’" (Umbilical Cord Blood Produces Ethical Embryonic Stem Cells, LifeNews.com, August 18, 2005)

This makes the establishment of a cord blood bank imperative and soon. 

Other acceptable sources of ESC’s are miscarriages and animal ESCs.


1. There Is No Broad “Stem Cell Ban.” There is no stem cell ban like ESCR advocates want the public to believe.  Last year the Bush Administration provided over $200 million for stem cell research, of which about $190 million was allotted for research on adult stem cells, which is the only stem cell research that has yielded clinical benefits for humans to date, and nearly $25 million for research on embryonic stem cell lines that existed prior to August 9, 2001.   The only ban is for federal funding of embryonic stem cell lines created after August 2001. 

2. Opponents of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Are Not Anti-Science And Support Almost All Stem Cell Research.  Many embryonic stem cell research supporters evade the moral issues by making the cheap ad-hominen charge that opponents are anti-research.  Opponents are not anti-research.  They oppose unethical research and strongly support almost all stem cell research. 

3. ESCR Opponents Are Not The Extremists. A poll by International Communications Research posed the question “should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research?  13.3% said Yes:  79.8% said no.  Wilson Research Strategies, Inc. asked respondents “which of the following comes closest to your view?” in regards to human cloning and embryonic stem cell research. 24% said cloning to create human embryos for stem cell research which would kill them should be allowed and only cloning for reproduction should be banned.  69% said all human cloning should be banned.  74 percent of Americans said that they support using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that does not require the killing of human embryos, while only 20 percent opposed. 

On  May 16, 2005 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced the results of a on ESCR.  “A majority of Americans, 52 percent, oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell

 research while just 36 percent support it, according to a new poll commissioned by the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)…. When respondents were told that scientists disagree on whether embryonic stem cells, or stem cells from adult tissues and umbilical cord blood, may end up being most successful in treating diseases, 60% favored funding only the research avenues that raise no moral problem, while 22% favored funding all stem cell research including the kind that involves destroying embryos.”

9. Support For S. 471/H.R. 810 Is Not Necessary To Be A Strong Advocate For Stem Cell Research.  All of the successes in stem cell research have come from non-embryonic stem cell research.  Indeed this research also provides the most promise.  It also does not present any ethical problems because it does not require the destruction of human life.  It will not have the divisive impact on the nation that ESCR poses.  ESCR must be opposed because it violates the sanctity of life and thereby threatens and makes others targets for research.  Senators and Congressmen can oppose ESCR and be strong advocates for stem cell research.

Nevada LIFE requests that Nevada representatives oppose H.R. 810/S. 471.

Addendum: Some Current ASCR Therapies

The following are some ASCR therapies from a PowerPoint Presentation we’ve referred to previously made to the Congress by David Prentice, Science advisor to Senator Sam Brownback: The list of the studies supporting his claims and the presentation are found at http://www.cloninginformation.org/congressional_testimony/prentice_2005-01-03.pdf.

Adult stem cells effective in tissue repair

Stroke—Adult stem cells from brain, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood provide therapeutic benefit after stroke. First clinical trials under way.

Spinal Cord Injury—Adult stem cells capable of re-growth and reconnection in

Diabetes—Pancreatic, liver, intestinal, spleen or bone marrow cells can form insulin-secreting islets. FDA approval of first clinical trial.

Adult stem cells effective in tissue repair Heart Damage—Bone marrow, muscle, and heart stem cells repair heart.

Adult stem cells effective in tissue repair Parkinson’s Disease—Neural stem cells can form all neuronal types, migrate throughout brain to repair damage, and prevent loss of neurons associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Current Clinical Uses of Adult Stem Cells

Cancers—Lymphomas, multiple myeloma, leukemias, breast cancer, neuroblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, ovarian cancer

Autoimmune diseases—multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, scleromyxedema, Crohn’s disease

Anemias (incl. sickle cell anemia)

Immunodeficiencies—including human gene therapy

Bone/cartilage deformities—children with osteogenesis imperfecta

Corneal scarring-generation of new corneas to restore sight

Stroke—neural cell implants in clinical trials

Repairing cardiac tissue after heart attack—bone marrow or muscle stem cells from patient

Parkinson’s—retinal stem cells, patient’s own neural stem cells, injected growth factors

Growth of new blood vesselse.g., preventing gangrene

Gastrointestinal epithelia—regenerate damaged ulcerous tissue

Skin—grafts grown from hair follicle stem cells, after plucking a few hairs from patient

Wound healing—bone marrow stem cells stimulated skin healing

Spinal cord injury—clinical trials currently in Portugal, Italy, S. Korea

Other Therapeutic Applications Noted By Science Writer Michael Fumento.

Michael Fumento, Science writer for Scripps Howard, writes the following on adult stem cell research advances for Insight on the News, May 16, 2004 in his article “Stem Cell Cover Up.” http://www.fumento.com/biotech/stemcell.html.

“More than 30 anticancer uses for stem cells have been tested on humans, with many already in routine therapeutical use.

“By some accounts, the area in which stem-cell applications are moving fastest is autoimmune disease, in which the body's own protective system turns on itself. Diseases for which stem cells currently are being tested on humans include diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Evans syndrome, rheumatic disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), among many others.

“Just last February, two different human-autopsy studies demonstrated that stem cells transfused into the marrow work their way into the brain, where they can repair neurons and other vital cells. Other studies have shown that when injected into animals with severed spinal cords, stem cells rush to the injury site effecting repairs. "I think the stem cells may act as a repair squad," says the leader of one of the two studies, Helen Blau of the Stanford University Brain Research Institute. "They travel through the bloodstream, respond to stress, and contribute to brain cells. They clearly repair damage in muscle and other tissues."

“At a conference in late 2002, French researchers reported that during the last 14 years they had performed 69 stem-cell transplants with an 85 percent disease-free survival rate. Since improving their procedure in 1992, all 30 of the last transplants have been successful.

“Stem cells have been injected into damaged hearts and become functional muscle. This destroyed the dogma that heart muscle cannot be repaired, just as stem-cell research also wrecked the firmly held belief that brain tissue cannot regenerate.


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