Kansas University Cancer Center Embroiled in Stem Cell Research Debate

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas University Cancer Center Embroiled in Stem Cell Research Debate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 15, 2006

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A bill to spend $5 million to fund a new cancer center at Kansas University is embroiled in a debate over stem cell research. Pro-life lawmakers want the center to include an umbilical cord blood bank to store cord blood stem cells, but leader of the center are resisting the effort.

In the debate over embryonic stem cell research, pro-life advocates support the use of adult stem cells because the cells have already proven effective in treating more than 80 diseases and conditions.

Kansans for Life, supports the bill because it requires the establishment of the cord blood bank, which will house adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood. The center would spend anywhere from $1 to $2 million to start the center and $3 to $4 million annually to process the blood and stem cells it collected.

But Roy Jensen, director of the Kansas Cancer Center, told the House budget committee Tuesday that the center opposes the requirement.

“Such a diversion of funds from our core mission cannot be justified and would not, I believe, be looked upon favorably by the National Cancer Institute,” Jensen said, according to a Lawrence Journal-World news report.

He also indicated he opposes a provision of the bill, HB 2988, that would place the Kansas Bioscience Authority in charge of coordinating research there. He said the KBA is an economic group not a research-oriented group.

“While I appreciate the intent of those who crafted this legislation, its actual provisions would have the effect of torpedoing much of the momentum this initiative has enjoyed to this date,” Jensen said.

Jensen’s opposition upset pro-life Rep. Brenda Landwehr who said KU wanted the money form the bill without any oversight.

The committee didn’t vote on the bill and chairman Melvin Neufeld, a Republican, told the Lawrence newspaper that members would meet over the next few days and may amend the bill to make it more likely to get KU’s support.

Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org