Wounded Soldier Saved By Adult Stem Cell Research

A US soldier with multiple gun shot wounds in his pancreas was saved from Diabetes using new stem cell research. Tre Porfirio, a 21 year old US airman, was shot while serving our country in Afghanistan. Bullets almost destroyed his pancreas, the place in the body where insulin is produced.

In an amazing development for stem cell research, doctors at the University of Miami removed some remaining insulin producing islet cells from his pancreas and transplanted these cells into his liver. Now, these islet cells are producing insulin for his body from his liver!

Doctors at Walter Reed removed what was left of Porfirio’s pancreas, packed it into a special container that held it at 32.3 degrees Fahrenheit and couriered it to the University of Miami. Ricordi and his team received it at 11 p.m. and spent the next six hours removing the insulin-producing islet cells.
Using enzymes and gentle heat, they extracted thousands of the cells, which range from .002 inches to .02 inches across, put them in a plastic bag similar to those used in blood donations, put them back in the container, this time at 46 degrees – and, by 6:30 Thanksgiving morning – couriered it back to Walter Reed.
There, doctors hoisted the bag on a pole and, by gravity, fed the islet cells into a duct in the airman’s liver, with Dr. Ricordi and his team coordinating the procedure via an Internet connection with surgeons at Walter Reed. By Monday, the new cells in his liver were producing insulin, although doctors also were giving him extra insulin to avoid stressing the new cells.

Credit for this miracle goes to Dr. Camillo Ricordi, chief of the University of Miami Medical School’s Diabetes Research Institute, and a stem cell research pioneer who has been trying similar methods on patients since 1990.

``The cells are lodged in his liver now, and they will develop their own new blood vessels there within weeks,’’ Ricordi says.

Ricordi is optimistic about Porfirio’s prognosis, even long-term.

``There’s no reason to think they [the cells] will fail at any time. He has a very good chance for long-term health.’’

Ricordi says that, since only about half of Porfirio’s pancreas was left from which to remove islet cells, the remaining cells in the liver might not be able to produce as much insulin as he needs – and might need to be supplemented.

``We’ve never done this before. We don’t want to be over-optimistic.’’

Look at those last 4 paragraphs-- “Ricordi is optimistic… There’s no reason to think they will fail.”… and then the last sentence we get “we don’t want to be over-optimistic.”

What’s wrong with being optimistic or even over optimistic? Positive thinking can help one’s health too- numerous studies have shown this. And if it fails, that would be disappointing, but the alternative would have been to do nothing at all and just let Tre become a full blown diabetic. Again, I wish these doctors would be more proud of their research and achievements rather than the standard “much is still unknown, but it is promising” vanilla statements we always get.

Nevertheless, brave to Dr. Ricordi at the University of Miami for his achievements in stem cell research.

See more on this stem cell pioneer here

The key here is ADULT STEM CELLS!

Mr. Margolis, thank you for posting & keeping us informed. i have seen numerous mainstream news reports that only say “stem cells” & confuse the issue for people who do not know the difference adult & embryonic.

**We must stay informed & inform friends & family about the positive results & benefits of ADULT STEM CELL research & the immorality of using embryonic stem cells.
i was very disappointed to read Dr. Francis Collins, American physician-geneticist, noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the Human Genome Project (HGP) who currently serves as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, say that using frozen embryo’s slated to be destroyed for research was morally acceptable to him.

Once you say that it is acceptable to use human babies, frozen or not for ‘research’, then you open the door to using dying people & cloning people, etc… for research to “save lives.”

**Besides the unacceptable & grave evil of using babies (embryonic stem cells) for research, another key issue is the fact that often, due to misinformed, well intentioned people, limited research funds are diverted from productive Adult Stem Cell research & given to immoral & unproductive embryonic stem cell researchers.

Please get informed, use great websites like the OP’s, Mr. Margolis & The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) ncbcenter.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183 to let people know about the positive advances being made from morally acceptable Adult Stem Cell research & the harm done by those who push embryonic stem cell research!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


Thank you very much Mark. I couldn’t have said it any better than that.

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