Stem Cell - Archive

June 2006: Stem Cell & Cloning Research

Doctors Call Adult Stem Cells a "Cure" for Incontinence

Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

DOCTORS CALL STEM CELLS 'CURE' FOR INCONTINENCE in the vast majority of patients who were treated with injections of their own stem cells.

The finding, which was presented 28May06, is the latest accomplishment in a promising area of research: using adult stem cells derived from patients' own muscle tissue to treat a troubling condition that affects more than 15 million Americans.

The researchers described the treatment as a cure, meaning the patients did not need to wear absorbent pads after they were treated. "It's highly effective and it's much more effective than we previously thought," said Hannes Strasser, lead author of the study. "If somebody had told me it would have worked so well four years ago, I would not have believed it."

Some of the first patients to undergo the technique remained continent four years after the treatment, said Strasser [assoc prof, urology,  Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria]. The results involved 186 men and women ages 36 to 85. The study involved about twice as many women as men. One year after the treatment, 153 of those treated did not need to wear pads, Strasser said.

In addition to curing the incontinence, the patients also had a dramatically improved quality of life, he said. There were no side effects, although a later patient, one of 270 who now have undergone the therapy, suffered a perforation of the urethra during the treatment. The research was presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Atlanta.

One potential advantage to the stem cell treatment is the possibility that it only may need to be done once while other injectable therapies require retreatment. Strasser said the stem cell treatment costs about $16,000. The treatment involves harvesting muscle cells taken as biopsy from the patient's upper arm. Those cells are grown in a laboratory for seven weeks and a small amount of collagen is mixed in. "What's nice is they are using the patient's own cells," said Silbar, who was not a part of the study. "You are not going to have any problem with rejection or diseases. It's totally biocompatible."

The extracted cells become both myoblasts, or muscle cells, and fibroblasts, a type of connective tissue cell. The fibroblasts were injected into the urethra, the canal that carries urine out of the bladder. The myoblasts were injected into the rhabdosphincter, a ring of muscle around the urethra that acts as a valve.

The research has created a buzz at the meeting, said Michael Guralnick, an assistant professor of urology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The cure rate cited by researchers of more than 80 percent is about twice that for other injectable treatments. It is likely to be a few years before it is available in the United States. Imaging showed that the thickness of the urethra and rhabdosphincter were increased and the contracting ability of the rhabdosphincter was improved.

Other research presented indicated that the prevalence of urinary incontinence may be 50 percent greater than previously thought — affecting up to 17 percent of men over the age of 60 and 38 percent of women. Urinary incontinence can be caused by a variety of conditions including childbirth, prostate surgery, diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Many of those in the study had the most common type of urine leakage, known as stress incontinence. It occurs when urine is lost as the result of pressure on the lower abdomen from activities such as sneezing, coughing and exercise. [http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/living/science/14638551.htm, John Fauber, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL]

 

WHY EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH? It's About Human Engineering, Not Ending Disease
Quest for a 'superhuman' race and to create a race of sub-humans to do menial or dangerous tasks
Dr. David Reardon, Ph.D., best known for his voluminous research on the after-effects of abortion on women, has launched a new venture to pre-emptively ban human engineering which he contends is the root of the quest for embryonic stem cell research.

Many have wondered at the insistence on funding for and pursuit of embryonic stem cell research given the fact that there is not even one embryonic stem cell therapy currently in use while adult stem cell therapies are used every day in the treatment of nearly a hundred different diseases. 

Reardon, a biomedical ethicist whose studies have been published in such prestigious medical journals as the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview that the key to understanding the dilemma is the quest for a 'superhuman' race and to create a race of sub-humans to do menial or dangerous tasks.  While embryonic stem cell researchers prefer to talk about the goal of ending disease, their ultimate goal is to create "better people," says Dr. Reardon.

While the claims may sound preposterous, Dr. Reardon, a consummate researcher, has done his homework and amassed a startling series of quotes from leading scientists which prove his point.

For example, James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for describing DNA structures, has proclaimed stupidity a disease and wants the freedom to design "better people" who lack the hypothetical "stupidity" gene. In a 2003 televised interview Watson, now president of the Cold Spring
Harbour Laboratory, New York said, "If you are really stupid, I would call that a disease . . . so I'd like to get rid of that . . . People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great."  

Additionally, Dr. Joseph Fletcher a Harvard Professor widely recognized as the "patriarch of bioethics", who died in 1991, said, "Chimeras [human-animal crossbreads] or parahumans might legitimately be fashioned to do dangerous or demeaning jobs. As it is now, low-grade work is shoved off on moronic and retarded individuals, the victims of uncontrolled reproduction. Should we not program such workers 'thoughtfully' instead of accidentally, by means of hybridization?"

Gregory Stock, the Director of the Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society at UCLA's School of Public Health and author of the 2002 book "Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future" has said, "If biological manipulation is indeed a slippery slope, then we are already sliding down that slope now and may as well enjoy the ride.''

Furthermore, Dr. Reardon's website devoted to the subject, lists, in addition to more salient quotes, links to organizations devoted to 'transhumanism' or moving forward human evolution through genetic manipulation. Dr. Reardon has formed a coalition to enact a pre-emptive ban on human engineering and require that the scientists who wish to pursue such research first prove their efficacy with animal experiments and then appeal for approval of further research from voters.

An initiative to amend the Missouri constitution to erect a pre-emptive ban on human engineering, defined as any act that genetically alters human gametes or "nascent human life," has been filed with the Secretary of State's office for the November election. [9May06, John-Henry Westen, LifeSiteNews.com, http://www.elliotinstitute.org