Adult Stem Cell Awareness

January 24, 2009

FDA Approves Human Trial of Treatment Derived From ESCs

Filed under: embryonic stem cells — chelseaz @ 7:46 am

The headline: FDA OKs First Human Trials of Embryonic Stem Cells. Note, this treatment will not consist in the direct infusion of human embryonic stem cells, but of neurons derived from ESCs:

Starting this summer, the biotech firm Geron will treat a small group of spinal-cord injury patients using neurons derived from stem cells, marking the first time embryonic stem cells will be tested in humans.

The trial is designed to test the safety of the treatment, not how well it works
. Nonetheless, it’s a huge first step for the field…

Working in a handful of medical centers around the country, Geron will treat eight to 10 recent paraplegics, who can use their arms but not their legs. The patients will receive an injection of neurons to the site of the damage, followed by a short treatment of anti-rejection drugs.

Previous animal studies suggest the new neurons will repair damaged neurons and secrete substances to help nerves function and grow.

This kind of treatment may be a way to try to get around the serious complications that have plagued the direct injection of ESCs for decades. But even if the trial succeeds – and we certainly don’t wish any harm on the trial patients – and the treatment is later also proven effective, it remains unethical to use and destroy human life for any kind of medical treatments. Pray that more people understand this.

P.S. What you don’t hear from the above story regarding this first clinical trial with ESCs is that adult stem cells have not only been proven safe, but also effective in multiple clinical trials for human patients with spinal cord injury. Watch video testimony from Jacki Rabon whose spinal cord injury improved after she was injected with stem cells from her own nose in this trial from Portugal that lead to further human trials in several other countries. See more patients treated with ASCs for SCI here, here and here.

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