Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Pediatricians Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research

An official from the American College of Pediatricians is calling for more funding of adult stem cells and elimination of embryonic stem cell studies.

The American College of Pediatricians recommends that public officials considersupporting adult stem cells exclusively.

Michelle Cretella, MD, a fellow of the American College of Pediatricians, told that "Not only does embryonic research require taking the life of human embryos, it also prolongs needless suffering by delaying the development of more promising adult stem cell treatments and cures."

Dr. Cretella said that using non-embryo sources of stem cells, including amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, placenta and adult blood, fat and various organs, has yielded impressive results.

Adult stem cells are now routinely used in certain forms of cancer therapy,Cretella explained.

Over the last decade, these cells have been used to successfully treat spinal cord injuries, heart failure, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and dozens of other conditions in human trials."This has not been the case with any embryonic stem cell trial," the pediatricians' group's spokeswoman said. "Instead, there have been catastrophic results with these cells producing the wrong tissue, forming tumors and triggering immune rejection."

"Every dollar spent on the failed and unnecessary process of embryonic stem cell research steals resources away from the established utility and potential of adult stem cell research," Cretella concluded. "This is fiscally irresponsible and medically unconscionable."


In April, scientists in Brazil showed that adult stem cell treatments can help patients with diabetes to be insulin free.
However, leading diabetes groups in the U.S., which heavily funded lobbying efforts to get the Congress to approve a bill to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, wouldn't put money behind the study.

Publishing their findings in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the scientists found that adult stem cell treatments helped 14 of 15 patients became insulin free.

Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, worked with the scientists.

"It's the first time in the history of Type 1 diabetes where people have gone with no treatment whatsoever ... no medications at all, with normal blood sugars," he says of the groundbreaking study.

Adult stem cell research continues to expand and continues to bring hope for cure of many chronic and deadly disease. Clearly the efforts and resources should be prioritized to adult and away from embryonic stem cell research.

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