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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

German Scientists Criticize Recent Adult Stem Cell Claims

From The Scientist:
Bodo-Eckehard Strauer, director of cardiology at the University of Düsseldorf, told the daily Rheinische Post (german) that his team had saved the life of a 64-year-old man who suffered from cardiogenic shock by transplanting adult autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells into a damaged artery. Strauer described the treatment as a "global innovation" and called for increased funding for adult stem cell research. Strauer has performed the procedure in over 300 patients since 2001, but the case was the first in an acute patient.

But some researchers say his claims go too far. Andreas Zeiher, director of cardiology at the University of Frankfurt and also a bone marrow transplant specialist, noted that patients suffering cardiogenic shock normally have a survival rate of 50 percent, placing into doubt the lifesaving role of Strauer's treatment. "Science is not [done by] reporting a single case," he told The Scientist. "What Strauer has done is to give a patient report, not a scientific study."
I have warned previously about ASCR falling into the same hype trap as ESCR, and so caution in these cases is merited. But regarding the critic, Dr. Zeiher, in this case, consider he thinks embyronic stem cell research "is the only way to advance science." (emphasis added)

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