Friday, October 29, 2010
Earlier this month the Geron Corporation began the first Human embryonic stem cell trial. This trial, which began October 8th in the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, is expected to involve 10 patients, all of whom must have severe spinal cord injuries and begin treatment within 14 days after sustaining their injuries.
Participants in the trial will receive a single injection containing 2 million of Geron's GRNOPC1 cells and will then be monitored for a year to look for any sign of negative side-effects or regained function or sensation in their lower extremities. Assuming this initial group is found to suffer no ill-effect from the treatment, Geron plans to seek FDA approval to extend the study and increase the dose of GRNOPC1 patients receive, as well as including
"as broad a range of severe spinal cord-injured patients as medically appropriate."
Geron ultimately hopes to be able to inject GRNOPC1 directly into the spinal cord lesions of injured patients prompting the regrowth of damaged nerve cells and restoring function and sensation to patients suffering paralysis.
Trials like this one are long overdue and have been unnecessarily delayed due to what I personally view as the largely manufactured controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells. But if treatments like this prove successful, it will no doubt fuel the public's desire to see such treatments made available to patients with debilitating injuries and will help to remove the unfortunate and - in my opinion - completely unjustified bans and restrictions currently placed on embryonic stem cell research here in the US.
On a semi-related note, it remains impossible for me to hear the words "embryonic cells" without getting this song stuck in my head, but it's one of my absolute favorites, so I'm okay with that.
Posted by YouTube user:roadrunnerrecords