Stem Cell - Archive

September – August 2011: Stem Cell Research / Human Cloning

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Exercise Helps Adult Stem Cells Build Bone, Not Fat

Commentary — Now in 2011:  Why Embryonic Stem Cells Should Not be Transplanted into a Human Being

Adult Stem Cells Work Against Stress and Depression

Antibody Cocktail May Lead to 'Safer' Embryo-Destroying Stem Cell Trials…?

Stem Cell Breakthrough Gives Hope to Parkinson's Patients

Scientists Find Another Adult Stem Cell Source: The Ear

Study Shows that Collecting Bone Marrow Stem Cells by Apheresis is Safe for the Donor

NIH Revitalization Act & Human Embryo Use

The Demand for Death: Medical Research & Fetal Tissue

Japanese Researchers Grow Mice Teeth from Adult Stem Cells

New Lab-Grown Sperm from Embryo-Destroyed Stem Cells Is Not a Moral Solution to Male Infertility

Perry Uses Own Adult Stem Cells for Back Surgery

Treating Advanced Breast Cancer With Adult Stem Cells

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: The Ethical Embryonic Alternative

Minnesota Now Paying Scientists to Engage in Human Cloning

Federal Judge Disagrees but Tosses Suit Against Tax-Funded Embryo Research / Court Rules in Favor of Taxpayer Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

‘Frankenstein’: UK Scientists Warn About Secret Human-Animal Hybrid Research…

Exercise Helps Adult Stem Cells Build Bone, Not Fat
Canadian scientists have published data that indicate exercise stimulates adult stem cells to form bone instead of fat.
The scientists used a mouse model to study exercise effects on adult bone marrow stem cell and blood production. Using treadmill-conditioned mice, they found that aerobic exercise triggers adult stem cells to become bone more often than fat. The bone environment provides better conditions, called a “niche”, for adult blood stem cell development. When the mice were sedentary, the stem cells tended to form fat, which impairs blood production in bone marrow cavities.

Dr. Gianni Parise, senior author on the study, said:

    “The interesting thing was that a modest exercise program was able to significantly increase blood cells in the marrow and in circulation. What we’re suggesting is that exercise is a potent stimulus — enough of a stimulus to actually trigger a switch in these [adult] stem cells. Exercise has the ability to impact stem cell biology. It has the ability to influence how they differentiate.”

The results were published online before print in The FASEB Journal.

Previous studies have shown that exercise can increase the number of muscle adult stem cells, the number of new brain neurons from adult stem cells, and the number of neural adult stem cells.
[David Prentice, Ph.D. | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 9/1/11, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/09/01/exercise-helps-adult-stem-cells-build-bone-not-fat/]

Commentary — Now in 2011:  Why Embryonic Stem Cells Should Not be Transplanted into a Human Being
by David Prentice
 
Like an out of control youth, embryonic stem cells can wreak havoc with tissue damage and tumor formation. Their inability to make appropriate, mature cells that can function in an adult body is also a problem.

Scientists at UCLA have found that cells derived from pluripotent stem cells are developmentally very immature, and do not resemble the adult cell types that they would theoretically replace in a transplant. The immaturity was seen in cell derivatives from both embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The data indicate that pluripotent stem cells such as embryonic stem cells are inappropriate substitutes for adult stem cells in patient treatments
 
One goal of the UCLA study was to address the ongoing question of just how closely iPS cells resemble embryonic stem cells. The researchers derived several different cell types from both human embryonic stem cells and human iPS cells–neuronal cells, hepatocytes (liver cells), and fibroblasts (common in skin and connective tissue.) The progeny of the human pluripotent stem cells were compared to each other by gene expression patterns, functionality and appearance.

The authors noted that the two cell types “make nearly identical progeny”, with essentially no difference between them, again indicating that iPS cells can substitute for embryonic stem cells in laboratory studies.

But when the scientists compared the cells made from pluripotent stem cells to normal human tissue cells, there were significant differences in gene expression patterns. Cells made from embryonic stem cells and iPS cells had not turned off many of the genes normally expressed only in growing, pluripotent stem cells.

According to senior author Dr. William Lowry, this could be very problematic, since some of those same pluripotency genes are expressed during cancer development.

The cells derived from embryonic stem cells were developmentally very immature, and were most similar to cells less than six weeks after conception, in the earliest stages of human development. Lowry said:

“What we found, looking at gene expression, was that the cells we derived were similar to cells found in early fetal development and were functionally much more immature than cells taken from human tissue. This finding may lead to exciting new ways to study early human development, but it also may present a challenge for transplantation, because the cells you end up with are not something that’s indicative of a cell you’d find in an adult or even in a newborn baby.”

Other groups have previously documented similar results, that embryonic stem cells produce immature cells, and that embryonic stem cell derivatives are inappropriate for use in transplants. This new study published in the journal Cell Research shows the developmental level to be very immature. These are critical discrepancie

s that could be lethal during transplantation, again indicating that embryonic stem cell derivatives are inappropriate for therapies.

Adult stem cells remain the gold standard for actual patient treatments. 

They are being implanted into “untreatable” patients a thousand times a week….but not in North America, where Big Medicine owns and operates the FDA.


[Release date: 8/25/2011, David Prentice, Ph.D.,  http://www.repairstemcells.org/Resources/Featured-Articles/EMBRYONIC-STEM-CELLS.aspx]

 

 

 

Adult Stem Cells Work Against Stress and Depression

Stress can stimulate production of new adult neural stem cells. An area of the brain known as the hippocampus responds to environmental conditions, including stress such as being held in isolation, and produces new neural stem cells that are stockpiled for later use.

As conditions become more favorable, such as being moved to an enriched environment with various stimuli, the neural stem cells can be used to produce new brain neurons.

The new study, published in the journal Neuron, shows that adult stem cell production in the brain is responsive to experience and the environment, indicating that this may act as a form of cellular plasticity for adapting to environmental changes.

A new paper published in the journal Nature further suggests that if those stored neural adult stem cells are not used to produce new neurons, you could be more susceptible to depression. NIH researchers found that new neurons formed by adult stem cells in the brain could protect against depression and stress in a mouse model.

However, mice that could not form new neurons had elevated levels of stress hormones and showed more depressive behaviors. The authors note that their results provide evidence to support a direct role for adult neuron formation in depressive illness.
[David Prentice, Ph.D. | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/26/11, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/08/26/adult-stem-cells-work-against-stress-and-depression/]

 

 

 

Antibody Cocktail May Lead to 'Safer' Embryonic Stem Cell Trials
[ED. This does not even begin to touch on the ethical issues of embryo-destructive stem cell research]

A Stanford University research team may have found a solution to the biggest challenge of using embryonic stem cells – that they can cause tumors. ESCs can form all types of tissue, but that very plasticity provokes some rogue cells to form “teratomas”, peculiar mixtures of tissues that can include hair and teeth. The same concerns surround induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

To find a way of removing rogue cells from cultures which have morphed into other stem cell types, researchers at Stanford University led by Micha Drukker and Chad Tang screened a library of antibodies against hESCs. They eventually found one which binds only to pluripotent cells. This allowed them to winnow rogue cells from the differentiated cells.

If this technique proves successful, it could breathe new life into hopes for therapies using ESCs. Two companies, Geron and Advanced Cell Technology, are currently running clinical trials of cells grown from hESCs to treat spinal injuries and some forms of blindness respectively. Both had to present extensive evidence from animal experiments to convince the US Food and Drug Administration that the transplanted cells will not form teratomas.
[New Scientist, Aug 14, 2011, http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/9693#comments ; Jared Yee | 20 Aug 2011]

 

 

 

Stem Cell Breakthrough Gives Hope to Parkinson's Patients

A stem cell breakthrough gives hope to Parkinson's patients and crucially does NOT involve destructive human embryo research.

The stem cell study, which was led by the University of Edinburgh and publised in the journal Nature Communications, created stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson's disease for the first time. The researchers hope that by being able to model the disease in the laboratory and clarify why certain nerve cells die, they will come closer to finding ways to halt or reverse Parkinson's disease.

The investigators took skin samples from a Parkinson's patient and used the skin cells to produce brain nerve cells affected by the disease.  This, they hope will make it easier to monitor the efficiency of potential new medications that could slow or stop progress of the condition.

Dr Tilo Kunath, one of the researchers said "Current drugs for Parkinson's alleviate symptoms of the condition. Modeling the disease in a dish with real Parkinson's neurons enables us to test drugs that may halt or reverse the condition. This investigation provides an ideal platform to gain fresh insight into the condition, and opens a new area of research to discover disease-modifying drugs."
[24 Aug 2011, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/233273.php]

 

 

 

 

Japanese Scientists Have Shown that Useful Adult Stem Cells Can be Isolated from the Human Ear

The cells come from a part of the ear called the perichondrium, which is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers and protects cartilage in the human body. Previously another group had shown the regenerative potential of adult stem cells from rabbit ears, but the new study is the first to show such adult stem cells present in the human ear.

Prof. Shinji Kobayashi, lead author on the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and his colleagues discovered adult stem cells from the membrane that covers cartilage in the human ear. They developed a technique to grow the adult stem cells into cartilage efficiently, and found that the human stem cell-derived cartilage was stable for at least 10 months after it was transplanted under the skin of mice.

As the authors note in their published paper, there is great demand for effective treatments for craniofacial injuries or abnormalities, but effective treatments are currently lacking.

Their discovery of this new, easily-accessible source of adult stem cells and their technique for efficient growth of cartilage would allow patients suffering from craniofacial deformities to be treated with reconstructive material grown from adult stem cells collected from their own ears.

The scientists hope to start a clinical study as early as 2012.
[David Prentice, Ph.D. | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/18/11, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/08/18/scientists-find-another-adult-stem-cell-source-the-ear/]

 

 

 

Study Shows that Collecting Bone Marrow Stem Cells by Apheresis is Safe for the Donor

A study by University of Minnesota Medical School researchers shows that mobilizing adult stem cells from bone marrow is safe for the adult stem cell donors.

Many people are familiar with “bone marrow transplants”, which are actually “adul

t stem cell transplants”, though it wasn’t until the 1990′s that the first human adult stem cell was successfully isolated and purified. Bone marrow adult stem cell donors provide a life‑saving donation of cells for people with various cancers, anemias, and a growing number of other conditions. Collecting the life‑saving adult stem cells directly from bone marrow is a surgical outpatient procedure.

But the adult stem cells can also be collected from peripheral blood. Donors can be given a protein growth factor/drug called granulocyte colony‑stimulating factor (G‑CSF; also called filgrastim or Neupogen). This stimulates adult stem cells to move out of the bone marrow and into the blood stream, a process called mobilization. Once in the blood, large doses of adult stem cells can be collected safely and without surgery by a process called apheresis, avoiding bone marrow harvest in the operating room.

Since 2003, over 70% of “bone marrow” or “stem cell” donors have been asked to donate mobilized cells from peripheral blood (Peripheral Blood Stem Cells, PBSC.). Donor adult stem cells are used in a little less than half of the over 50,000 adult stem cell transplants done every year. Previously, there had been some concern that high doses of G-CSF given to donors might result in abnormalities in donors’ cells.

The current study, which was published in the journal Blood, shows that it is unlikely that the mobilization procedure puts healthy stem cell donors at risk for later development of cell abnormalities. Dr. Jeffrey McCullough, senior author on the study, said:

    “Furthermore, our data support the conclusion that G‑CSF does not induce chromosomal instability through the PBSC mobilization process and remains a safe therapy for healthy stem cell donors.”

Adult stem cells remain the gold standard for actual patient treatments — http://www.stemcellresearchfacts.org/
[Ertelt | Minneapolis, MN | LifeNews.com | 8/17/11, http://www.lifenews.com/2011/08/17/study-shows-using-adult-stem-cells-from-bone-marrow-is-safe/

 

 

 

 

NIH Revitalization Act & Human Embryo Use

[Note:  People already now know how “biological bits and pieces” of aborted human embryos and human fetuses are in demand industrially and otherwise, used in Pepsi, cheeses, and other foods;  used as the sources of “trans genes” used in some regenerative embryo-destructive medical research (e.g., in embryonic stem cell procedures);  used as sources for the media culture for embryos and stem cells, the feeder layers and “controls” required for the research, etc.  They are a huge part of our economy now!  This article explains how this is “legal”.  Note that “fetal research” is defined – or, as usual, MIS-defined — in the The NIH Revitalization Act (1993) (Public Law 103-43):

SEC. 498B.

(d) DEFINITIONS – For purposes of this section:

(1) The term `human fetal tissue' has the meaning given such term in section 498A

SEC  498A.

(g) DEFINITION- For purposes of this section, the term `human fetal tissue' means tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion, or after a stillbirth.' (emphases added)

 2.  So now the term “fetal tissue” can apply to embryos as well as to fetuses – even when sexually reproduced!  Since the “embryonic period” is actually from fertilization through 8 weeks, then this definition would allow the use of tissues or cells from dead human embryos from fertilization through 8 weeks — as well as from dead fetuses from 9 weeks onward. 

Thus one could get around the “restrictions” of the Dickey Amendment and perform human embryo research simply by calling it “fetal tissue research” (which is now legal) and by using living embryos and fetuses.  [Irving, “Analysis of Legislative and Regulatory Chaos in the U.S.: Asexual Human Reproduction and Genetic Engineering” (October 20, 2004), at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_81chaosasexgen1.html]

 
Identification of this demand for and supply of "fetal tissue" from abortions and the NIH fetal tissue "banks" (even now on NIH websites) in my 1994 article:  "Testimony before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel", at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_32individualtestimony.html;  PMID: 11652834 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgicmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11652834

Now, however, they can reproduce a lot of human embryonic "bits and pieces" in IVF/ART research laboratories and "infertility clinics".  — DNI]

 

The Demand for Death: Medical Research & Fetal Tissue

H. Ronald Zielke is a bank director. His institution collected $1.4 million in federal funds last year—but inside, you won’t find money. You’ll find human tissue.

Zielke’s bank is the Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders, hosted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Each year it distributes some 3,000 tissue samples to researchers, collected from donors (average age: 20 to 40 years old) with neurological disorders ranging from autism to Down syndrome to Parkinson’s disease. The donors’ cellular material will aid researchers looking for treatments for such diseases.

According to the bank’s 234-page “Catalog of Available Tissue,” updated July 1, it also stores tissue from hundreds of fetuses, including those with chromosomal disorders, anencephaly (a brain malformation)—and many with no disorders at all, marked as “control” tissue and spanning ages 10 to 39 weeks.

I wanted to learn what scientists do with fetal tissue, and where they get it, so I called the bank director. The funny thing was, Zielke didn’t seem to know much about the source of fetal tissue. He thought researchers occasionally acquired fetal remains directly from “some service that does terminations,” such as clinics and hospitals with whom they had private agreements—but “this isn’t something that is generally known.”

When I asked Zielke if his bank distinguished between fetal tissue derived from abortions or miscarriages, he changed the subject: “There are very strict federal guidelines about how tissue can be collected,” he said, and alluded to the filing of consent forms. These types of questions, he insisted, were outside his expertise.

Federal and some state laws permit fetal tissue research, and although some regulation of the practice exists, there appear to be gaps in oversight. Few have firsthand knowledge of the secretive networks that procure the tissue, and no central agency or organization tracks them. But an uncomfortable reality is clear: The overwhelming majority of fetal tissue used for research in the United States is obtained from aborted babies.

Federal law prohibits the sale of fetal tissue for profit but allows “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.” Such transactions were last in the media spotlight over a decade ago, when the pro-life organization L

ife Dynamics paid the employee of a fetal tissue collection organization to turn over evidence of legally questionable practices.

Life Dynamics uncovered confidential order forms and price lists showing that scientists at pharmaceutical companies and universities were ordering fetal parts—brains, limbs, and organs—from procurement groups that collected the tissue directly from abortion clinics. Life Dynamics said that one procurement group, the Maryland-based Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF), made between $12,000 and $18,000 in profit during a single month… 

[cont'd at link below…]
 [8 August 2011, Daniel James Devine, WORLD News Service, http://www.crosswalk.com/news/demand-for-death-medical-research-fetal-tissue.html?ps=0 ]

 

 

 

 

Japanese Researchers Grow Mice Teeth from Adult Stem Cells
Japanese researchers from the Tokyo University of Science have extracted successfully grown and transplanted new teeth from adult mice stem cells.

Takashi Tsuji and his team published a paper in PLoS One, explaining the process that began with the removal of stem cells from the molar teeth of mice. The stem cells were placed in a mold in order to control how the teeth grew. Researchers, then, transplanted the full tooth units into the jaws of one-month-old mice. The Japanese researchers’ report indicated that the teeth fused with the jaw bones and tissues and that nerve fibers were detected growing in the new teeth.

The mice with the transplanted teeth were able to eat and chew normally without any complications, Tsuji’s team observed.

This latest development adds to a now long list of reported research successes using ethical adult stem cells for treatment versus far more costly and so far failed embryonic stem cell research projects which involve the destruction of living embryos.

U.S. biopharmaceutical company NeoStem works with adult stem cells to find cures for disease and injuries. At a press conference in June, NeoStem CEO Dr. Robin Smith said, “There are people that are focused on advancing all types of stem cell therapy, both embryonic and adult; but I think the safety profiles of the adult stem cell are going to assist in making that advance more rapidly and we even see today there’re over 70 diseases that are using adult stem cells to treat them as part of the standard of care.”

Adult stem cell treatment recently produced spectacular results for the return to Major League Baseball of 2005 Cy Young Award Winner Bartolo Colon. The procedure, which took only 45 minutes to complete, was performed at the Clinica Union Medica in the city of Santiago in the Dominican Republic and involved “extracting fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon and injecting them back into the pitcher’s elbow and shoulder to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.” In January of this year, the New York Yankees signed Colon to a contract worth $900,000.

On April 4, LifeSiteNews reported on the use of adult stem cells by researchers at the University of Minnesota to create a living human heart. Lead researcher and director of the university’s Center for Cardiovascular Repair Dr. Doris Taylor is one of the world’s leaders in heart organ repair and regeneration.

Another notable report this year this year was that a team of researchers at the University of Miami “has shown that damaged heart tissue can be repaired by injecting the patient’s own stem cells directly into the heart.”
[Aug 02, 2011, Jeremy Kryn, Tokyo, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/japanese-researchers-grow-mice-teeth-from-adult-stem-cells?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9a18b27222-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines08_02_2011&utm_medium=email

New Lab-Grown Sperm from Embryo-Destroyed Stem Cells Is Not a Moral Solution to Male Infertility

Yesterday [4 Aug 11], news of the first successful production of healthy mice offspring using sperm from embryonic stem cells was published. The Science Magazine characterized the research as suggesting “possible avenues for the development of fertility treatments.”

Researchers, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recounted, have tried “for years to make sperm and eggs in a dish with limited success and some controversy.”

In 2003, the transformation of mouse embryonic stem cells into both sperm and eggs by several scientists did not lead to successful pregnancies. In 2006, a team of scientists produced six mice using lab-grown sperm, but, the WSJ noted, “the animals suffered genetic abnormalities and all died early.”

In 2009, Newcastle University researchers announced the creation of human sperm in a test tube. Their paper would be retracted, the WSJ reported, “weeks later amid charges of plagiarism.”

The Science Magazine coverage of yesterday’s news included word that the technique in question “requires the use of viruses that can trigger tumors” (http://the-scientist.com/2011/08/04/lab-grown-sperm/).

The NCBC’s Director of Education and Ethicist Tadeusz Pacholczyk spoke with LifeSiteNews regarding the significance of yesterday’s news.

“The development of ‘laboratory grown’ sperm, like many developments in biotechnology, will have applications that will be either moral or immoral, depending on the particulars of how it is deployed,” Pacholczyk noted…  
[Aug 05, 2011, Jeremy Kryn, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/new-lab-grown-sperm-not-a-moral-solution-to-male-infertility?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=a984c9a4b5-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines08_05_2011&utm_medium=email]

 artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, infertility, ivf, embryonic stem cell research

Perry Uses Own Adult Stem Cells for Back Surgery
 Rick Perry, the Texas governor and possible Republican presidential hopeful, had back surgery recently that was credited as part of the reason why he has delayed a decision to enter the race to potentially take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

The July 1 surgery was, as he called it on Twitter, a “little procedure” designed to treat a recurring injury. He said the spinal fusion and nerve decompression had gone “as advertised.”

However, the Texas Tribune, in a new article today on the procedure, says it involved the use of Perry’s own adult stem cells. Perry is a strong supporter of adult stem cell research as is the pro-life community, and he has promoted it as the more ethical and effective alternative to embryonic stem cell research because it is helping patients now without any of the moral concerns that accompany the embryonic variety.

The Tribune reported that Perry underwent an experimental injection of his own stem cells in a treatment that is not yet approved by the FDA because if its experimental component. The news web site said, “His treatment involved removing his own adult stem cells from healthy tissue and injecting them back into his body at the time of surgery, with the belief that the cells would assist tissue regeneration and speed recovery.”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner said yesterday that the procedure was “successful” and he confirmed it involved “the innovative use of his own adult stem cells.”  View rest of article at — http://www.lifenews.com/2011/08/04/rick-perry-uses-own-adult-stem-cells-for-back-surgery/

 

 

 

 

 

Treating Advanced Breast Cancer With Adult Stem Cells
Stanford doctors have shown that women with advanced breast cancer show greater survival when treated with aggressive chemotherapy and their own adult stem cells — http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2011/july/breast-cancer.html

Their study looked at long-term results for women with advanced, stage-4 breast cancer, who were treated 12-14 years ago with high-dose chemotherapy and their own, purified adult stem cells, compared to women who received chemotherapy and unpurified blood stem cells.

While the numbers of patients in this long-term study are small, the results are striking. Five of the 22 women (23 percent) who received their purified adult stem cells are still alive, four of whom have no sign of disease. Only seven of the 74 women (9 percent) who received the untreated cells are still alive, with five of those seven having no sign of disease. Women who received their own purified adult stem cells had a median survival of 60 months, whereas those receiving unpurified stem cells had a median overall survival of 28 months.

Senior author Dr. Judith Shizuru said:

    “Our study suggests that the high-dose therapy strategy can be modified to include the use of cancer-free purified blood stem cells to yield better overall outcomes in women with advanced breast cancer.”

The results were published online in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation — Available online 20 July 2011 — http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1083879111002990
doi:10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.07.009
Long-term Outcome of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Treated with High-Dose Chemotherapy and Transplantation of Purified Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Abstract
Metastatic breast cancer remains a major treatment challenge. The use of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with rescue by autologous mobilized peripheral blood (MPB) is controversial, in part due to contamination of MPB by circulating tumor cells. CD34+Thy-1+ selected hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) represent a graft source with a greater than 250,000-fold reduction in cancer cells. Here, we present the long-term outcome of a pilot study determining feasibility and engraftment using HDCT and purified HSC in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Twenty-two patients who had been treated with standard chemotherapy were enrolled into a phase I/II trial between 12/1996 to 02/1998, and underwent HDCT followed by rescue with CD34+Thy-1+ HSC isolated from autologous MPB.

More than 12 years after the end of the study 23% (5/22) of HSC recipients are alive, 18% (4/22) free of recurrence with normal hematopoietic function. Median PFS was 16 months and median OS was 60 months. Retrospective comparison with 74 patients transplanted between 02/1995 and 06/1999 with the identical HDCT regimen but rescue with unmanipulated MPB show that 9% of patients are alive, and 7% without disease. Median PFS was 10 months and median OS was 28 months.

In conclusion, cancer-depleted HSC following HDCT resulted in better than expected 12-14 year PFS and OS in a cohort of metastatic breast cancer patients.

These data prompt us to look once again at purified HSC transplantation in a protocol powered to test for efficacy in advanced stage breast cancer patients.
[David Prentice, Ph.D. | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 7/29/11,  http://www.lifenews.com/2011/07/29/treating-advanced-breast-cancer-with-adult-stem-cells/]

 

 

 

 

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: The Ethical Embryonic Alternative
Biology’s new “supermodel” — induced pluripotent stem cells.

At least that is what The Scientist is calling them. [http://www.lifenews.com/2011/07/21/induced-pluripotent-stem-cells-the-ethical-embryonic-alternative/]

Minnesota Now Paying Scientists to Engage in Human Cloning
The state of Minnesota is now paying scientists to engage in the grisly practice of human cloning. After the state legislature failed to re-authorize a ban on state funded human cloning during the special session, it is now legal to use taxpayer dollars to create cloned human embryos. http://www.lifenews.com/2011/07/21/minnesota-now-paying-scientists-to-engage-in-human-cloning/

Federal Judge Disagrees but Tosses Suit Against Tax-Funded Embryo Research

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s decision to fund embryo-destroying research with taxpayer money.

Drs. James Sherley and Theresa Deisher, both experts in the field of adult stem cell research, filed suit against the administration in August 2009 after President Obama removed Bush-era limitations on embryo research by the National Institute for Health (NIH).

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth last year had granted Sherley and Deisher’s request for preliminary injunction barring the taxpayer-funded research, but the D.C. Court of Appeals quickly overturned the injunction at the urging of the Justice Department.

Lamberth in his opinion Wednesday agreed that plaintiffs had standing to bring the complaint, a point federal lawyers had contested. However, he concluded that his court was bound by the appeals court’s determination that the new NIH guidelines do not violate federal law, despite his own strong disagreement.

“While it may be true that by following the Court of Appeals’ conclusion as to the ambiguity of ‘research,’ this Court has become a grudging partner in a bout of ‘linguistic jujitsu’ … such is life for an antepenultimate court,” wrote Lamberth.

A 1996 law known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment prohibits the NIH from funding “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed.” The NIH had argued that its new guidelines followed the law because the process of killing the embryos is not funded, only the research on the cells derived from them.

Lamberth last year had concluded, however, that the federal prohibition ‘“encompasses all ‘research in which’ an embryo is destroyed, not just the ‘piece of research’ in which the embryo is destroyed.”

The Obama administration praised today’s ruling.

Opponents of embryonic stem-cell research note that the controversial field has yet to yield even one therapeutic treatment, while adult stem cell research, which has yielded scores of breakthrough treatments, is financially neglected.

In the latest such breakthrough for adult stem cells, this summer a cancer patient with advanced tracheal cancer successfully received a completely artificial windpipe, designed by British scientists and grown from his own stem cells.
[Jul 27, 2011, D.C., http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/federal-judge-grudgingly-tosses-suit-against-tax-funded-embryo-research?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8ef85a7c55-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines07_27_2011&utm_medium=email]


Court Rules in Favor of Taxpayer Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has ruled in the government’s
favor on a federal lawsuit challenging current NIH guidelines that allow taxpayer funding of human embryonic stem cell research. In granting the HHS motion for summary judgement, Judge Lamberth dismissed all the plaintiff’s claims. Judge Lamberth had originally ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Dr. James Sherley and Dr. Theresa Deisher, in a preliminary injunction in August 2010. That preliminary injunction temporarily shut down federal funding, until an Appeals Court placed a temporary hold on the injunction in September 2010. The Appeals Court eventually vacated the preliminary injunction in April 2010 in a 2-1 split decision. Supplemental briefings were filed in the case in June 2010.

In today’s opinion by Judge Lamberth, he noted that the April split decision by the Appeals Court tied his hands in terms of ruling on the main lawsuit

“At the outset, the Court notes that the D.C. Circuit’s opinion, vacating the award to plaintiffs of a preliminary injunction, constrains this Court on remand.”

and

“While it may be true that by following the Court of Appeals’ conclusion as to the ambiguity of “research,” this Court has become a grudging partner in a bout of “linguistic jujitsu,” Sherley, 2011 WL 1599685, at *10 (Henderson, J., dissenting), such is life for an antepenultimate court.”

The linguistic parsing is related to the interpretation of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, a rider placed by Congress onto funding bills since 1996, which says in part that no federal taxpayer funds can be used for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death. . .” The specific meaning of “research in which” has been the focal point of the arguments.

Judge Lamberth does say in another part of the opinion that:

“Research could destroy, discard, or subject to risk embryos without directly involving them.”

This statement agrees with his original decision regarding the merits of the preliminary injunction. Still, he obviously felt constrained by the Appeals Court.

While the decision is disappointing, it is hardly the end of the question or debate.
[David Prentice, July 27, 2011, http://www.frcblog.com/2011/07/court-rules-in-favor-of-taxpayer-funding-for-embryonic-stem-cell-research/]

‘Frankenstein’: UK Scientists Warn About Secret Human-Animal Hybrid Research
[ED. NOTE: Just because one CAN, doesn't mean one SHOULD…]

In a scenario that a panel of scientists with the Academy of Medical Sciences warned bears resemblance to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” British scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in secret research conducted in British laboratories.

According to the Daily Mail, 155 “admixed” embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created over the past three years by scientists who said stem cells could be harvested from the embryos to be used in research into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The secret research was revealed after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare scenario in which the creation of human-animal hybrids could go too far.

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge of the National Institute for Medical Research and co-author of a report by the committee of scientists, warned about the experiments and called for stricter oversight of this type of research. He especially zeroed in on human genetic material being implanted into animal embryos, and attempts at giving lab animals human attributes by injecting human stem cells into the brains of monkeys.

It was revealed that labs at King’s College London, Newcastle University and Warwick University were given licenses to carry out the research after the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act that legalized the creation of human-animal hybrids, as well as ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell, and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos.

However, the scientists did not call for any additional legislation regulating such controversial research, but called instead for a panel of experts to oversee it. Prof Martin Bobrow, chair of the Academy working group that produced the report, said: “The very great majority of experiments present no issues beyond the general use of animals in research and these should proceed under current regulation.

“A limited number of experiments should be permissible subject to scrutiny by the expert body we recommend; and a very limited range should not be undertaken, at least until the potential consequences are more fully understood.”

Peter Saunders, the CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organization with 4,500 UK doctors, expressed his skepticism about any such regulatory body.

“Scientists regulating scientists is worrying because scientists are generally not experts in theology, philosophy and ethics and they often have ideological or financial vested interests in their research. Moreover they do not like to have restrictions placed on their work,” observed Saunders.

In a question and answer session in Parliament led by Lord David Alton following the release of the report, it was revealed that the human-animal hybrid research has stopped due to lack of funding.

“I argued in Parliament against the creation of human-animal hybrids as a matter of principle,” Lord Alton said. “None of the scientists who appeared before us could give us any justification in terms of treatment. At every stage the justification from scientists has been: if only you allow us to do this, we will find cures for every illness known to mankind. This is emotional blackmail.”

“Ethically it can never be justifiable – it discredits us as a country. It is dabbling in the grotesque,” Lord Alton added. “Of the 80 treatments and cures which have come about from stem cells, all have come from adult stem cells, not embryonic ones. On moral and ethical grounds this fails; and on scientific and medical ones too.”

Josephine Quintavalle, of the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Corethics), told the Daily Mail, “I am aghast that this is going on and we didn’t know anything about it. Why have they kept this a secret? If they are proud of what they are doing, why do we need to ask Parliamentary questions for this to come to light?”

“The problem with many scientists is that they want to do things because they want to experiment. That is not a good enough rationale,” Quintavalle concluded.
[25 July 11, T. Baklinski, London, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/frankenstein-uk-scientists-warn-about-secret-human-animal-hybrid-research?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=48ea049b08-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines07_25_2011&utm_medium=email]