Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: Diabetes

From today's "New Scientist":

"DAZZLING but controversial claims about a stem-cell treatment for diabetes now seem to have been borne out. The latest results indicate that the initial positive response was indeed due to the treatment and not simply to better care, as critics suggested in 2007.

The treatment is designed to stop the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes from destroying the pancreatic islet cells that make insulin, the hormone which regulates sugar concentrations in blood. A team led by Júlio Voltarelli of the Regional Blood Centre in Ribeirão Preto in southern Brazil took blood from 15 patients and saved the CD34 stem cells from it....

In 2007, Voltarelli's team announced that some of the patients were able to live without injections of insulin for months - in one case for three years. Others, however, put this down to the "honeymoon" period after a treatment, in which patients receive better care as they are being monitored.

The latest results, which cover the initial 15 patients plus eight more who have received the same treatment, seem to put such fears to rest. Twelve now live free of insulin injections, eight need less insulin than before and only three have not benefited at all. All who benefited had drastically raised concentrations of C-peptide, a by-product of insulin production, which indicates that they were making the insulin themselves." (emphasis added)

As our friend Don Margolis often says, adult stem-cells are the greatest medicine in the history of man. It's tragic that our current President, for ideological reasons, chooses to spend his efforts on immoral and pointless Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

For a more technical take on the story, go to the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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