Archive for EMBRYONIC

PLEASE GO TO MY NEW STEM CELL BLOG BY CLICKING ON “PRESS ME”

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by David Granovsky

14 MONTHS,

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STEM CELL BLOG

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Adult Stem Cells Are What Work

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by David Granovsky

I think this Rep has been reading my blog and drinking the kool-aid! Only a few corrections to what he wrote. -dg

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Adult Stem Cells Are What Work

by Rep. J. Randy Forbes, 04/07/2009

Prof. Ian Wilmut of Edinburgh University is hardly a household name. However, most people would recognize his Nobel-Prize-winning scientific development. Prof. Wilmut was the individual who led the team that created the cloned sheep Dolly and pioneered a technique many would want to use for a type of embryonic stem-cell research. His action resulted in both uproar and applause all over the world and was instrumental in bringing the discussion of cloning and stem-cell research from the laboratory to the dinner table.

For years, the moral and ethical issue of destroying human embryos for scientific experimentation has been the biggest argument against embryonic stem-cell research.

(besides causing tumors and severe rejection issues -dg)

But now there is a new argument against embryonic stem-cell research: science.

Just recently, President Obama signed an executive order lifting the ban on the use of federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research, an act based more on politics than it was on science. (Private funding for this research has never been banned.) His action reignited the contentious issue for many individuals in the U.S. — it also ignored the miracles we’ve seen in advancing science.

Adult stem-cells are derived from umbilical cords, wisdom teeth, amniotic fluid, and various tissues, and they don’t hold the same ethical concerns that stem-cells taken from human embryos do. Over the years, adult stem cells have resulted in 73 successful treatments

(it’s up to 130+ now – dg)

for various diseases like Alzheimer’s, Type 1 Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and various forms of cancer.

A U.S. doctor, Amid (Amit – dg) Patel, has used adult stem cells to successfully treat over 1,800 patients who suffered from severe heart failure, dramatically increasing their quality of life and chances of survival. Two years ago, I met a man named Stephen Sprague, who had been treated for leukemia through the use of adult stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood. There are success stories like Dr. Patel’s and Stephen Sprague’s scattered across the globe where individuals have been treated for their diseases by adult stem cells, and the hope for future breakthroughs seems limitless. On the other hand, despite millions of dollars of research, not one — not one — embryonic stem-cell trial has resulted in the successful treatment of a human patient.

Perhaps most incredibly, though, is the fact that scientists have just recently figured out how to reprogram adult stem cells

(actually adult skin cells but they are turned into iPS and some argue that they must pass through an adult stem cell state while doing so – dg)

to the point where they function exactly like an embryonic stem cell. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), can do everything an embryonic stem cell is capable of, only without having to destroy a human embryo. Because of this development, there is likely no medical benefit that can come from embryonic stem-cell research that cannot be obtained from adult stem cells.

(this is way to broad a generalization.  how can we determine what we can learn from something unless it is studied? – dg)

IPS cells also have a greater advantage because they can be derived from a person’s own cells, so a patient’s body is less likely to reject the stem-cell treatment.

(while this is true, many IPS cells are from other peoples cells.  recent iPS cells come from foreskins of other people or allogenic cells as opposed to autologous cells – dg)

Science is truly outpacing the embryonic stem-cell debate. Scientists across the world who were once advocates of this research have reversed course. They overwhelmingly say the future of stem-cell research lies in iPS cells and adult stem cells. Dr. James Thompson, known as the father of embryonic stem-cell research, has said that “it’s probably the beginning of the end for that controversy.” In fact, even the sheep-cloning Prof. Wilmut has abandoned embryonic stem-cell experimentation saying that the use of iPS cells is “extremely exciting and astonishing” and shows more promise for the future.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31364/trackback/

Laura Asks #2 – Why would someone like Michael J Fox not seek treatment outside the U.S.?

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, Letters from Laura with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by David Granovsky

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  • Why would someone like Michael J Fox not seek treatment outside the U.S.?

Good question Laura. I have heard a number of theories on that…and the answers could apply to Christopher Reeve as well (but not Farrah Fawcett!).  In a nutshell…

Unfrotunately, Michael J Fox is a victim of the misleading media blitz that has been perpetrated on the US public for about 6-8 yrs. All focus was on embryonic stem cell research and no one in the US even knew about the advances that were going on outside except for some scientists and doctors.

If you were to google adult stem cells dated prior to about 3 days before the Superbowl this year, you will barely find even a dozen positive articles in a popular US periodical regarding the benefits of adult stem cells…that were happening any where in the world. And these treatments have been going on for up to 8 or so years! I have even heard rumors of quotes from the few pro-adult stem cell published articles being completely reversed or the articles themselves getting completely pulled without retraction or comment…but that’s a story for another day.

  • That explains the lack of knowledge the general public has about the advances of adult stem cells…but what about the scientists and doctors who are on the cutting edge of research?  Surely they knew what was going on outside the US?

Your logic makes sense and some were aware of what was happening outside the US borders but American scientists and doctors have been trained to believe that the American way (FDA, clinical trials, drug development = $500 million and 7-12 yrs to develop) is the only way to go.

This is also the only way the pharma companies can get patents and sell their drugs exclusively for 5-10 yrs to make back the $500 mill cost of bringing a drug to public.  And make no mistake, the FDA considers stem cells a drug. I have posted a number of article on this subject on my blog.

The scientists and docs have also been trained with an extremely exclusive amero-centric philosophy.  Just about every US scientist will take a verified, completed, peer reviewed clinical trial…even in a well-respected publication like the New England Journal of Medicine, but PERFORMED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY and they will REPEAT IT while following US codes and standards before they will allow themselves to begin to believe the results. I have confirmed this with 3 different scientists.

  • You would think that MJF, with his incredible resources of his assets and foundation, would be able get to the truth behind all of this…

I agree and I’m not quite sure why he is in the dark about adult stem cell and iPSC advances.  I checked his scientific advisory board and he has many brilliant scientists/docs and at least 7 from Europe so I have no idea why he and his foundation have been so incredibly embryonic focused.

Maybe that was his decision?  Maybe when you get to the top echelons of science you are very reluctant to put your name behind any treatment that hasn’t been fully tested, documented, etc.?

I don’t know but I was amazed to watch the video of Dr Oz talking to MJF and Oprah about Parkinsons and what he (Dr Oz) referred to as the death of the stem cell debate.  When I followed the expressions on Oprah and MJF’s faces I was sure that they were hearing about things they had rarely or never heard of before.

These are just a few theories I’ve heard bouncing around.  If anyone has others, I’d love to hear them.

Stem Cell Innovation At Risk In UK, Studies Find

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS with tags , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by David Granovsky

money-stacks

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2009) — Despite great hopes for stem cell therapy, major structural and cultural changes within the National Health Service (NHS) are needed if it is to succeed in the UK. Currently the chances of getting effective treatments into routine use in the short-term are small and the industry is at serious risk of ‘market failure’.

These are the findings of two major studies into the commercialisation and adoption of stem cell therapy carried out by researchers at The University of Nottingham.

Dr Paul Martin, from the Institute of Science and Society said: “While the government has identified regenerative medicine as a national priority and the US has lifted its ban on stem cell therapy, urgent public policy action is needed if it is to become a reality. Although cell therapy is now established as an important branch of medicine, innovative firms struggle to make money, putting the UK industry in a very vulnerable position in the short term. Unless the situation changes the industry will contract and the progress needed to develop important cell therapies will be adversely affected.”

via Stem Cell Innovation At Risk In UK, Studies Find.

WMU News – Alumna discusses embryonic stem cell research

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by David Granovsky

I look forward to hearing how she handled the embryonic rejection issues and the tendency to form tumors. -dg

spinal-cord1

WMU News

Alumna discusses embryonic stem cell research

April 2, 2009

KALAMAZOO–Western Michigan University graduate Jacqueline Kueh, a doctoral student in England, returns to WMU to discuss her research in spinal cord repair and in embryonic stem cells at noon Wednesday, April 8, in Kirsch Auditorium of the Fetzer Center.

A doctoral candidate at the University College London Institute of Neurology, Kueh will address two separate lines of her research in “Pluripotency of Embryonic Stem Cells and New Developments in Spinal Cord Repair.”

After graduating from WMU in 2003, Kueh returned to her native Southeast Asia and did research at both the National University of Singapore, under the direction of Dr. Ariff Bongso, a pioneer in human embryonic stem cell research, and at the Genome Institute of Singapore. In 2006, she began her doctoral studies at University College London, where she works under Dr. Geoffrey Raisman, a pioneer in spinal cord repair.

Originally from Malaysia, Kueh began her undergraduate studies at Sunway College. She graduated summa cum laude from WMU with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. While at WMU, she was a Phi Kappa Phi Scholar and was one of the original Monroe-Brown Research Scholars in 2002. She also was active in the Malaysian Student Organization and worked in 2003 as a freshman orientation leader.

For more information about Kueh’s presentation, contact Dr. David Huffman at david.huffman@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2865.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400
http://www.wmich.edu/wmu/news

via WMU News – Alumna discusses embryonic stem cell research.

Embryonic, adult, iPSC & epSPC Research

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by David Granovsky

time_clock

A moment in time…

Embryonic stem cell research has taught us an incredible amount and we have much more to learn from them. Unfortunately, embryonics have overshadowed the advances of adult stem cell treatments.

There is a grim fairy tale going on in the US today derived from the love/hate relationship with embryonic stem cell TREATMENT research. You can view the 6 part series here: http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

The US is waking up to the fact that embryonic stem cells will produce no cures for 7-12 years if then and adult stem cells have been treating people around the world for up to 10 years successfully.
http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/oz-oprah-michael-j-fox-and-embryonic-stem-cell-research/

Both will continue, in addition to iPSC and epSPC research, and will do so accompanied by the hysteria, controversy, misinformation and confusion that they have been surrounded by for the past 10 years. My only hope is that the uneven focus on embryonic research does not continue to overshadow the successes of adult stem cells, thereby depriving more millions of Americans from receiving treatments that are available to them just a plane trip away.

Oz, Oprah, Michael J Fox and Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, BEST OF THE BEST with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by David Granovsky

michael-j-fox-oprah-oz

The Wisdom of Oz

Visualize the surreal image of Oprah Winfrey, Michael J Fox and Dr. Mehmet Oz, wearing purple surgical gloves, sitting on stage around a human brain.  Dr. Oz explains the absence of Nigro-Striatal Neurons in the brain of Parkinson’s patients while lifting out partially dissected chunks of brain and placing them into Michael’s shaking hand.

The camera zooms in as Dr. Oz steadies Michael’s hand in his.  Dr. Oz weaves an intimidating, steel needle between Michael’s gloved and trembling fingers and illustrates the procedure for injecting stem cells into the brain by plunging it both into and through the quivering cerebellum.  Michael’s legs spasm and contort and my stomach clenches empathetically with what I sense is Michael’s extreme discomfort, but is really a symptom of his condition.

And yet, NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened next as Dr. Oz, unbelievably and without prelude or warning, makes the stunning statement:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

While astonished by his public announcement, I soon began to wonder: “why did Dr Oz only briefly allude to the potential of iPS cells and the proven benefits of adult stem cell treatments?”  And then it became clear.

Dr Oz recognizes that the average person on an American street is led to believe, “a stem cell is an embryo is a stem cell”.  Due to years of misleading media saturation, as far most Americans know, there are no other stem cells besides embryonic.  Walk down the street and ask someone “what is an adult stem cell…what is an iPS cell”, and your inquiries will surely be met by blank stares.

So in retrospect, what Oz DID do, was truly…amazing.

Shunning the history of the love/hate affair Americans have with Embryonic stem cell research and ignoring the majority of US media over the past 5 years, the decrees of President Obama’s funding policies, the positions of the FDA and AMA and the fruitless decade long public pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by Michael J Fox (with the benevolent and optimistic spirit of Christopher Reeve hovering over him) and before the bewildered eyes of Michael, Oprah and ~7.2 million viewers, Dr Mehmet Oz nailed the coffin shut on ESC treatments:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

With this one simple statement on national TV, Dr Oz has taken the first step towards educating the American public about the current insurmountable limitations of embryonic stem cells and cracked open the door to the American collective mind-set regarding the potential of iPS cells and the reality that Repair stem cells (RSC) have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade.  Despite the fact that thousands of American doctors refer to RSC as “snake oil,” more and more American patients are realizing that the US medical system is faltering, dated and just not working while the greatest medicine the world has ever seen is available just beyond the borders of their own country.

The seeds planted by Dr Oz will take a long time to find purchase in the collective American mind-set.  There is too much embryonic momentum, media and drama, and America loves drama.  Embryonic stem cells will not go away and like Romeo and Juliet, this love/hate affair may have to run its course for most, despite Dr Oz stealing the “distilled liquor” and Romeo’s poison and dagger in an attempt to avoid all of the deaths at the end of this play.

To read more about this grim fairy tale: http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

One step at a time we will climb this mountain and slowly open American eyes to improve their knowledge of treatment options so all can intelligently exercise the freedom of choice in their individual medical care.  One inch at a time, Oz wisely created a pathway to an amazing new world of available medical treatments for what were previously believed to be incurable diseases and are in fact treating patients successfully around the world.

Dr Oz took this first step and it was a HUGE first step!

So from where I am sitting, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest appreciation for Dr Oz’s bravery, statements and actions.  Thank you, Dr. Oz and thank you Oprah; for allowing this sage doctor the forum to break the walls restricting millions of Americans from the knowledge of the medical treatment options they so unquestionably deserve.

To see the original video:

http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/