The Houston Chronicle reports the story of scientists who are using a patients own stem cells to treat congestive heart failure. According to the article, researchers found that stem cells injected directly into the heart not only improved blood flow and blood-vessel formation but even grew new tissue.
"This is the first time we've achieved clear documentation of these effects in a human heart," Dr. James Willerson, medical director of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, told the Chronicle. "We're trying to stay cautious, but this is very exciting."
Unlike embryonic stem cell research, adult stem cell therapy does not require the destruction of a human life to obtain the necessary stem cells. In addition, numerous treatment applications have been developed using adult stem cells while ESC, to date, has produced none.
In Thailand, for example, Chaophya Hospital is now treating no-option heart disease patients with adult stem cell therapy developed by TheraVitae. The proprietary technique is aimed at helping those with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure utilizing adult stem cells harvested from the patients own blood.
Robert Clark, TheraVitae's Chairman, comments, "Our message is that, unlike the cell cloning technique announced in South Korea ..., which has serious moral and ethical implications, and will probably take years to develop into a viable therapy, our technique is helping patients today."
The media, politicians and society are beginning to recognize the great potential and (current) benefit of technologies based on adult stem cells. It is high time to reject the empty promises and destruction of human life involved in current embryonic stem cell research.