Scientists Advance Destructive Research Despite Adult Stem Cell Success

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scientists Advance Destructive Research Despite Adult Stem Cell Success

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
May 27, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Despite the fact that embryonic stem cell research offers little chance of success, researchers around the world are apparently prepared to gamble on it, according to a survey conducted by the Boston Globe newspaper.

The newspaper found that 128 lines of human embryonic stem cells have been created since August 9, 2001. That’s the day that new cell lines became ineligible for federal research money in the United States.

President George W. Bush put the ban in place in an effort to stem the tide of scientific research which results in the destruction of human embryos — unborn children in their earliest stages of life.

Of the new embryonic stem cell lines, 94 were created abroad while 34 were created in
the U.S. As a result of the Bush Administration’s policy, the new cell lines cannot be used by American laboratories that receive federal funding.

However, U.S. researchers are free to use the cell lines if they raise private money and build separate laboratories for the experiments.

A researcher in the United Kingdom, Peter Andrews, wants to catalog all the embryonic stem cell lines around the world. Andrews, who serves as a professor at the University of Sheffield in Great Britain, is part of an organization called the International Stem Cell Forum.

Andrews hopes to have an initial set of results by the end of the year.

Ironically, a number of news outlets are focusing almost exclusively on embryonic stem cell research, when evidence suggests that adult stem cell research holds much greater promise.

Just recently, a company called CRYO-CELL de Mexico announced that it had provided stem cells from cord blood for a successful transplant. The cells were used to treat a type of genetic anemia.

Doctors performed the transplant on a seven-year-old from El Salvador using cord blood stem cells and marrow from a younger sibling. The transplant occurred in March at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.

Cord blood stem cells are being used for the treatment of not only anemia, but leukemia and lymphoma as well.

Company officials are lobbying the medical community to promote the preservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells because of their lifesaving potential.

Elias Bemaras of CRYO-CELL de Mexico and Mercedes Walton of parent company CRYO-CELL International said, "We have a strong sense of fulfillment of our corporate mission each time that stem cells banked with CRYO-CELL International by our clients are used for successful medical treatments. Based upon the information we have received, we are very encouraged with both the excellent progress of the recipient and the prognosis."

CRYO-CELL de Mexico, which is based in Guadalajara, is the largest cord blood bank in the country with more than 10,500 specimens in storage. It’s the first facility of its kind in Latin America.

CRYO-CELL International, located in Clearwater, Florida, is the world’s largest umbilical cord stem cell banking firm.

Related web sites:
CRYO-CELL International –