Friday, December 10, 2004

More on Stem Cell Research

Report: Cord Blood Eliminates Need for Embryonic Stem Cells"Everything that people now talk about regarding stem cells, I think that cord blood can do."TORONTO, December 9, 2004 ( - A Toronto scientist says the need for stem cells derived from embryonic babies is completely unnecessary, because stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood can do everything that other stem cells can do."We already have these cells making insulin in a dish," Dr. Bob Casper said, as reported by the London Free Press. "There are already animal models for spinal cord injuries and for diabetes. If all these things work out, the potential for the use of these cells is going to be hugely expanded."Dr. Casper is a senior scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and one founder of a private donor cord blood cell bank, Insception Biosciences."Everything that people now talk about regarding stem cells, I think that cord blood can do," he said "It could change the whole face of medicine."Cord blood is accessible - it is simply the blood left behind in the umbilical cord after a baby is delivered, that is normally thrown away, Dr. Casper said -- "tissue that is essentially treated like garbage."Doctors have been substituting bone marrow transplants for leukemia treatment in children with cord blood cell transplants - the blood from a single cord is enough to treat one child. Scientists also recently discovered that this method is effective in adults with leukemia as well. Not only are cord blood cells equally efficacious -- cord blood cells are less likely to be rejected than a bone marrow transplant, so donor selection is simplified.Cord blood banks store the blood because it is a perfect genetic match for the child in the event the child needs stem cells or in place of a bone marrow transplant. The cells also have a one in four chance of being a perfect match for a sibling. Scientists have reproduced all the same effects under laboratory conditions that have been done with adult stem cells world-wide, such as regenerate damaged spinal columns and re-grow insulin-producing pancreas cells.

1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to hear that more research is being done on stem cells from cord blood. The first time I heard about this was when my fourteen year old was born. A friend mentioned that the hospital had paid her for her baby's cord blood, and foreskin. It all seemed very science fiction to me then. I guess it still does in a way. Modern advances in medicine are happening so fast, it seems kind of surreal at times.