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The 'disabled community's' view of stem cell research?

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    Ugh, I haven't been here in a while, I knew whatever I said would get nicely twisted around. This thread was posted to get opinions from the SCI community, and that's what I gave. I know I'm going to miss comments, but I'll give answers to most.

    As MikeC pointed out, cells derived from a person's skin cells, that would be something I'd definitely be willing to use. I've used enough skin and muscle to plug pressure sores, a few more spots wouldn't be a problem.

    In MY research, I've found more disturbing news about ESC than ASC in its present forms. Such as causing abnormal growth of unwanted cells, aka cancer, which is another horrible affliction we're trying to stop. Rejection is another one of those problems with ESC as opposed to cells coming from one's own body.

    No, those who have had treatment in Portugal don't leave walking as if they had never received an SCI. A man, para, in my area went for this treatment and did have improvement, but not complete. However, it is to the stage of human trials and testing.

    Look at current treatments already using ASC compared to ESC Since these therapies have been used for years, some decades, they have proven the benefits and shown what ASC can do.

    Jeanie De Marco, in my time with SCI, yes I well know the costs to myself and those around me. The constant battles with getting caregivers, funding, difficulties in doing the simple things like go to school, you know as well as I do. I would love to be able to ease that burden on everyone, even if to just be able to breathe on my own. From what I've seen and studied, ASC is the better option, so that's what I support for research. If ESC actually does turn out to be found better, then I would only use cells derived from skin like MikeC pointed out, or some similar source.

    Leo, Buck, Bethany, I'm quite aware that embryos are discarded at a high rate every week. My thinking these all had the possibility of being a new human life, but was not given the opportunity. That's why we should be much more careful at IVC to minimize excess cells that end up getting disposed of. For the excess that does exist, let the person who they were derived from decide what should be done. If they say to use for research, then go ahead, but I'm still going to put my dollars toward ASC.

    Funding for research of either type comes from both the private sector as well as governments. I know that countries that have allowed federal funding for ESC have become much wealthier with researchers and labs moving in for the freedom of research. Exact amounts to the penny, I have not found those figures, but I know billions.

    I think that at least touches on something everyone said. Again, remember the point of this thread. I know many people don't agree with my views, but that is still up to everyone's own views.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.


      I support any and all types of research myself, but I respect trainman's dissent as well. Not knowing the science, I'd be hardpressed to put all my faith in ESC when I haven't personally seen the benefits of it.

      I support the scientists because they know much more than I.


        Trainman acknowledges the mass destruction of the cells that could potentially hold the answer to his and the rest of the community's brutal situations, but would rather advocate limiting the number of cells being created by the clinics. I hope he is aware that IVF clinics aren't just implementing a "more the merrier" excessive process, but rather have decided this the best bet in ensuring a couple's success rate in conceiving. So let's banish the idea of the process changing and see the true options once the excess cells have been created: destroyed, perpetually frozen, or used for research. On a side note, storage of these cells is not cheap. Is this honestly a moral issue?
        I would absolutely support Trainman's right to his own opinion if I didn't see much of it as purely misleading. After all who knows how powerful a single opinion on this issue may be, especially someone afflicted with the very injury it is working to cure. I'd rather not chance validating the continuation of a ban that delays us the opportunity of living a "human life." Simultaneous research of ASC and ESC is the only fair and reasonable method of aggressively pursuing a cure.



          trainman i like the others have no problem with your own opinion.

          however you've said you speak to people about this and they see you as their expert.

          keistead and wirth are putting their lifes work and reputation on the line in 08 that ESC will work in humans.

          not a small thing

          In MY research, I've found more disturbing news about ESC than ASC in its present forms. Such as causing abnormal growth of unwanted cells, aka cancer, which is another horrible affliction we're trying to stop. Rejection is another one of those problems with ESC as opposed to cells coming from one's own body.

          with all due respect who should people believe?

          and again do you tell people of these researchers work?

          or are you selective

          thanks for hanging in on this discussion

          2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

          "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

          .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."


            People can and should come to their own decisions concerning the morality of embryonic stem cells. However, it is important that the facts not be twisted. I would like to address several fallacies that continues to be repeated by those who oppose embryonic stem cell research.

            1. Embryonic stem cells have not cured anything whereas adult stem cells have cured over 70 diseases. This statement is misleading and false. The reason why embryonic stem cells have not cured any condition is of course because they have never been used to do so in humans and those who opposed embryonic stem cell research are committed to ensuring that it never happens. However, embryonic stem cells have shown benefit in a number of animal models of diseases including the first and only demonstration of motoneuron replacement in a virus-induced motoneuronal disease model in rats (this is the work of Douglas Kerr). Embryonic stem cells have also been shown to replace cells in the retina, in the pancreas, immune system, heart, and other organs in animals. Regarding adult stem cells having cured many diseases, it is true that bone marrow and umbilical cord blood cells have been shown to replace bone marrow stem cells. Therefore, all diseases that may benefit from bone marrow stem cell replacement may potentially benefit from adult stem cells. A recent study from Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University showed that umbilical cord blood cellular therapy can potentially cure Crabbés disease, a developmental disease where children die before age 3 of progressive neurological loss starting several weeks after birth; while the mechanism is not well understood, the umbilical cord blood apparently can supply a missing enzyme to the brain to allow development to go forward. But, in all these cases, the treatment is not effective for everybody and cannot yet be said to be a "cure". For example, many people continue to die of leukemia, anemia, immune deficiency, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus, and other diseases that are potentially treatable with adult stem cells.

            2. Embryonic stem cells cause tumors while adult stem cells are safe. This statement is misleading and false as well. While it is true that untreated embryonic stem cells can produce all sorts of cells (which is of course the natural function and behavior of embryonic stem cells), resulting in a tumor called a teratoma, it is possible to stop this from happening by pre-differentiating the embryonic stem cells to produce only certain cells before transplantation. When predifferentiated, embryonic stem cells derived precursor or progenitor cells do not produce teratomas and do not pose a high risk of cancer. This of course needs to be tested further in human clinical trial. It is not true that adult stem cells do not pose any risk of tumor formation. If adult stem cells are grown for any length of time in culture, they may undergo malignant transformation and produce tumors when transplanted. Certain adult stem cells pose other risks. For example, bone marrow stem cells have a high risk of causing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) where the transplanted bone marrow cells attack the host immunologically, causing in essence an autoimmune disease. Over half of people who get bone marrow transplants develop some form of GVHD and as many as 20% may die from it. So, this is not a trivial risk and much higher than the risk of teratoma from predifferentiated teratomas.

            3. Embryonic stem cell research kills embryos. This is probably the most misleading statement of all. First, a blastocyst is not an embryo. It is pre-implantation. It is a blastocyst. Until a blastocyst implants in the uterus and develops a midline, it is not an embryo. It is a potential embryo but not yet an embryo. Second, 99% of embryonic stem cell research really has to do with studying embryonic stem cells that have already been derived from blastocysts. Thus, for example, President Bush said that it was okay to study embryonic stem cells derived from blastocysts from in vitro fertilization clinics before August 2001. There were 22 of these embryonic stem cell lines and scientists have been studying them, even though many of them have been contaminated with animal cells and grown in animal serum. Third, over 600 embryonic stem cell lines have been derived but scientists are not allowed to study these already derived cell lines in laboratories funded by the NIH, which of course is most of the best laboratories in the United States. Why not? Fourth, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) does not involve fertilization and is just fooling a cell to think that it is a fertilized egg and going on to produce embryonic stem cells. At the present, noone has successfully used SCNT to produce viable blastocysts that have gone or to produce embryonic stem cell lines.



              Originally posted by trainman
              Look at current treatments already using ASC compared to ESC Since these therapies have been used for years, some decades, they have proven the benefits and shown what ASC can do.
              Last edited by Leif; 22 Dec 2007, 1:21 PM.