A young Aussie girl with Cerebral Palsy will be returning to Germany for the 2nd time for stem cell treatment using her own adult stem cells. The first stem cell therapy was a great success and her parents couldn’t wait to return for more help. A documentary will be following this girl’s story. See more on this at Stem Cell Research
What’s the proposed mechanism by which this works? As far as I can tell, this girl had stem cells implanted in her spinal cord (?or into spinal fluid). But cerebral palsy, by definition, is a brain disorder, so there is no obvious reason to think such a surgery would have any meaningful effect (especially within “two days” as her mother reports). Has this sort of surgery been proven in animal models? Has this particular girl’s case been published in medical journals? Have there been randomized, controlled studies demonstrating the efficacy of such a procedure versus sham surgery? I am sure the answer to the latter three questions is no. I think it is fairly irresponsible to promote an invasive and expensive surgery when there is no established justification for such a procedure. There are all kinds of people around the world with all kinds of incurable diseases who fall victim to quacks performing dangerous procedures that have no proven benefit or even logical rationale.
To answer your question, yes, the stem cells are injected via lumbar puncture into the cerebral spinal fluid. The fluid and stem cells then flow into and around the brain. It takes 6-7 hours for the spinal fluid to circulate into the brain- there is your “logical rationale”.
AND it is a very non-invasive therapy, very safe. In fact, it is non-surgical. The patient is awake the entire time under a local anesthesia.
ALSO- this treatment in Germany is not cheap, but neither is it outrageously expensive- I believe approximately 10,000-12,000 US dollars.
The patient (or in this case, her parents) know going in that the clinical efficacy of this adult stem cell treatment is unknown. And these patients in need can not wait for all the answers to be printed in the New England Journal of Medicine before undergoing a stem cell therapy which isn’t guaranteed to work, but has promise and is extremely safe as it uses the patient’s own stem cells. The worst thing that can happen is nothing.
And while you may wish to wait for 10 years (or most likely longer) of clinical studies, there are spinal cord injury patients, heart patients, and many others who don’t have that long to wait and can be helped now, not cured, but improvements in their quality of life using their own Adult Stem Cells.
Under the guise of “protecting” patients, we in the USA (and Australia) are actually sending them to their deaths or making them unnecessarily suffer by not making these adult stem cells (proven safe in 1000’s of studies) available for treatment.
Therefore, I do not think it is irresponsible to post this and believe that the more knowledge people have on this subject the better. If more people knew about adult stem cells, then perhaps people wouldn’t go around believing that Obama and his unethical and ineffective embryonic stem cell research (using my taxpayer money) is going to help anyone in my lifetime.
:clapping: Thank you for post such a well though out reply. ASR has proven so much promise I hope that others will start picking up on this and start doing so much more with it here in the USA. Again thank you. I love your post they are so up lifting. Keep them coming.
There are so many things to say in response, I don’t even know where to start.
First, with regard to this particular girl’s case, there is still no obvious logical or scientific rationale to think that injecting stem cells into spinal fluid would benefit cerebral palsy, at all. To claim that improvement was seen in two days strongly suggests a placebo response. To say there is no risk is wrong, especially if such a treatment has not been widely studied. There is always the risk of infection (meningitis) when anything is injected into spinal fluid. Could injected stem cells cause an obstructive hydrocephalus, or maybe epidermoid tumors? Who knows, if no studies have been done.
Second, you contradict yourself when you correctly say that such treatments have not been studied (and thus NOT proven effective, at all), but then you claim that the quality of life of people with incurable conditions “can be helped now” with stem cell treatments. Wrong. It is very irresponsible to promote a medical treatment which has not been proven effective, especially one that could carry risk, and especially to promote such treatments to desperate people looking for anything. This is quackery, until proven otherwise.
Third, you betray your real intentions in your final sentence. You are against embryonic stem cells (and Obama, and the liberal establishment, and whatever else), and to advance your own personal agenda, you promote unproven and potentially risky quack medical treatments offered by foreign doctors who take advantage of desperate people with desperate conditions. We don’t know that embryonic or adult stem cells will ever be the cure that they might be; much more study is needed, and their clinical use should only be promoted when potential benefit is known to exist (based on research) and outweigh whatever risks might be present. To do otherwise is irresponsible, at the very least.
ASR continues to show all the promise that ESCR claims that it might some day offer (if only hundreds of millions of dollars were spent). To date ASR has made great strides in treatment of cancer (bone marrow transplants), blindness, Parkinsons and spinal cord repair. Meanwhile ESCR has only been successful in developing more aggressive forms of cancer.
Here is the text of an email I sent to someone on this subject.
thought you may be interested in hearing about the adult stem cell therapy. In the USA, they only legally allow autologous adult stem cell therapy which means the cells are just taken out of your body and then, without any kind of culturing or manipulation, the cells are just put right back in you. Other countries allow cells to be cultured and increased in numbers so that there are a sufficient number of cells to be put back in you to actually give you substantive help.
The current status is that the adult stem cells are giving the most real help to people right now. The embryonic stem cells have not yielded much at all. Umbilical stem cells are considered not ideal from Barbara Hansen’s own opinion. She wants to just keep using her own adult stem cells.
A patient with end stage COPD, Barbara Hansen, spoke on the radio for one hour with Dr. Stan on Tuesday, June 9.
To listen to the audio archive of that show, go to
**you wish to hear
Date: 06-08-09Hour: a - 1 hr.**3:00: Title PendingStandard Player
http://www.soundwaves2000.com/images/blackpix.gif**Hour: b - 1 hr.**4:00: Title PendingStandard Player
http://www.soundwaves2000.com/images/blackpix.gif**Hour: c - 2 hrs.**8:00: Title Pending
9:00: Title Pending
You click on either the Standard Player for the 8:00 and 9:00 - two shows on one recording. That will just stream the audio to you one time without saving the audio file to your own computer Or you can save the audio file to your own computer by clicking on the Save button.
When the player screen comes up, click and drag (hold down buttons - do not let up after you click down) that arrow handle that is on the horizonal tracker line at the bottom of the screen. Move it to and then let up when you get to halfway point on that line. That will put you at the beginning of the second show, the second hour, the beginning of the show with Barbara Hansen as guest.