Pioneering Stem Cell Surgery Announced - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-19-2008, 12:14 PM   #1
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Pioneering Stem Cell Surgery Announced

Finally, I hope this is the beginning for miracles to happen;

"PARIS -- Physicians at four European universities have completed what they say is the first successful transplant of a human windpipe using a patient’s own stem cells to fashion an organ and prevent its rejection by her immune system, according to an article in the British medical journal The Lancet. One of the physicians said the surgery could herald a “new age in surgical care.”
The transplant operation was performed on the patient, Claudia Castillo, in June in Barcelona, Spain, to alleviate an acute shortage of breath caused by a failing airway following severe tuberculosis. It followed weeks of preparation carried out at the universities of Barcelona, Spain, Bristol, England and Padua and Milan in Italy.

News of the procedure coincided with speculation that President-elect Barack Obama may reverse the Bush Administration’s restrictions on stem cell research, which has been contentious in some European countries, too. Anthony Hollander, a professor at Bristol University, said ethical concerns relating to embryonic stem cell research had not surfaced in the latest procedure because it had used only the patient’s own stem cells. “This was not embryonic stem cell research,” he said in a telephone interview.

Ms. Castillo, 30, was hospitalized in March with her windpipe so badly damaged by tuberculosis that she was unable to walk more than a few steps at a time, according to a statement from Bristol University.

“The only conventional option remaining was a major operation to remove her left lung which carries a risk of complications and a high mortality rate,” Bristol University said.

The surgery represented what the university called “pioneering work.”

“We are terribly excited by these results,” said Prof. Paolo Macchiarini of the University of Barcelona, who performed the operation. “Just four days after transplantation the graft was almost indistinguishable from adjacent normal bronchi.”

Moreover, two months after the surgery, lung function tests on Ms. Castillo “were all at the better end of the normal range for a young woman,” the Bristol University statement said.

Martin Birchall, a professor at the university, said the transplant showed “the very real potential for adult stem cells and tissue engineering to radically improve their ability to treat patients with serious diseases. We believe this success has proved that we are on the verge of a new age in surgical care.”

The Bristol University statement said a segment of trachea, roughly three inches long, was taken from a 51-year-old donor who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Using a new technique developed in Padua University, the trachea was stripped of its donor’s cells over a six-week period “so that no donor cells remained,” the statement said.

At the same time, at Bristol University, stem cells removed from Ms. Castillo’s bone marrow, were grown into “a large population” and used to “seed” the donated windpipe using a new technique developed in Milan to incubate cells.

Four days after the seeding, the graft was used to replace Ms. Castillo’s damaged windpipe.

Normally after transplants there is a high risk of rejection because the recipient’s immune system reacts against the foreign organ. Most transplant patients, thus, use immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejection.

“The patient has not developed antibodies to her graft, despite not taking any immunosuppressive drugs,” the statement from Bristol University said."
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:42 PM   #2
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That's brilliant news, let's hope Obama does reverse those restrictions and further advancements are made
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:34 PM   #3
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I hope he reverses the Bush restrictions
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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That's truly phenomenal!!
I think Obama will look at achievements like this and let it move forward.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:35 PM   #5
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I read about this earlier today
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #6
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Wonderful news.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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Slowly, but surely.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
using a patient’s own stem cells to fashion an organ and prevent its rejection by her immune system
Quote:
“This was not embryonic stem cell research,”
There is no controversy over adult stem cell or cord blood research because;

1) It doesn't require the destruction of a human embryo.

2) And unlike embryonic stem cell research, it actually produces clinical results.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
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i think this is great news and hopefully Obama will encourage this research/making it legal. There are so many diseases, disorders out there that will benefit so much from stem cell research. Must be endless numbers of possible cures and or making lives of people so much better than they are now, prolonging of lives too that could come of this.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:28 AM   #10
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(AP)WASHINGTON – When the Bush presidency ends, opponents of embryonic stem cell research will face a new political reality that many feel powerless to stop.

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to lift restrictions on federal money for such research. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also has expressed interest in going ahead with legislation in the first 100 days of the new Congress if it still is necessary to set up a regulatory framework.

"We may lose it, but we're going to continually fight it and offer the ethical alternative," said Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa. "I don't know what the votes will be in the new Congress ... but it's very possible we could lose this thing."

Stem cells are the building blocks that turn into different kinds of tissue. Embryonic stem cells, unlike more mature versions, are blank slates. If scientists could control them, they could direct regenerative therapy, perhaps allowing a diabetic's pancreas to begin produce insulin, for example.

Harvesting stem cells from four- or five-day-old embryos kills the embryo, which outrages opponents of this type of research. But supporters say hundreds of thousands of embryos stored in fertility clinics eventually will be destroyed anyway and that people should be allowed to donate them for research that could help others.

"I believe that it is ethical to use these extra embryos for research that could save lives when they are freely donated for that express purpose," Obama wrote during the campaign in response to 14 questions from scientists, doctors and engineers.

Under President George W. Bush, federal money for research on human embryonic stems cells was limited to those stem cell lines, or families of constantly dividing cells, that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. No federal dollars could be used on research with cell lines from embryos destroyed from that point forward. Federal regulations do not restrict embryonic stem cell research using state or private funds.

John Podesta, head of Obama's transition team, strongly hinted that the president-elect would deal with stem cell research soon after taking office Jan. 20. "As you know, he has said something specific about stem cell research, so I think you can expect that what he said in the campaign will be fulfilled once in office," Podesta said.

Obama made it clear during the campaign he would overturn Bush's directive.

"As president, I will lift the current administration's ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001, through executive order, and I will ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight," he said.

Opponents of such research say they will press their case on several fronts.

The main argument is that life begins at conception — that once fertilization occurred in the lab, so did a human being.

Secondly, they will argue that scientists are having success using other methods — adult stem cells that form specific tissues, or reprogramming skin cells to act like stem cells — so money should be directed where the biggest scientific breakthroughs have occurred. For example, this past week, doctors gave a woman a new windpipe with tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs.

"We still intend to try and talk about the real facts that it's the adult stem cells providing the actual treatments," said David Prentice, senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

Added Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America: "There's a lot that's happened over the seven years that includes some remarkable scientific discoveries, which really should have made the issue of federal funding of embryonic stem cell research moot."

But Sean Tipton, director of public affairs at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, took aim at those arguments.

"It's a little disingenuous for opponents who have effectively blocked federal funding of the work to then cite a lack of progress," Tipton said. "You hold someone at the starting line then you criticize them for not getting very far."

Dr. Chi Dang, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, agreed there have been tremendous advances with adult stem cells. But he said it is not yet clear that they have enough flexibility to be used in all the ways that an embryonic stem cell could be.

"From a scientific viewpoint, we would be cornering ourselves into generalizing things that may not be true," Dang said.

Dang also said these embryos would otherwise be discarded.

"The question is: Is it ethically more acceptable to destroy these embryos by pouring acid on them, or do you deploy these clusters of cells to create new cell lines that could benefit us in the future?"

Samuel Pfaff, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biologic Studies, said he also supports greater embryonic stem cell research to understand what makes them so special that scientists can endow other cells with similar properties.

"I think it's very fair to say that the long-term trajectory for this area of science is to understand embryonic stem cells so well that we don't have to use them anymore." Pfaff said.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
2) And unlike embryonic stem cell research, it actually produces clinical results.
Yeah.

Quote:
"It's a little disingenuous for opponents who have effectively blocked federal funding of the work to then cite a lack of progress," the director of public affairs for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said. "You hold someone at the starting line then you criticize them for not getting very far."
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #12
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(AP)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is allowing federal taxpayer dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research, the latest reversal of his predecessor's policies.

The president, who plans to sign an order later Monday, will be fulfilling a campaign promise that could set in motion a broad push on research to find better treatment for ailments from diabetes to paralysis. Proponents such as former first lady Nancy Reagan and the late actor Christopher Reeve had called for ending restrictions on research spending.

The executive order undoes former President George W. Bush's directive that was based on his determination that using embryos to create additional stem cell lines was morally wrong and, therefore, research on those lines should not be funded by the government.

Bush had limited the use of taxpayer money to 21 stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. The Obama order reverses that but does not address a legislative ban that precludes any federal money to researchers who develop stem cell lines by destroying embryos.

The legislation, however, does not prevent funds for research on stem cell lines that were produced by researchers who did their work without federal aid.

Bush and his supporters had said they were defending human life. Days-old embryos _ typically from fertility clinics and destined for destruction _ are destroyed for the stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them so they can create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases _ such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics, cells that could help those with Parkinson's disease or maybe even Alzheimer's, or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.

In reversing the Bush policy, Obama also planned to issue a memo on scientific research in an East Room ceremony. White House advisers said the memorandum was part of the president's policy of deeper scientific involvement in issues ranging from renewable energy to climate change.


"I would simply say this memorandum is not concerned solely _ or even specifically _ with stem cell research," said Harold Varmus, chairman of the White House's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. He said it would address how the government uses science and who is advising officials across federal agencies.

But Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said the White House should focus on the economy, not on a long-simmering debate over stem cells.

"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs," he said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "We don't want that. ... And certainly that is something that we ought to be talking about, but let's take care of business first. People are out of jobs."

Regardless, researchers say newer lines that have been produced without federal money during the period of the Bush ban are healthier and better suited to creating treatment for diseases.

"We've got eight years of science to make up for," said Dr. Curt Civin, whose research allowed scientists to isolate stem cells and who now serves as the founding director of the University of Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

At the same event Monday, Obama planned to announce safeguards through the National Institutes of Health intended to diminish what the administration believes is an intrusion by the political process on the scientific community.

"We view what happened with stem cell research in the last administration is one manifestation of failure to think carefully about how federal support of science and the use of scientific advice occurs," Varmus said.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #13
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As someone who can personally benefit from stem cell research(though I was in favor even before that), I say
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:36 PM   #14
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I would like to see opponents of embryonic stem cell research sign legal documents which say they will never receive any medical treatment in the future which was pioneered using embryonic stem cells. So if they develop treatment or cures for Alzheimers, Parkinsons or other genetic diseases in the future, opponents don't get the treatment since it's so unethical and evil and all that. Put your life where your mouth is.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #15
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That's pretty damn brilliant work!
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