Today, Senator Coburn repeated the argument – debunked by leading scientists – that adult stem cells offer a research substitute for embryonic stem cells. Of the measures being considered by the Senate today, only H.R. 810, which expands federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, holds promise for expanding medical breakthroughs.
Senator Coburn: “ . . . cures are here with adult stem cells.” [7/18/06]
FACT: Research Team Headed by William Neaves, President and CEO of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Debunks Claim That Adult Stem Cell Research Treats 65 Diseases – Only Nine Conditions Respond to Adult Stem Cell Treatment. "’In fact, adult stem cell treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions on the Prentice list, not 65,’ Neaves` team wrote. ‘Most of his cited treatments remain unproven and await clinical validation. Other claims, such as those for Parkinson’s or spinal cord injury, are simply untenable.’" [(Review of research originally appearing in Science), UPI, 7/14/06]
- Neaves Says Misrepresenting the Facts on Adult Stem Cell Research is Bad Science and Bad Ethics: "It’s bad science and bad ethics to misrepresent adult stem cell treatments in an effort to mislead the public about the potential benefits of research with embryonic stem cells." [(Review of research originally appearing in Science), UPI, 7/14/06]
- Those Who Claim Adult Stem Cell Treatments Are Effective for 65 Diseases and Injuries “Mislead Laypeople and Cruelly Deceive Patients”. "By promoting the falsehood that adult stem cell treatments are already in general use for 65 diseases and injuries, Prentice and those who repeat his claims mislead laypeople and cruelly deceive patients." [(Review of research originally appearing in Science), UPI, 7/14/06]
FACT: Rudolf Jaenish of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Massachussets Institute of Technology Says Federal Support of Embryonic Research is Urgently Needed. “Federal support of research using human embryonic stem cell lines derived after August 2001 is urgently needed. Medical technologies are ever-changing and an embryonic stem cell line derived today could have much more potential for research than one derived 6 years ago.” Jaenish also expressed concerns that, “passage of the Santroum bill could be used to delay or block support for additional federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.” [Letter from Rudolf Jaenish, Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and Professor of Biology, Massachussets Institute of Technology to Members of the United States Senate, 6/26/06]
Senator Coburn: “We’re curing heart failure with adult stem cells today.” [7/18/06]
FACT: Adult Stem Cell Research Is Not Curing Heart Damage. In the supporting on-line material to the Science piece, available online here, the authors write of the studies Senator Coburn relies on: “The cited studies suggest that transplantation of adult stem cells from bone marrow is associated with improved recovery after heart attack. However, larger and more rigorous clinical trials are needed to establish this protocol as a standard treatment for heart attack sufferers. Importantly, a 2006 clinical trial evaluating a similar protocol found that stem cell transfusion failed to improve heart function (as measured by left ventricle ejection fraction) even though it appeared to reduce the area of damaged hear tissue. Furthermore, increasing the number of blood-forming stem cells circulating in the blood and therefore available to implant in damaged tissue does not improve heart function.”