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First-Ever Patient Treated In Stem Cell Study

First-Ever Patient Treated In Stem Cell Study

Groundbreaking news! For the first time ever in the United States, a patient has been treated with embryonic stem cells. It’s part of the first study authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to test this controversial therapy. (Experimental stem cell treatments have already taken place in China.)

Millions of embryonic stem cells were injected into a patient who was partially paralyzed by a spinal cord injury, according to an announcement this morning by the Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California, which is sponsoring this study. Here’s a link to the announcement. The patient was treated at the Shepherd Center, a hospital in Atlanta that specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries.

Two Million Stem Cells Injected

In the treatment, scientists injected about 2 million “oligodendrocyte progenitor cells,” created from embryonic stem cells, in the hopes that the cells will form a restorative coating around the damaged spinal cord.

Room For Hope

Supporters of these privately funded, government-approved tests are confident that research has been thorough. Indeed the Food and Drug Administration has demanded extensive experiments to provide evidence that the cells are safe enough to test in people and that they hold great promise.

But Some Are Concerned

But many scientists are worried. “There’s a lot of angst around these trials,” said Evan Y. Snyder, director of the stem cell program at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in San Diego. “There’s going to be this perception that if the cells do not perform well, the entire field will be illegitimate.” And some researchers cite the case of Jess Gelsinger, whose 1999 death from a gene therapy experiment set the field back years.

Still, this study marks a milestone in this research, considered potentially one of the most promising developments in medical research in decades.

Medical Milestone

As Ann Pietrangelo reported here less than two weeks ago, a federal appeals court recently ruled that federal funding of embryonic stem cell research could continue for the time being. This decision was in response to an earlier cutoff of federal funding for this research, but it is a temporary action, and the final outcome is still in doubt.

This study is controversial, but it is also bringing hope to many.

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83 comments

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10:06PM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Thank you for article.

10:05PM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Thank you for article.

10:05PM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Thank you for article.

10:04PM PST on Jan 11, 2014

Thank you for article.

9:40AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

REGENERATING THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
I exceeded the amount of space for commenting so if you want to see the rest of my comment you can find it here: repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/regenerating-the-central-nervous-system/

9:32AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Sorry Ritam, your information is about 20-30 years dated. First off, the sense of smell is neurological AND constantly regenerating after every cold, inhalation of smoke, etc. Secondly, our bodies do have regeneration capabilities and they are very powerful in infants and then we lose that capability. An infant

8:48AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Spinal cord is a component of Central nervous system. Mammalian central nervous system cannot regenerate after any type of injury or damage but in case of teleost such as Zebra fish their nervous system can regenerate after any transection or hemisection at spinal cord. So how can in this case CNS regeneration happens?

8:48AM PDT on Oct 17, 2011

Spinal cord is a component of Central nervous system. Mammalian central nervous system cannot regenerate after any type of injury or damage but in case of teleost such as Zebra fish their nervous system can regenerate after any transection or hemisection at spinal cord. So how can in this case CNS regeneration happens?

10:49PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

ADULT STEM CELL TREATMENTS FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY
http://tinyurl.com/SCIvsASC

http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/spinal-cord-injury-and-repair-stem-cell-treatments/

12:45PM PST on Feb 21, 2011

key wors here "i think" i think that god would not give us the thought to jump this far my wife was against this and i asked her fine what if you got in to a wreck and got injured would you not want it done ofcourse she said "no i respect life" and then i stoped and asked what if are child were epileptic and chances of death were high and the doctors came up and said we can do stemcell treatments and he will be fine well she stood there and looked at me with anger and said " under those circumstances yes i would do stem cell " so it shows that every one will change there minds if given the right chances i say that everone can take a hard look around and tell me if they just because of there health being ok do they have a right to speak i say only let those who have such problems speak not the old fat rich man not the middle aged house wife not the young college student but the large amount of people that would benefit from this

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Judy Molland An award-winning writer and teacher, Judy Molland is also an avid hiker, backpacker, and nature... more
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