Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Adult Stem Cell Treatment -- Great Success Stories

Here are excerpts from Steve Ertelt's report on the adult stem cell research (actually, let's make that stem cell treatment) being performed at the Fred Hutchinson Center...

...Clinical trials of treatments of patients using adult stem cells shows positive results, but doctors have not known whether patients will continue showing progress long-term. A new study of blood cancer patients who had stem cell transplants are nearly as healthy as their peers 10 years later.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Research Cancer Center examined 137 patients a decade after their procedures.
Reporting their results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers say they were "largely indistinguishable" from the general population.

The finding is important because more than 45,000 receive the adult stem cell transplants each year. No one has benefited from embryonic stem cells, which have caused tumors, convulsions, and patients to reject the cells when inserted.

This study looked at patients who had received haematopoietic cell transplants (HCTs) to replace diseased blood-forming cells produced in the bone marrow, according to the BBC.

Dr. Karen Syrjala, who led the study, said, "Ten years after HCT, the 137 survivors were indistinguishable from case-matched controls in many areas of health and psychosocial functioning."

The researchers also found that the 10 percent of transplant recipients who suffered relapse were in remission by the time of the study.
"The fact that patients can relapse and still have healthy, full lives 10 years later and look like everyone else who has gone through a transplant without relapse is really good news," Syrjala said.

All of the patients received the adult stem cell transplants between March 1987 and March 1990...