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Presidential Elections, Embryonic Stem Cells,

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.
Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

It’s not often that we get so upset that we yell at our television sets, but events surrounding the death of actor Christopher Reeve brought about one such episode. On Sunday, October 10, 2004—the day that Mr. Reeve died—the television show “20/20” featured a memorial tribute to him and his courage. Barbara Walters interviewed friends, and showed clips from previous interviews with the actor-turned-activist. At one point during the hour-long program, Walters turned to the topic of embryonic stem-cell research. Clips from the 2004 presidential debates were played, in which just days earlier John Kerry had hailed Christopher Reeve as a friend, and had spoken boldly about the promises of embryonic stem-cell research. The entire segment on stem-cell research was extremely political in nature, and cast a dim shadow on U.S. President George W. Bush for his unwillingness to allow more embryonic stem-cell lines to be produced. But the clip that made us speak out to a lifeless cathode ray tube was a previously taped segment that featured Barbara Walters asking Reeve if he thought he would be well enough to walk if President Bush had not limited embryonic stem-cell research. Reeve believed that he would. In fact, the manner in which senator Kerry campaigned made it seem almost like a vote for him would instantaneously cure practically every ailment known to modern man, thanks to his desire to allow and fund embryonic stem-cell research. Mr. Kerry’s vice presidential running mate, John Edwards, even went so far as to state: “If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again” (“Frist Knocks Edwards…,” 2004).

And yet, in an article in the October 2004 issue of Reader’s Digest, Christopher Reeve was asked: “What’s your position on embryonic stem-cell research?” His response was completely different from the one he took in his interview with Barbara Walters. He stated:I advocate it because I think scientists should be free to pursue every possible avenue. It appears though, at the moment, that embryonic stem cells are effective in treating acute injuries and are not able to do much about chronic injuries” (as quoted in Nash, 2004, emp. added). Ultimately, Christopher Reeve knew that embryonic stem cells were not the magic bullet that he, and many others, had hoped they would be. And he’s not the only one. The Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (a heart surgeon, and the only medical doctor in the Senate), responded to John Edwards’ comments that “people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again” when he said:

I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve—I think it is shameful—in order to mislead the American people. We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype. It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it’s dishonest. It’s giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who’s treated scores of thousands of patients that you don’t give them false hope (“First Knocks Edwards…,” 2004).

We couldn’t agree more. Such statements as those by senator Edwards are indeed “opportunistic,” and they do “offer false hope.”

To most people, he was known simply as “Superman”—a role he played, beginning in 1978. Sadly, on May 27, 1995, we learned that Christopher Reeve was, in fact, human. The accident occurred during a three-day equestrian competition, in Culpepper County, Virginia. Dressed in a protective vest and helmet, Reeve was riding his trained thoroughbred horse, Eastern Express. As his horse went over the third jump, it stopped suddenly, and Reeve went flying over the horse and landed on his head, breaking his neck between the first and second vertebrae. He was knocked unconscious, and when he woke up, he was paralyzed from the neck down. Little did anyone ever expect that “Superman” would be permanently confined to a motorized wheelchair. His accident and subsequent injuries immediately propelled him into the spotlight as a spokesman for various types of scientific research. Since that fateful day in 1995, an enormous amount of money and man-hours have been spent researching the brain and the neurons that compose it. A great deal of interest has been given to the events surrounding traumatic injury to the brain and spinal cord—and the possibility that embryonic stem cells would represent a cure-all.

Reeve’s attitude (and the political machine behind it) that President Bush somehow was preventing him from walking, reveals just how successful the media have been at duping the general public regarding embryonic stem cells. We have a news flash for John Kerry, John Edwards, Barbara Walters, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Time magazine: Embryonic stem cells are by no means a guaranteed “cure all.” In fact, in the studies performed thus far in humans, they have done more harm than good!

If these individuals are truly interested in human welfare, and not just in promoting/sustaining/defending the personal pro-choice agendas, then why not look at the scientific information with an open mind? If you really want to cure people like Christopher Reeve, why not look at the scientific studies that have been peer reviewed and printed in reputable scientific journals? The answer is that it is much easier to make President Bush look like an ogre who single-handedly is responsible for all the death and disease we see around us today. And quite frankly, most media outlets do not want to talk about what many scientists have already admitted: adult stem cells work better!

In February 2001, President Bush received a letter signed by eighty Nobel laureates, urging him not to block federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells. At the time, newspapers around the country hyped the document as proof that the world’s intellectually elite were at odds with the conservative, “uneducated” president. The media would like us to think that these Nobel laureates “know what is best.” They forget that the president and his staff are extremely well briefed on the truth regarding stem-cell research. In fact, the letter signed by those Nobel laureates would have created less support for embryonic stem-cell research—if the truth had been reported in a fair and balanced manner. The letter sent to the president discussed the fact that “insulin-secreting cells have normalized blood glucose in diabetic mice.” The only studies (like those mentioned by the Nobel laureates) that have “normalized” blood glucose involved adult stem cells—not embryonic stem cells. While it is true that embryonic stem cells have been successful at the apparent conversion of mouse embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells (see Lumelsky, et al., 2001; Vogel, 2001), the Nobel laureates failed to mention that a better study utilizing adult stem cells had been conducted just one year earlier. The mouse embryonic stem cells secreted only 1/50th the normal amount of insulin, and when the cells were implanted into diabetic mice, the animals’ blood sugar did not return to normal—and the animals died! Yet, a similar study using adult stem cells achieved full insulin expression from the differentiated adult stem cells, including full ability to protect from diabetes, once transplanted back into the mice (Ramiya, et al., 2000).

THE “SAD AND SICKNESS” SOAPBOX

We truly regret the death of Christopher Reeve. One of us [BH] remembers sitting just a few rows away as Mr. Reeve was rolled out onto the stage during the 2000 convention of the Society for Neuroscience. His pleas for researchers to “do something—anything,” reminded all of us in the audience that this was an individual who had suffered tremendously, and who desperately needed some relief. We can sympathize with his wife Dana, regarding having a loved one affected with a condition that is debilitating. It is our hope that she finds some peace and support in the coming days. She certainly is to be commended for standing by her husband “through sickness and health.” And we are terribly saddened that their children no longer have a father figure in their lives.

However, as tragic as Christopher Reeve’s story is, it does not change the fact that curing one individual by exterminating human embryos is not an acceptable, ethical answer. It is, quite simply, murdering some for the benefit of others. What John Kerry and Barbara Walters do not fully grasp is that stem cells are not the magic bullets that the media have painted them to be. In late 2004, an article in the journal Science began by admitting: “Unlocking the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem (ES) cells has remained a tantalizing but elusive goal” (Chien, et al., 2004, 306:239, emp. added). Elusive indeed! The authors went on to admit:

There are numerous hurdles to using ES cells as therapeutic tools. These include the need for reliable ES cell differentiation protocols for different cell lineages, purification techniques for the differentiated progeny, as well as ways to circumvent the immunological rejection of transplanted cells. Given the complexity of these multiple steps, it is not surprising that there are few clear examples of in vivo ES cell therapy for treating disease-related phenotypes (306:239-240, emp. added).

Christopher Reeve was gravely mistaken in thinking that he would have walked if President Bush agreed to fund the slaughter of thousands of more embryos so that embryonic stem cells could be used in federally funded research. Truth be told, it very likely would have done him more harm than good!

In an article titled “Strike Two for Transplants,” Gretchen Vogel lamented: “For the second time, cells transplanted from fetuses into brains of Parkinson’s patients have failed to show a significant effect.” She went on to note that the double-blind study “failed to produce significant improvements in patients’ movement, but caused serious side effects in more than half the patients” (2003, emp. added). Not only did the aborted fetus tissue not help, it actually was harmful in some cases!

C. Warren Olanow and his colleagues conducted the collaborative study (which consisted of thirty-four patients), in an effort to determine the effects of transplanting fetal nigral neurons (nerve cells) into Parkinson’s patients. Parkinson’s patients, ranging in age from 30 to 75, received tissue transplants that were obtained from one to four aborted fetuses. Thus, in twelve cases, the tissue from four aborted fetuses was required to try and “cure” one Parkinson patient. Are we ready to murder four human beings in an effort to save one? All told, 59 aborted fetuses were used in this study.

So what was the end result after using the nigral cells from 59 aborted babies? The authors observed that “there was no overall treatment effect” (2003, 54:405). They then concluded: “Furthermore, unanticipated and potentially disabling off-medication dyskinesias [difficulty moving—BH/BT] developed in greater than 50% of the patients. We cannot therefore recommend fetal nigral transplantation as a therapy for PD [Parkinson’s disease—BH/BT] at this time” (p. 413, emp. added). Ms. Vogel went on to note that this was not the first time this type of procedure has failed. She wrote: “The first major study of the technique, led by Curt Freed of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, ended in controversy when it failed to help patients overall, and left some with frightening uncontrollable movements” (as reported in Science, March 16, 2001, p. 2060) [Vogel, 2003]. So we now have multiple clinical trials that show conclusively no effect (and even detrimental effects) of having used fetal tissues.

Forget the media hype, and flush the political mantra. What is the truth regarding stem-cell research? Truth be told, adult stem cells have shown far greater promise—without the tumors, mutations, and rejection problems. The common argument is that only embryonic stem cells are “pluripotent”—meaning only embryonic stem cells have not yet differentiated, and thus can become almost any cell in the body. The embryonic stem-cell advocates have successfully convinced the majority of Americans that adult stem cells cannot be expanded in a laboratory culture without losing developmental potential. Peer-reviewed research has proven otherwise. If senator Kerry and those who think like him had done their homework, they would have learned that in 2001, scientists already had successfully purified pluripotent adult neural stem cells from brain tissue (Rietze, et al., 2001, 412:736).

ENOUGH HYPE, SPIN, AND MIXMASTERING—
NOW IT IS TIME TO BE WELL INFORMED

It is clear that human embryonic stem cells are not what is needed to “rescue” everyone—they are not a magic bullet that, when employed, miraculously heal people. Research involving the destruction of human embryos is not only unethical but, as the documentation provided below proves, unnecessary. Is this something with which taxpayers should concern themselves? It certainly is, since the destruction of human life involved and tax dollars are being touted to fund it. The federal government should not bow to the whims of researchers who are so hungry to discover the next “rainmaker” that they have become totally insensitive to the moral foundations of the country in which they are living. Is this a political issue? Most definitely! Is it also an ethical/moral issue? Absolutely.

John Kerry and John Edwards should have known that the continued use of embryonic stem cells is not essential in order for science to continue making advancements in healing or preventative procedures. They should have known that embryonic stem cells have proven harmful in several research trials. They should have known that saving one human at the expense of another is not an acceptable answer. They should have known that situation ethics is an unacceptable philosophy. They should have known about the genuine promise of adult stem cells. And finally, they should be held accountable for considering themselves “religious,” but people who are pro-choice and quick to vote for legislation that murders millions of innocent babies through either abortion or embryonic stem-cell research. [Interestingly, in October 2004, the same month that senator John Edwards began speaking out strongly in favor of additional human embryonic stem-cell research, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a $3 billion bond measure that he is proposing for his home state, aimed at funding just such research. Schwarzenegger himself is a strong supporter of embryonic stem-cell research (see “Schwarzenegger Backs Stem-cell Research,” 2004).]

While the following items that we are referencing may not be exactly what you would call “exciting” reading, the scientific discoveries that they discuss expose in a very vivid fashion the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of embryonic stem-cell research. We list them here for your consideration. They are arranged by the scientific field in which the research was conducted (e.g., mouth, heart, central nervous system, etc.) We encourage you to be well informed on this controversial and important issue.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES DOCUMENTING THE SUCCESS OF
ADULT STEM CELLS IN A VARIETY OF MEDICAL PROCEDURES*

[*Special thanks to Dr. Pia Francesca de Solemni at the Family
Research Council for assistance in assembling this information]

(A) Plasticity

(1) “Molecular and Cellular Characterisation of Highly Purified Stromal Stem Cells Derived from Human Bone Marrow”

Journal of Cell Science, 2003, 116:1827-1835, doi: 10.1242/jcs.00369

Lead researcher: Stan Gronthos, Melbourne University

Researchers in Australia have developed a regenerative technique that may benefit people whoa re suffering from arthritis, in need of hip replacement surgeries, or reparations from motor-neuron accidents. Implanting populations of adult bone stromal marrow stem cells into mice and sheep models caused bone and cartilage regeneration to occur in targeted areas of joint inflammation or damage. These differentiated stem-cell groups formed up to one-third of a bone in the same amount of time that it would take for a fracture to heal by regular reparatory means (about three months). Clinical trials to further test this stem-cell procedure are expected to occur promptly.

(2) “HGF, SDF-1, and MMP-9 are involved in stress-induced human CD34+ stem cell recruitment to the liver”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, July 15, 2003, 112[2]:160-169, doi: 10.1172/JCI200317902; http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=164291andrendertype= abstract

Lead researcher: Orit Kollet, Weizmann Institute

New discoveries regarding cellular behavior and plasticity have been uncovered in a mouse model study by researchers at the Weizmann Institute. When a liver becomes damaged, signals are sent to the bone marrow’s stem cells, which respond by mobilizing and differentiating into liver cells. Thus, plasticity capabilities within the body may be ignited on account of the body’s own stress signals. This mechanism for tissue targeting and repair represents a major development for researchers.

(3) “Induction of Stem Cell-like Plasticity in Mononuclear Cells Derived from Unmobilised Adult Human Peripheral Blood”

Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2003; 19[5]: 355-375

Lead researcher: Saleh Abuljadayel, TriStem Corporation, London

For the first time, researchers proved that adult circulating blood cells were capable of being transformed into other types of stem cells. Circulating white blood cells were taken from patients, and were grown in culture with monoclonal antibody CR3/43. New cells of all sorts were then produced, including red and white blood cells, nerve cells, and heart muscle. Researchers watched as the groups of heart muscle cells even started to beat in culture.

(4) “Transplantation of Porcine Umbilical Cord Matrix Cells into the Rat Brain”

Experimental Neurology, August 2003, 182[2]:288-299, doi:10.1016/S0014-4886(03)001287-6

Lead researcher: Mark L. Weiss, Kansas State University

The exceptional capacity for adult stem cells to be used in xenotransplantations (cross-species transplantation) without need for therapy to prevent rejection by the immune system has been recently documented. Researchers extracted stem cells from pigs’ umbilical cords, and implanted them into rats’ brains, seeing minimal survival rates of six weeks without being attacked by the host’s immune system.

(5) “Oct-4-expressing Cells in Human Amniotic Fluid: a New Source for Stem Cell Research”

Human Reproduction, 2003, 18[7]:1489-1493

Lead researcher: Markus Hengstschldger, University of Vienna, Austria

Amniotic fluid given by pregnant women may be a new source for stem cells, according to preliminary experiments conducted at the University of Vienna. This new source for adult stem cells expressing Oct-4, a protein essential to their maintenance, will aid development of therapeutic methods to treat a wide variety of diseases. The full scope of the differentiating abilities of these stem cells is unknown, but nerve cells are proving to be the most common productions.

(6) “Overexpression of CXCR4 on Human CD34+ Progenitors Increases Their Proliferation Migration, and NOD/SCOD Repopulation”

American Society of Hematology, 2003, doi: 10.1182/blood-2003-07-2607

Lead researcher: Dan Gazit, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Adult stem cells can respond successfully to homing signals in damaged organ tissue. Dr. Gazit’s team implanted human bone marrow stem cells into diseased bone marrow of mice models. Two different types of mice models were used in the procedure: SCID (severe combined immuno-deficiency) and NOD (non-obese diabetic) mice. Genetic engineering facilitated high-level growth in the stem cells for both model types, which then responded to homing signals to repair the damaged tissue. This marks another regenerative success for adult stem cell procedures.

(7) “Transfer of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Encoding Autoantigen Prevents Autoimmune Diabetes”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 2003, 111:1357-1363

Lead researchers: Raymond J. Steptoe and Leonard C. Harrison, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia

The prevention of diabetes may lie in stem-cell implantations to the bone marrow. Stem cells were extracted from mice bone marrow and genetically re-engineered to express an autoantigen that would signal the immune system not to attack insulin-producing cells. Results from the procedure found that type 1 diabetes was almost entirely avoided in the non-obese diabetic mice used in the study.

(8) “SHED: Stem Cells from Human Exfoliated Deciduous Teeth”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 13, 2003, 100[10]:5807-5812; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/10/5807?view=abstract

Lead researcher: Songtao Shi, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Scientists discovered that dental pulp contained in baby teeth (those that already have fallen out of a child’s mouth) provides an ample source of stem cells. This live pulp, combined with various growth factors, differentiated into neural, fat, and tooth-forming cells. This discovery may improve oral surgery methods, repair damaged teeth, or treat neural injuries.

(9) “A Human Peripheral Blood Monocyte-derived Subset Acts as Pluripotent Stem Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 4, 2003, 100[5]:2426-2431; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/5/2426?view=abstract

Lead researcher: Eliezer Huberman, Argonne National Laboratory

New studies have proven that adult stem cells extracted from peripheral blood monocytes can differentiate into liver and nerve cells. Since these cells can be easily gathered from the patient’s own blood supply and subsequently stored in liquid nitrogen, they are good source for therapeutic research.

(10) “Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-derived Cells into Buccal Epithelial Cells In Vivo: A Molecular Analytical Study”

The Lancet, March 29, 2003, vol. 361, no. 9363

Lead researcher: Eva Mezey, National Institute of Health

A clinical study with five women patients helped prove the validity of the adult stem cell differentiation process. Some scientists argued that the differentiation process had not occurred in other previous stem-cell experiments. In actuality, cellular fusion accounted for previous successes, they claimed. However, Dr. Mezey’s study showed otherwise. The women in the study had received bone-marrow transplants from their brothers, and the presence of Y chromosomes in the new cheek cells established that differentiation, not cellular fusion, had occurred.

(11) “Adult Neural Stem Cells: Plasticity and Developmental Potential”

PubMed, 2002, 171[1]:64-76. PMID: 12021492 [PubMed—indexed for MEDLINE]; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieveanddb=PubMedandlist _uids=12021492anddopt=Abstract

Lead researchers: A. Gritti and R. Galli, Institute for Cell Research

Evidence continues to mount in demonstrating that adult stem cells have greater capacities to differentiate beyond their initial cell lineage. This study using mouse models proved that adult neural stem cells can differentiate into a broad array of cell types, both central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS, such as skeletal muscle and blood cells.

(12) “Transplantation of Nasal Olfactory Tissue Promotes Partial Recovery in Paraplegic Adult Rats”

Brain Research Interactive, 2001, 880:344-357

Lead researchers: Jike Lu and Phil M.E. Waite, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Recent studies have confirmed the substantial plasticity capabilities of nasal stem cells. Nasal stem cells are easier and less painful to extract than bone-marrow stem cells, and have differentiated into kidney, liver, heart and nerve tissues in mice models. This study, carried out by researchers in Sydney, Australia, implanted nasal stem cells into mice with severe spinal cord injuries. Significant recovery of movement followed the differentiative process, demonstrating that the process may be useful in treating human paraplegics as well.

(13) “Matrix Cells from Wharton’s Jelly from Neurons and Glia”

Stem Cells, 2003, 21:50-60

Lead researchers: Kathy E. Mitchell and Mark L. Weiss, Kansas State University

Researchers identified an abundant new source for primitive adult stem cells—Wharton’s jelly, a cushioning substance within the umbilical cord. These cells developed into neuron-like cells in vitro, and expressed all the necessary proteins of such cells.

(14) “The Use of In Situ Bone Marrow Stem Cells for the Treatment of Various Degenerative Diseases”

Medical Hypotheses, 2002, 59[4]:422-428, doi:10.1016/S0306-9877(02)00147-0

Lead researcher: Christian Drapeau, Desert Lake Technologies

A different, less-invasive method to tissue regeneration was proposed in this study. Instead of an in vitro method, therapeutic tools were used to stimulate bone marrow stem cells in situ (in place) to migrate to target organs where regeneration was needed. It was shown that these stem cells differentiated successfully, and that the process could be used in treatments including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, liver degeneration, cardiac infarct, diabetes, brain injury, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

(B) Central Nervous System (CNS)

(1) (a) “Neuroectodermal Differentiation from Mouse Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 30, 2003, 100[Suppl.]:1:11854; http://intl.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/suppl_1/11854

Lead researcher: Catherine Verfaillie, University of Minnesota

(b) “Neural Differentiation and Incorporation of Bone Marrow-Derived Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells After Single Cell Transplantation into Blastocyst Stage Mouse Embryos”

Journal of Cell Transplantation, 2003, 12:201-213

Lead researcher: Walter C. Low, University of Minnesota

Verfaillie’s research project succeeded in the differentiation of MAPCs (multiple adult progenitor cells), commonly known as adult stem cells, into different types of cells when grown in tissue culture. Low’s project expanded upon this success, proving that these same stem cells could differentiate into neuron-like cells in the brain of mice that had experienced strokes. This is a potential new source of cells for treating central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

(2) “Retrograde Viral Delivery of IGF-1 Prolongs Survival in a Mouse ALS Model”

Science, August 8, 2003, vol. 301

Lead researcher: Fred H. Gage, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA

A new genetic engineering of muscle tissue resulted in positive developments for treatment of Amyotophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a motor nerve disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The muscle tissue of rodent models was infected with an adeno-associated virus, which then traveled up the nerve or motor neuron. The study concluded that the lives of the mice were prolonged and that the ALS disease was delayed.

(3) “Retinal Stem Cells in the Adult Mammalian Eye”

Science, March 17, 2000, pp. 2032-2036

Lead researcher: Derek Van der Kooy, University of Toronto

Preceding Michael Young’s studies, research conducted by Canadian Derek Van der Kooy laid the foundations for stem-cell transplantation into the retinal area. Blind patients’ own stem cells were cultivated in vitro, and became effective photoreceptor cells.

(4) “Neural Progenitor Cells Lack Immunogenicity and Resist Destruction as Allografts”

Stem Cells, 2003, 21:405-416; www.Stemcells.com

Lead researcher: Michael Young, Schepens Eye Research Institute

Experiments using mice proved that certain brain stem cells have special immunity privileges, meaning that the host environment to which they are transmitted will not reject or mount an autoimmune attack against them. This may help to increase the success of retinal transplants for people suffering from eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or retinitis pigmentosa (loss of night and peripheral vision).

(5) “Axonal Plasticity and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury in Mice Deficient in Both Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein and Vimentin Genes”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 22, 2003, 100[15]:8999-9004

Lead researcher: Alain Privat, Languedoc University, France

Researchers made breakthroughs in repairing spinal nerve cells by removing certain proteins that hitherto have prevented the spinal cord’s re-growth. Major steps forward in the battle against paralysis could ensue. But because the work was done on mice, scientists still are working on applications to this genetic treatment in humans.

(6) (a) “Intravenous Administration of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells in a Mouse Model of AML: Distribution, Migration, and Differentiation”

(b) “Human Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells Infusion in Spinal Cord Injury: Engraftment and Beneficial Influence on Behavior”

Journal of Hematotherapy and Stem Cell Research, 2003, 12:255-270, http://www.liebertpub.com/JHT/JHTarticle1.pdf

Lead researcher: Alison Willing, University of South Florida

In a study led by Dr. Alison Willing, stem-like cells extracted from human bone marrow were injected into rats that had experienced severe strokes. After just 24 hours, these rats showed notable behavioral improvement atypical of normal stroke victims. Conclusions from this study demonstrate optimism regarding the use of stem-cell transplants to treat central nervous system disorders including, but not limited to, strokes.

(7) “Injections of Adult Neurospheres Induces Recovery in a Chronic Model of Multiple Sclerosis”

Nature, 2003, 422:688-694

Lead researchers: Gianvito Martino and Angelo L. Vescovi, San Raffaele Hospital, Stem-cell Research Institute, Milan, Italy

Researchers injected neural stem cells into the brains and/or blood streams of mice models with an experimental form of multiple sclerosis (MS), and found reparation of nerve damage, as well as significant alleviation of symptoms associated with MS. This may mean advancement in new approaches toward the treatment of MS or other demyleinating disorders.

(8) “Acute Treatment of Focal cerebral Ischemia in Rats with Intracarotid Administration of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells”

Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2003

Leading researcher: Yi Pan, St. Louis University School of Medicine

Stem cells extracted from human umbilical cords were injected into the necks of rat models that had experienced strokes. This was done in order to determine whether or not these stem cells could ultimately replace injured brain cells after the strokes. Although the rat models experienced alleviation of symptoms, most of the transmitted stem cells eventually died. Despite their death, these stem cells aided recovery at the time by secreting hormones or proteins that helped reparation. Dr. Pan concluded that there are still uncertainties in the procedure as it may be applied to humans.

(9) “Stem Cells from Placenta Differentiate into Neural Cells In Vitro

Cytotherapy, April 2003, vol. 5, no. 2, http://www.celltherapy.org/nmscAbs/posterpres/p49_2002.htm

Lead researcher: Jia-Lun Wang

In 2002, a groundbreaking study confirmed the efficacy of what was at the time a new source for neural replacement therapy: adult stem cells extracted from the human placenta. These extracted cells morphed into neural cells, and were found to contain special proteins useful for therapy in cases for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and spinal-cord trauma.

(10) “Research to be Presented Suggesting Reversal of Lou Gehrig’s Disease May Now be Possible”

Neuroregeneron Company (www.healingresearch.org); Annual Meeting of the American Injury Association

Lead researcher: George R. Schwartz

A clinical study approved by the FDA showed successful results involving a patient suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Dr. George R. Schwartz headed the study, in which hormones excreted from both the thyroid and liver were used to regenerate endogenous stem cells in the central nervous system. This suggests the possibility that spinal-cord injuries can be reversed.

(11) U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space: July 14, 2004

Testimony of Michel F. Levesque, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

Testimony of Dennis Turner, clinical patient

Lead physician: Michael Levesque, Celmed Biosciences, Inc., Montreal, Canada

A study involving the auto-transplantation of neural stem cells extracted from the same human brain was conducted in a clinical study in 2001. The patient, Mr. Dennis Turner, was a 52-year-old man suffering from Parkinson’s disease, who now takes no prescription medicines for his disease and whose current symptoms have been reduced by more than 80% as a result of the procedure. Researchers see the pivotal success of this single case experiment as establishing the validity of such procedures involving adult stem cells and regeneration. Dr. Levesque may likely need to repeat this procedure in the patient, however, since only the left half of the patient’s brain was originally treated. Mr. Turner reported in his July 14 testimony that he is experiencing recurrence of mild symptoms and would like to have the procedure repeated upon him in the future. While scientists still struggle with identifying the cause of Parkinson’s, adult stem cell transplants have proven to be an effective treatment.

(12) “Identification and Isolation of Multipotent Neural Progenitor Cells from the Subcortial White Matter of the Adult Human Brain”

Nature Medicine, April 2003, vol. 9, no. 4

Lead researcher: Steven A. Goldman

This study suggested the possibility of a new source for adult stem cells: glia progenitor cells, which are located in the white matter of the brain. These stem cells differentiated into neurons and other glia cells, which would be an “abundant pool of...competent” stem cells, researchers say.

(13) “Olfactory Tissue Transplantation for Spinal Cord Injury”

http://www.cloninginformation.org/congressional_testimony/peduzzi- nelson_02-04-10.htm

Lead researcher: Carlos Lima

U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space: July 14, 2004:

Testimony of Jean Peduzzi-Nelson, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Testimony of Laura Dominguez, clinical patient

Testimony of Susan Fajt, clinical patient

Portuguese researcher Carlos Lima has been a major contributor in the field of spinal cord reparation through successful clinical studies. Stem cells taken from the nose may be implanted into the spinal cord in order to treat injuries to that region. This study relied on previous research done by Jike Lu and colleagues, confirming that nasal stem cells showed successful plasticity capacities. Dr. Lima’s patients were discharged from the hospital after 4-7 days, and recovered significantly greater muscle control in rehabilitation in comparison to other patients with their symptoms. Two American young women who had been patients of Dr. Lima’s testified before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, reporting their successes with a joyful hope in the promises of adult stem cell research. Their stories can be read on the FRC’s Bioethics website. In addition, researcher Dr. Laura Peduzzi-Nelson testifies to the successes of her life’s work with rodent models and adult stem-cell research.

(14) “Direct Brain Infusion of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Parkinson’s Disease”

Nature Medicine, May 2003, 9[5]:589-595, doi:10.1038/nm850; http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nm/journal/v9/n5/full/nm850.html

Lead researcher: Steven S. Gill

A potential new treatment for Parkinson’s disease was affirmed by a recent study. The physicians used catheters to implant glia progenitor cells (located in the brain’s white matter) called GDNF into the brain of patients suffering from Parkinson’s. This transplant regenerated brain cells, and caused them to produce more chemicals necessary for normal movement in Parkinson’s patients.

(15) “Transplantation of Porcine Umbilical Cord Matrix Cells into the Rat Brain”

Experimental Neurology, August 2003, 182[2]:288-299, doi:10.1016/S0014-4886(03)001287-6

Lead researcher: Mark L. Weiss, Kansas State University

The exceptional capacity for adult stem cells to be xenotransplanted (cross-animal transplantation) without need for therapy to prevent rejection by the immune system has been recently proven. Researchers extracted stem cells from pigs’ umbilical cords and implanted them into rats’ brains, seeing minimal survival rates of six weeks without being attacked by the immune system.

(16) “Oct-4-expressing Cells in Human Amniotic Fluid: A New Source for Stem-cell Research”

Human Reproduction, 2003, 18[7]:1489-1493

Lead researcher: Markus Hengstschldger, University of Vienna, Austria

Amniotic fluid given by pregnant women may be a new source for stem cells, according to preliminary experiments conducted at the University of Vienna. This new source for adult stem cells expressing Oct-4, a protein essential to their maintenance, will aid development of therapeutic methods to treat a wide variety of diseases. The full scope of the differentiating abilities of these stem cells is unknown, but nerve cells are proving to be the most common productions.

(17) “SHED: Stem Cells from Human Exfoliated Deciduous Teeth”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 13, 2003, 100[10]:5807-5812; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/10/5807?view=abstract

Lead researcher: Songtao Shi, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Scientists discovered that dental pulp contained in baby teeth (those already fallen out of a child’s mouth) provides an ample source of stem cells. This live pulp, combined with various growth factors, differentiated into neural, fat, and tooth-forming cells. This discovery may improve oral surgery methods, repair damaged teeth, or treat neural injuries.

(18) “A Human Peripheral Blood Monocyte-derived Subset Acts as Pluripotent Stem Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 4, 2003, 100[5]:2426-2431; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/5/2426?view=abstract

Lead researcher: Eliezer Huberman, Argonne National Laboratory

New studies have proven that adult stem cells extracted from peripheral blood monocytes can differentiate into liver and nerve cells. Since these cells can be easily gathered from the patient’s own blood supply and stored in liquid nitrogen, they are good source for therapeutic research.

(C) Heart

(1) “Mesenchymal Stem Cells Modified with Akt Prevent Remodeling and Restore Performance of Infarcted Hearts”

Nature Medicine Journal, September 2003, 9[9]:1195-1201, doi:10.1038/nm912

Lead researcher: Victor Dzau, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston

Researchers used stem cells extracted from bone marrow, transmitted them to the heart, and saw successful results in rat models that had experienced heart attacks. These stem cells were reengineered to increase their survival capabilities after the transplant, and were shown to improve the heart’s pumping capacities by 80%.

(2) “Transendocardial, Autologous Bone Marrow Cell Transplantation for Severe, Chronic Ischemic Heart Failure”

American Heart Association Journal, April 21, 2003, Circulation, 2003, 107:r75-r83; http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/short/107/18/2294

Lead researchers: Hans Fernando Rocha Dohmann and Emerson C. Perin

Clinical studies in both Brazil and Texas demonstrated successful results for patients with heart disease. Stem cells taken from the patients’ own bone marrow were transmitted to the left valve of their hearts, allowing them to improve blood supply. These successes are important in the treatment of heart disease, and may ultimately reduce the number of heart transplants necessary for such patients.

(3) “Human Arteries Engineered In Vitro

Journal of European Molecular Biological Organization (EMBO) June 6, 2003

Lead researchers: Laura E. Niklason and Chris Counter

Difficulties of previous attempts to use adult stem cell transplantations to cure diseases in human arteries of the heart have been recently overcome. Duke University researchers introduced a special gene, known as hTERT and that is related to chromosomal growth and life, into stem cells, and grew four healthy human arteries. The success of this experiment suggests that scientists now possess the ability to grow human arteries with a regular lifespan, and that can later be implanted into patients with heart diseases. This technique may prove to be a more successful treatment than current surgical bypass techniques.

(4) (a) “Doctors Use Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Repair a Heart” by Nicholas Wade

New York Times, March 7, 2003

(b) “Muscle Stem Cells May Treat Heart Attack Damage” by Amy Norton

The Lancet, 2003; 361:491-492

(c) “Stem Cells May Improve Perfusion of Infarcted Myocardium”

The Lancet, 2003; 361:11-12,45-49

The spring of 2003 marked the successes of historic clinical studies involving the transfusion of adult stem cells into the hearts of patients suffering from heart damage and/or disease. These studies parallel the research done at Duke University’s Medical School. In America, the patients were one 16-year-old boy and another 72-year-old man who had suffered a heart attack. In Europe, similar clinical trials were effectively conducted upon hundreds of heart-attack patients. The patients’ own stem cells were used for the injection process in these studies, thereby increasing the validity of the safety of the procedure.

(5) “Mobilized Bone Marrow Cells Repair the Infarcted Heart, Improving Function and Survival”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 28, 2001, 98[18]:10344-10349; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.181177898

Lead researcher: Bernardo Nadal-Ginard

A new technique using adult stem cells to repair damage caused by heart attack has been discovered by Dr. Nadal-Ginard. Instead of using stem cells taken from other parts of the body such as the bone marrow (as has been the previous practice), in his animal study, Nadal-Ginard stimulated cells already present in the heart.

(D) Pancreas

Martin N Wijkstrom’s Testimony before American Transplant Congress, 2003

American Journal of Transplantation, “Advances in Xenotransplantation Reported,” May 2003, [s5]:3,49-150

Researchers: Immerge Bio Therapeutics, Biotransplant, Inc.

A non-human study recently helped treat diabetic monkeys. Purified islets extracted from the pancreata (the plural form of pancreas) of adult pigs were implanted into the pancreata of monkeys suffering from diabetes. When treated with immunosuppressants, all of the moneys became either insulin independent or returned to normal levels of glucose. None showed rejection of the implanted stem cells.

(2) “In Vivo Derivation of Glucose-competent Pancreatic Endocrine Cells from Bone Marrow without Evidence of Cell Fusion”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, March 2003, vol. 111, no. 6

Lead researcher: Mehbood A. Hussain, New York University

A study at the New York University School of Medicine confirmed that adult stem cells extracted from the bone marrow can be successfully transplanted into the pancreas, and can morph into insulin-producing beta islet cells. Upon measuring the insulin production levels in the mice, Hussain’s team discovered a significant increase. Researchers hope this procedure will help people with type 1 diabetes live without daily injections of insulin. This represents a new approach to the treatment of diabetes. Yet, there are problems associated with the procedure, one being that recipients would have to take immune suppressants and endure the significant side effects throughout their lifetimes in order to sustain the implant’s efficacy.

(3) “Glucagon-like Peptide 1 (1-37) Converts Intestinal Epithelial Cells into Insulin-Producing Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10.1073/pnas.0936260100

Lead researcher: Atsushi Suzuki University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine

Paralleling the work done by Hussain’s team, this study found that adult stem cells extracted from the small intestine with GLP-1-(1-37) were successfully converted into insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreases of diabetic mice.

(4) “Islet Regeneration During the Reversal of Autoimmune diabetes in NOD Mice”

Science, November 14, 2003, 302:1123-1127

Lead researcher: Denise Faustman, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Immunobiology Laboratory

Experiments with mice models show that spleen cells may differentiate into insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells, a breakthrough finding that could yield a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. The spleen was found to be a substantial source for adult stem cells.

(5) “Transfer of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Encoding Autoantigen Prevents Autoimmune Diabetes”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 2003, 111:1357-1363

Lead researchers: Raymond J. Steptoe and Leonard C. Harrison, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia

The prevention of diabetes may lie in stem cell implantations to the bone marrow. Stem cells were extracted from mice bone marrow and genetically re-engineered to express an autoantigen that would signal the immune system not to attack insulin-producing cells. Results from the procedure found that type 1 diabetes was almost entirely avoided in the non-obese diabetic mice used in the study.

(E) Skeletal Muscle

(1) “Skeletal Muscle Repair by Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells”

The Journal of Cell Biology, 160[6]:909-918

Lead researcher: Cosimo De Bari, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Researchers in Belgium transplanted adult stem cells from synovial membranes (the cavity tissues found in joints) in vivo to mice models suffering from skeletal muscle damage. These host stem cells helped the reparation process by differentiating into functional satellite cells. This provides evidence of their usefulness in the skeletal repair often needed for treatment of diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a lethal genetic disorder relating to muscle degeneration among children.

(2) “Adult Neural Stem Cells: Plasticity and Developmental Potential”

PubMed, 2002, 171[1]:64-76 PMID: 12021492 [PubMed—indexed for MEDLINE]; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieveanddb=PubMedandlist_ uids=12021492anddopt=Abstract

Lead researchers: A. Gritti and R. Galli, Institute for Cell Research

Evidence continues to mount, demonstrating that adult stem cells have greater capacities to differentiate beyond their initial cell lineage. This study using mouse models proved that adult neural stem cells can differentiate into a broad array of cell types, both CNS and non-CNS, such as skeletal muscle and blood cells.

(F) Skin

“Measuring Stem-cell Frequency in Epidermis: A Quantitative In Vivo Functional Assay for Long-term Repopulating Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 30, 2003

Lead researcher: Ruby Ghadially, San Francisco V.A. Medical Center

Researchers created a new method for accurately counting the number of stem cells extracted from given amounts of skin cell tissue. Using mice models, it was found that 1 out of every 10,000 basal epidermal cells is a stem cell. Previous techniques could only be applied to the blood. Therefore, this enumerative method will be helpful in using adult stem cells extracted from the epidermis to treat wounded or burned skin.

(G) Respiratory System

(1) “Human Pulmonary Chimerism After Hematopoietic Stem-cell Transplantation”

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2003, 168:318-322; http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/168/3/318

Lead researcher: Benjamin Suratt, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Lung tissue was once thought to be only locally regenerative, but current research confirms otherwise. Female mice models received male donor bone marrow stem cells, showing that stem cells could make significant amounts of new lung tissue (near 40% of the total amount of tissues). This research makes headway for new treatment possibilities to combat lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis and emphysema.

(2) “Marrow-Derived Cells as Vehicles for Delivery of Gene Therapy to Pulmonary Epithelium”

American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 2002, 27:645-651; doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2002-0056RC; http://ajrcmb.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/27/6/645

Lead researcher: Diane S. Krause, Yale University School of Medicine

Stem cells derived from bone marrow of male mice were transplanted into female mice models. These stem cells differentiated into epithelial cells in their lungs, while maintaining long-term transgene expression.

(3) “Differentiation, Cell Fusion, and Nuclear Fusion during Ex Vivo Repair of Epithelium by Human Adult Stem Cells from Bone Marrow Stroma”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 4, 2003, 120[5]:2397-2402; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/5/2397

(4) “Adult Stem Cells (hMSCs) Repair Small-Airway Epithelia Ex Vivo

NMSC 2002 Abstracts www.celltherapy.org

Lead researcher: J.L. Spees, Center for Gene Therapy, Tulane Health Sciences Center

Confirming previous studies, Dr. Spees’ research documented that stem cells derived from adult bone-marrow are capable of differentiating into epithelial-like cells in the lung using an ex vivo culture system. Such reports of rebuilding lung layers and tissue demonstrate progress being made in the field of lung damage reparations.

(5) “Lung Stem Cells: New Paradigms”

Experimental Hematology, April 2004, 32[4]:340-343

Lead researcher: D.N. Kotton, Boston University School of Medicine

New research has shed light upon previous limitations on data relating to stem cells found in the lung. Bone-marrow cells can engraft as differentiated cells within various organs and tissues, providing a model for future lung stem-cell work to be done.

(H) Auditory

“Math 1 Gene Transfer Generates New Cochlear Hair Cells in Mature Guinea Pigs In Vivo

Journal of Neuroscience, June 1, 2003, 23[11]:4395-4400

Lead researcher: Yehoash Raphael, University of Michigan Medical School

Scientists made headway in combating hearing loss caused by damage done to hair cells in the inner ear’s cochlea. A human adenovirus was genetically engineered to include the Math 1 gene, which is believed to help with hair growth. This adenovirus was implanted in vivo into the inner ear of a guinea pig, and ignited the transformation of other cells into hair producers. The production increased the hearing of the pigs. The regenerative method shows promise in the treatment of hearing loss.

(I) Bone Marrow/Blood

(1) “High-Dose Chemotherapy with Hematopoietic Stem-cell Rescue for Multiple Myeloma”

New England Journal of Medicine, 2003, 348:1875-83

Lead researchers: J. Anthony Child and Gareth J. Morgan

London-based researchers conducted a clinical trial using different methods to treat multiple myeloma, a cancer involving plasma cells of bone marrow. One group of subjects received standard chemotherapy treatments, while the other was treated with higher chemotherapy doses and an additional stem-cell procedure. Stem cells were extracted from the patients’ own bone marrow, genetically reengineered, and re-implanted in order to replace the cells destroyed by the chemotherapy. Results showed that this latter group, using stem-cell methods, extended survival by an approximate average of 12 months longer than the control group.

(2) “Induction of Stem-cell-like Plasticity in Mononuclear Cells Derived from Unmobilised Adult Human Peripheral Blood”

Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2003, 19[5]:355-375

Lead researcher: Saleh Abuljadayel, TriStem Corporation, London

For the first time, researchers proved that adult circulating blood cells were capable of being transformed into other types of stem cells. Circulating white blood cells were taken from patients and grown in culture with monoclonal antibody CR3/43. New cells of all sorts were then produced, including red and white blood cells, nerve cells, and heart muscle. Researchers watched as the groups of heart muscle cells even started to beat in culture.

(J) Liver

(1) (a) “Cell Fusion is the Principal Source of Bone Marrow-derived Hepatocytes”

Nature, March 30, 2003, doi:10.1038/nature01531 published online

Lead researcher: Xin Wang, Oregon Health and Science University

(b) “Transplanted Bone Marrow Regenerates Liver by Cell Fusion”

Nature, doi:10.1038/nature01539

Lead researcher: George Vassilopoulos, Division of Hematology, University of Washington

In Dr. Wang’s study, adult stem cells extracted from female mice donors’ bone marrow were transplanted into male mice models suffering from liver diseases. This technique produced regenerating liver nodules in abundant quantities, which then repopulated the livers to correct the diseases. Researchers concluded that cell fusion between host and donor, and not stem-cell differentiation, occurred in this process. A similar study conducted by Dr. Vassilopoulos at the University of Washington in Seattle achieved concurring results.

(2) “HGF, SDF-1, and MMP-9 Are Involved in Stress-induced Human CD34+ Stem-cell Recruitment to the Liver”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, July 15, 2003, 112[2]:160-169, doi: 10.1172/JCI200317902; http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=164291andrendertype= abstract

Lead researcher: Orit Kollet, Weizmann Institute

New discoveries regarding cellular behavior and plasticity have been uncovered in a mouse model study by researchers at the Weizmann Institute. When a liver becomes damaged, signals are sent to the bone marrow’s stem cells, which respond by mobilizing and differentiating into liver cells. Thus, plasticity capabilities within the body may be ignited on account of the body’s own stress signals. This mechanism for tissue targeting and repair represents a major development for researchers.

(3) “A Human Peripheral Blood Monocyte-derived Subset Acts as Pluripotent Stem Cells”

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 4, 2003, 100[5]:2426-2431; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/5/2426?view=abstract

Lead researcher: Eliezer Huberman, Argonne National Laboratory

New studies have documented that adult stem cells extracted from peripheral blood monocytes can differentiate into liver and nerve cells. Since these cells can be easily gathered from the patient’s own blood supply and then stored in liquid nitrogen, they are good source for therapeutic research.

(K) Kidney

“Bone Marrow Stem Cells Contribute to Repair of the Ischemically Injured Renal Tubule”

Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2003, 112:42-49, doi:10.1172/JCI200317856.; http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/full/112/1/42

Lead researcher: Sujata Kale, Yale University

Adult stem cells extracted from mice bone marrow were successfully mobilized and transmitted into the kidney’s tubule cells, showing promise toward improvement of such deliveries. This research may prove helpful in the treatment of acute tubular necrosis, a damaging kidney disorder.

(L) Eye

(1) “Development of Cultivated Mucosal Epithelial Sheet Transplantation for Ocular Surface Reconstruction”

Ingenta Artificial Organs, January 2004, 28[1]: 22-27, doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2004.07319.x; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2856541.stm

Lead researcher: Shigeru Kinoshita, M.D.

Nine patients in Japan participated in a clinical trial using adult stem-cell research methods. Researchers implanted stem cells extracted from the patients’ own mouths into their cornea, and observed positive results in differentiation. Eight out of nine patients recovered their sight through the treatment. Previous scientific treatments had utilized only corneal tissue grafts, often creating rejection difficulties and necessitating the patients’ use of unpleasant immunosuppressant drugs.

(2) “Long-term Deprivation Affects Visual Perception and Cortex”

Nature Neuroscience, August 24, 2003, doi: 10.1038/nn1102

Lead researchers: Ione Fine and Donald MacLeod, University of San Diego

Through a clinical trial using adult stem cells conducted by researchers in San Diego, California, patient Mike May regained his sight after living with 40 years of blindness. Stem cells were extracted from Mr. May’s own limbus (a part of the eye outside the cornea), and differentiated into corneal epithelial cells upon reimplantation. Approximately two years following the successful surgery, Mr. May was able to see form, color, and motion almost normally.

(3) “Stem Cell Transplants Offer New Hope in Some Cases of Blindness”

New York Times, April 15, 2003

Cases of blindness are now frequently treated in the U.S. and abroad with a procedure that regenerates the cornea using adult stem cells. The New York Times reported on April 15, 2003, that an estimated 300 such procedures occur annually. Reports of successful clinical studies abound, including several soldiers wounded in Iraq from mustard gas attacks.

(M) Mouth

“Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow-derived Cells into Buccal Epithelial Cells In Vivo: A Molecular Analytical Study”

The Lancet, March 29, 2003, vol. 361, no. 9363

Lead researcher: Eva Mezey, National Institute of Health

A clinical study with five women patients helped prove the validity of the adult stem cell differentiation process. Some scientists argued that the differentiation process had not occurred in other previous stem-cell experiments. In actuality, cellular fusion accounted for previous successes, they claimed. However, Dr. Mezey’s study showed otherwise. The women in the study had received bone-marrow transplants from their brothers, and the presence of Y chromosomes in the new cheek cells established that differentiation, not cellular fusion, had occurred.

REFERENCES

Chien, Kenneth R. Alessandra Moretti, and Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz (2004), “ES Cells to the Rescue,” Science, 306:239-240, October 8.

“Frist Knocks Edwards Over Stem-cell Comment” (2004), CNN.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/12/edwards.stem.cell/.

Lumelsky, N., et al., (2001), “Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells to Insulin-Secreting Structures Similar to Pancreatic Islets,” Science, 292:1389-94, 2001.

Nash, Alanna (2004), “A Hero Onscreen and Off,” Reader’s Digest, October.

Olanow, C. W., Christopher Goetz, et al., (2003), “A Double-blind Controlled Trial of Bilateral Fetal Nigral Transplantation in Parkinson’s Disease,” Annals of Neurology, 54[3]:403-414, September.

Ramiya, V.K. M. Maraist, K.E. Arfors, D.A. Schatz, A.B. Peck, and J.G. Cornelius (2000), “Reversal of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Using Islets Generated In Vitro from Pancreatic Stem Cells,” Nature Medicine 6, pp. 278-282, March.

Rietze, Rodney L. Helen Valcanis, Gordon F. Brooker, Tim Thomas, Anne K.Voss, and Perry F. Bartlett (2001), “Purification of a Pluripotent Neural Stem Cell from the Adult Mouse Brain,” Nature, 412:736-738.

“Schwarzenegger Backs Stem-cell Plan” (2004), CNN.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/19/Schwarzenegger.stem.ap/index.html.

Science Daily (2004), “Macrophages, not Stem Cells, Correct Liver Disease by Fusion,” [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040708014035.htm.

Willenbring, Holger, Alexis S. Bailey, Mark Foster, Yassmine Akkari, Craig Dorrell, Susan Olson, Milton Finegold, William H. Fleming, and Markus Grompe (2004), “Myelomonocytic Cells are Sufficient for Therapeutic Cell Fusion in Liver,” Nature Medicine, 10[7]:744-748, July.

Vogel, Gretchen (2001), “Stem Cells are Coaxed to Produce Insulin,” Science, 292:615-617, April 27.

Vogel, Gretchen (2003), “Strike Two for Transplants,” Science Now, [On-line], URL: http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/827/1




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