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Monday, October 24, 2005

Scientists achieve adult stem cell breakthrough

In a development likely to offer hope to countless LST bloggers, scientists have successfully repaired human livers using adult stem cells:
Until now, the only hope for persons with irreversible liver failure from such diseases as cirrhosis, which kills about 27,000 Americans yearly, was transplantation. This requires permanent use of immunosuppressive drugs which can lead to opportunistic infections and cancer. Most importantly, it requires a new liver. About a thousand Americans are now on a waiting listfor one and many will die there. But scientists from London's Imperial College report in The New Scientist repaired patients' own damaged livers by using bone marrow adult stem cells collected from their own blood. Five were injected with a drug that stimulated their marrow to produce extra stem cells that were then injected into a blood vessel leading directly to the liver. It worked. Both liver function and overall health of three out of five treated patients improved significantly within only two months of treatment. The two patients whose health did not improve were left no worse off.

Meanwhile, embryonic stem cells offer the "promise of hope" for the embryo-massacring industry.

[Hat-tip: Byron Hood]

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