Embryonic Stem Cells' History One of Failures

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), March 13, 2009 | Go to article overview

Embryonic Stem Cells' History One of Failures


Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Gayle Atteberry For The Register-Guard

President Obama's recent decision to fund embryonic stem cell research with millions of taxpayer dollars is deadly for human embryos and completely unnecessary. Embryonic stem cell research has a proven 100 percent failure rate.

Ten years of extensive research with embryonic stem cells in America and around the world has produced not one human cure, but instead only failure after failure. Development of tumors in test animals has negated any progress made in animal trials.

A report in the February 2009 issue of PLoS Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Public Library of Science, reports on the most recent failure using embryonic stem cells.

Five years ago, a young Israeli boy was injected with embryonic stem cells to treat a fatal neuromuscular disease. Within four years he was found to have multiple tumors in his brain and spinal cord that doctors say were caused by the fetal cells.

In contrast, adult stem cells have brought multiple research breakthroughs and even cures for more than 70 different ailments, many of which had been fatal.

Reports in prestigious medical journals this year detail progress using adult stem cells to treat diseases of major concern to Americans:

University of California, Los Angeles researchers reported that in a five-year study they "have documented the first successful adult neural stem cell transplantation to reverse the effects of Parkinson's disease" (February 2009, Bentham Open Stem Cell Journal).

In clinical trials, researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago transplanted adult stem cells into early phase multiple sclerosis patients. After three years, 17 of the 21 patients improved and none was worse off than before the adult stem cell transplant (February 2009, Lancet).

Adult stem cells have been used for years to repair heart damage. Researchers in England, Germany and at the University of Utah currently are making progress with adult stem cells that may eliminate the need for heart transplants. …

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