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Friday, September 21, 2007

Letter to the Editor: Stem Cell Report

Reply last week to the claim that it isn't fair to judge ESCR by how many treatments and therapies it has derived with respect to ASCR because of ASCR's longer history:
[The] notion that a just comparison of effectiveness between ASCR and ESCR requires a comparable time frame is a fair point. However, [the] claim that the time ratio is 4:1 is dubious.

[A]dult stem cell work has been going on for more than 40 years. The presence of self-renewing cells in the bone marrow of mice was discovered in the early '60's and stem cells were confirmed to exist (in cancer) in humans shortly thereafter. Within 5 years, the first successful [human] therapy was developed via bone marrow transplant.

Mouse embryonic stem cells were discovered more than 25 years ago. What happened a decade ago was not the "discovery" of embryonic stem cells, but the Thomson team at Wisconsin being able to successfully isolate and grow [human] embryonic stem cells (create a line).

Either way, ESCR has failed the time to first therapy challenge. And with significant (worldwide) resources available to it.
Some References: NPR, Common Sense and Sound Policy Think Tank, NIH, Wikipedia

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