Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: The Blind can Now See With Their Own Stem-Cells!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! From LifeSiteNews:

"For individuals blinded by chemical burns, the ever advancing field of adult stem-cell research has provided yet another astonishing cure – giving them sight through their own stem cells.

Italian researchers have reported developing a very successful therapy to cure those who were either blinded, or whose vision was severely impaired, thanks to chemical burns to their corneas. Such burns can come about through handling everything from toxic cleaning substances at home to heavy-duty chemicals at work....

In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists treated 107 eyes of 106 patients with stem cells derived from the limbus, the rim around the cornea, where stem cells are naturally produced by the body to do repairs on the cornea.

The researchers derived the stem cells from a patient’s healthy eye, and then encouraged them to multiply. Once they had enough stem cells, they removed the scar tissue over the bad eye, and then grafted the stem cells on over the site of the cornea, which then began to generate new corneal tissues.

After 12-24 months had passed, these grafts were then followed up by corrective surgeries.

One patient had severe alkali burns on both his eyes from 1948. Researchers, however, were able to adapt and derive limbal stem-cell cultures with biopsied tissue taken from the patient’s left eye. The therapy managed to successfully restore both corneal surfaces, transitioning the man from blindness to having an almost normal, combined vision of close to 20/30. Follow-ups after two and five years showed that both eyes were stable after the treatment.

In all, the treatment had a 76.6 percent success rate, sustained over the past decade. The researchers note that all their failure cases occurred within the first year of treatment. In all 82 of 107 eyes had successful cures, with partial success in 14 others.

"They were incredibly happy. Some said it was a miracle," one of the study leaders, Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena's Center for Regenerative Medicine in Italy, told the Associated Press. "It was not a miracle. It was simply a technique."

The Family Research Council blog has more, including ABC News video about the case. We also repeat what has become one of our mantras at "A Shepherd's Voice" ever since Prop 71 in California passed:

"Are California voters having second thoughts yet about shelling out $3 billion + for immoral & unproven embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to show a single cure, while adult stem cells are curing people left and right?"

We must point out it was idiots in the press (like ABC News) that were foursquare behind ESCR, and painted those of us opposed to it as anti-science bigots.

Our friend Don Margolis has been beating the adult stem-cell drum (he refers to them as "repair stem-cells") for years, calling them the greatest medicine ever known to mankind, and it looks like he is right. Visit his website: http://donmargolis.com/blog/ and check out the list of diseases and conditions being treated with adult stem-cells.

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