Thursday, October 21, 2004

Stem-Cell Research on National Review Online

Kedwards have been promising radical cures for many diseases based soley on embryonic stem cell research. Scientific evidence is lacking and yet these politicians are willing to support the destruction of embryos and cloning for autologous stem cells.

James Kelly writes, "By 2002 the capacity to remyelinate spinal cords had been discovered in bone-marrow cells, olfactory-ensheathing cells from the nasal cavity, adult neural progenitor cells, oligodendroglial progenitors from the adult brain, and adult Schwann cells. Each of these could be obtained from the patient's own body. As one of the studies indicated, 'such transplantation would therefore be autologous and obviate the need for immunosuppression.'"

Many Americans with spinal-cord injury now know that one of the most promising new techniques for restoring sensation and movement is being conducted in Portugal by Dr. Carlos Lima. The centerpiece of his protocol is a surgical technique using stem cells and other tissue from patients' own nasal mucosa. Among the first patients treated with this technique are two young American women, Laura Dominguez and Susan Fajt, whose dramatic progress has been featured on the PBS-TV series Innovation and at a July 2004 Senate hearing. Laura, rendered quadriplegic by an auto accident in 2001, has regained much of her upper-body movement and has begun to move her feet and walk with braces.

"Embryonic stem cells have produced nothing like this — in fact, their tendency toward uncontrollable growth and tumor formation has so far made them unfit for any trials in humans. Even in animal trials they have not been able to treat long-lasting or chronic injury."

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