To provide their eight-year-old daughter a revolutionary new treatment, a Bournemouth couple is trying to raise
Archives for May 14, 2007
The magical ability of the stem cell has been made popular by media and public controversy. But aside from being familiar with the debate about embryonic versus adult stem cells, few know the tangible facts about stem cells themselves. What makes stem cells so extraordinary, and how do cord blood stem cells fit into the healing puzzle?
All the organ cells in the body are represented by stem cells in some way, shape, and form. It is akin to nature
Rather than have federal and state governments throw money away by funding studies that focus on embryonic stem cells, a national group of pediatric doctors want the money redirected towards adult stem cells research. The significant success adult stem cell research has shown over embryonic research provides data to back their cause.
Exclusive support of adult stem cell research is what the American College of Pediatricians is recommending to public officials.
“Not only does embryonic research require taking the life of human embryos, it also prolongs needless suffering by delaying the development of more promising adult stem cell treatments and cures,” said Michelle Cretella, MD, a fellow of the American College of Pediatricians.
Dr. Cretella cites the use of adult stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood, placenta, amniotic fluid, various organs, adult blood, and fat, as proof. These non-embryonic sources have thus far yielded impressive results.
Cretella explained that certain forms of cancer therapy make routine use of adult stem cells today.
But successful treatments have not been limited to cancer. Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, heart failure, and dozens of other health problems have been treated with exceptional results in human trials over the last decade.
“This has not been the case with any embryonic stem cell trial,” the pediatricians’ group’s spokeswoman said. “Instead, there have been catastrophic results with these cells producing the wrong tissue, forming tumors and triggering immune rejection.”
“Every dollar spent on the failed and unnecessary process of embryonic stem cell research steals resources away from the established utility and potential of adult stem cell research,” Cretella concluded. “This is fiscally irresponsible and medically unconscionable.”
Government entities are not hte only ones who have put an emphasis on embryonic stem cell research spending.
Patients were shown to develop insulin independence when Brazilian scientists treated those suffering from Type 1 diabetes with adult stem cells this past April.
But the study received no funding at all from a leading U.S. diabetes group. This same group helped to almost force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research by funding lobbying efforts to push Congress to approve the bill.
Scientists found that 14 of the 15 patients involved with the diabetes study became insulin free. The findings were published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Working with the scientists was Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago doctor, Richard Burt.
“It’s the first time in the history of Type 1 diabetes where people have gone with no treatment whatsoever … no medications at all, with normal blood sugars,” he says of the groundbreaking study.
For the millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes, the results of the study would be miraculous.
But the Brazilian Ministry of Health and a private corporation had to provide funds to the researchers as the JAMA article reads. American’s should feel dismayed that countless sums of money lobbying Congress to fund embryonic stem cells research have been spent by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association, and not directed towards the diabetes study conducted in Brazil. The prominent diabetes entities chose to back research that has yet to help even one single patient.
Both organization were asked why they did not help fund the Brazilian diabetes study, but neither organization responded to any e-mails that were sent.
They “were not interested in the approach,” said Burt to the AP when confirming their non-participation.