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Archive for the ‘Adult Stem Cells’ Category

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, with health committee presenters: Dr. David Prentice, stem cell patient Richard Walters, Dr. Dana Winegarner, & Director Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, with health committee presenters: Dr. David Prentice, stem cell patient Richard Walters, Dr. Dana Winegarner, & Director Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn

What was once only a dream has become a reality– the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center will host its inaugural in-depth educational conference about adult stem cell treatments Saturday, Nov. 23 in Kansas City. See details here.

The purpose of this conference (which provides continuing education credits) is to update health professionals and trainees about advances in therapy with adult stem cells, as well as explaining adult stem cell biology and its potential for tissue and organ regeneration.

Adult stem cell treatments in the form of bone marrow transplants have been used for many years to successfully treat leukemia and related bone/blood cancers. The scientific community is now focusing on additional therapeutic options including organ repair. The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center was created this year by the Kansas Legislature, (read here) under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, in order to:

  • facilitate the “translation” of basic stem cell research findings into actual clinical applications;
  • multiply clinical grade stem cells obtained from adult tissues, cord blood, and other sources, excluding embryonic and fetal;
  • increase the number of patients receiving stem cell treatments;
  • educate medical professionals and the public;
  • create and maintain a global database of available stem cell trials and therapies.

The Center’s director is Buddhadeb Dawn, M.D., current director of the KU Med Center’s Cardiovascular Division, who has been engaged in promising adult stem cell therapy for cardiac repair. International stem cell expert, Dr. David A Prentice, has been appointed to the Center’s 15-member advisory board.

Let your favorite medical personnel know about this exciting conference!

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Rep. Jan Pauls

Rep. Jan Pauls

Kansas passed three pro-life measures Tuesday. Two of them (SB 142 and SCR 1606) are headed to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk, the third (SB 199, creating a stem cell center) is temporarily stalled in conference due to the addition of a friendly amendment.

Pro-lifers are acutely aware that over 55 million unborn children have been denied the right to life because of Roe v. Wade. However Roe’s interior logic has also infiltrated courtrooms increasingly in the form of ‘wrongful birth’ and ‘wrongful life’ lawsuits. These are suits brought under the claim that money damages are owed the parents because the baby—most often one with some significant disability—should not be alive.

Kansas passed SB 142 ‘Civil Rights for the Unborn’ by a vote Tuesday of 89-33 in the House, following earlier Senate passage by a vote of 34-5. Currently, thirteen states bar wrongful birth claims by statute or case law and 34 bar wrongful life suits by statute or case law.

This bill does not interfere with the proper filing of malpractice for obstetric negligence and incompetence. However, this simple truth did not deter abortion supporters from telling the nation that Kansas doctors will be free under this bill to “lie to women.” After making that claim at the bill’s hearing in the House Corrections & Juvenile Justice committee, and

when challenged directly by pro-life Rep. Jan Pauls, the Kansas N.O.W. lobbyist reasserted that only pro-choice doctors will not lie to women.

Additionally noteworthy is the provision in SB 142 that allows civil causes of action for wrongful death of an unborn child (outside of the abortion context) to be filed throughout the entire nine months of gestation, not just after viability. SB 142 is the civil counterpart of Kansas’ 2007 “Alexa’s Law,” allowing criminal prosecution when the unborn is a victim of crime.

Also on Tuesday, SCR 1606, a joint chamber resolution recognizing the work of pregnancy maintenance centers in Kansas and across the nation, passed the House 122-0 after having passed the Senate.

Kansas has eighty pregnancy maintenance help centers. (If you divide the estimated 2,000 national centers by 50 states that would yield an average of 40 per state.) These centers are a vital component of the pro-life movement. Recent testimony from one center in the Kansans City area indicated 95% of their clients are being pressured to abort by the father of the unborn child. (See this.)

Finally on Tuesday, SB 199 passed the House by a vote of 90-32, having previously passed the Senate with a vote of 33-7. Procedurally, the bill had to return to the Senate for re-passage because of a small technical addition.

SB 199 establishes the Midwest Adult Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita.  “All funds and facilities shall be dedicated to treatments and research with adult, cord blood and related stem cells and non-embryonic stem cells.

No funds or facilities shall involve embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue cells.”

 The Center will:
  • serve as a core facility to produce clinical grade stem cells;
  • create and maintain a database resource for physicians and patients that provides a comprehensive global list of available stem cell clinical trials and therapies;
  • initiate clinical trials with adult, cord blood and related stem cells;
  • create education modules to train and educate physicians and research scientists.

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Sen. President Susan Wagle

Sen. President Susan Wagle

Pro-life legislation is broader than just abortion limitations, as the pro-life Kansas Senate demonstrated by passing two measures today: SB 199, establishing an adult stem cell clearinghouse and therapy center, and SB 142, enhancing civil litigation rights for the unborn.

By voice vote Thursday,(UPDATE: final count 33-7) the Senate approved creating a novel and globally important Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas (KU). Before the vote was taken, Senate President, Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) provided a ringing endorsement.

“I am pleased to see this legislation, endorsed completely by KU. My son, Paul, relapsed in 2006 from leukemia after two and a half years of chemotherapy. We tested family members and could not find a match for bone marrow.

“We called Gov. Sam Brownback, who was U.S. Senator at the time, because he had worked for years to promote stem cell research. The governor connected us with a New York doctor doing research trials who had established a cord blood bank. We found a match with a baby in NY and Paul got the [resulting stem cell] treatment in Texas.

When you vote for this bill, you are planting a seed…this is about cures, saving lives and new research. I ask you all to vote for it.”

The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) asked her fellow Senators to consider that, “ everyone has some kind of disease in family that has caused tragedy, our family has Huntington’s Disease.  Kansas needs to be in the forefront to help people.”

Kansas City ethicist at Rockhurst University, Dr. John Morris, had testified in support of the center as a deterrent to the alarming phenomenon of “stem cell tourism” in which suffering Americans are lured abroad – largely via internet– for unproven stem cell applications by unqualified personnel. The proposed center will be located in the Kansas City metro area, and will:

•    treat patients,
•    process and multiply stem cells,
•    create a centrally-located global database,
•    network physicians and scientists, and
•    initiate educational outreach.

In other action Thursday, the Senate passed SB 142, “Civil Rights for the Unborn” by a vote of 34-5-1. SB 142 will ban any so-called “wrongful birth and wrongful life” lawsuits claiming that the child, in essence, is a ‘damage’.  Nine other states statutorily bar wrongful birth suits and ten statutorily bar wrongful life suits.

SB 142 also addresses civil suits brought on behalf of the wrongful death of an unborn child, so that they can be filed on behalf of a child throughout gestation, not just after viability. The unborn child in Kansas since 2007 has enjoyed such protection under criminal law, as the second victim when a pregnant woman is a victim of crime.

Both SB 199 and SB 142 now move to the House for consideration.

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Conferees Dr. DAvid PRentice and KFL's lobbyst,jeanne Gawdun

SB 199 conferees, Dr. David Prentice & KFL lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun

Kansas Senate committees today worked, and passed out favorably, two pro-life measures.

The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142 [Civil Rights for the Unborn] and the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee  passed SB 199, to establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Support for SB 199 came from KFL, pointing out that in 2006, despite heavy lobbying to support unproductive and unethical embryonic research, the Kansas legislature made the correct decision to support adult stem cell research by

  • enacting legislation to facilitate the recruitment of entities, and encourage strategic partnerships.
  • budgeting $150,000 to fund a KU adult stem cell research project using umbilical cord blood.

Overall the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee heard support for the novel KU Center from a stem cell patient, four doctors /researchers and a representative of KU. In addition, Rockhurst University ethicist John Morris submitted testimony (read it here) explaining the alarming phenomenon of “stem cell tourism”, in which patients travel abroad to obtain unproven treatments from unqualified personnel.

SB 199 conferee Dr. David Prentice has noted, “the Kansas City metropolitan area has become one of the strategic centers in the nation for life sciences.” Umbilical cord blood research is already being done at KU, using a discovery made at K-State (“Wharton’s Jelly”) so there’s no reason to delay establishing a global center here for stem cell treatment, research, and education. (see past posts here and here)

The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142, which was part of the 2012 Pro-Life Protections Act passed 88-31 last year in the House. SB 142 would

  • BAN any “wrongful birth/life” lawsuits claiming that the child, in essence, is a ‘damage’;
  • BROADEN civil suits on behalf of wrongful death of an unborn child to be filed throughout gestation, not just after viability.

TAKE ACTION : Both SB 199 and SB 142 are expected to go to the Senate for votes quite quickly to meet the Friday deadline for action on bills originating in each chamber. To contact your senator about either bill, you may use the roster here.

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Sen. mary Pilcher-Cook

Sen.  Pilcher-Cook

An exciting proposal establishing an adult stem cell center at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), was presented to a joint meeting of the Kansas Senate and House Health committees on Thursday and Friday.

Lawmakers heard from medical experts using adult stem cell (ASC) treatments, as well as patients and other experts in the field about the urgent need to establish a new center at KUMC that would conduct clinical research trials and co-ordinate education about this rapidly growing medical specialty.

Dr. David Prentice, Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics and an international expert on the stem cell topic, has testified several times to Kansas lawmakers on this developing field. He urged the creation of a hub for ASC treatments, information and medical networking. Prentice quoted recent science and medical journals that:

  • 1 in 200 Americans will undergo an ASC transplant in their lifetime;
  • over 60,000 ASC transplants occur globally each year;
  • there are over 2,600 ongoing, or completed, FDA-approved ASC trials.

Dr. Dana Winegarner, a Kansas City neurologist, although not on staff at KUMC, testified that no professional turf battles stand in the way. The problem is that busy practitioners cannot keep up with the rapidity of the stem cell developments; he said he has an app on his smart phone that notifies of breaking relevant medical data and that it registers over 60 hits a day. “During the time I leave for work and return at night, medicine has changed!”

Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn, Director of KUMC’s Cardiovascular Diseases Division and Research Institute, demonstrated how applications of stem cells regenerate damaged hearts and reviewed outcomes of national studies. Dawn said the list of diseases that can be cured with stem cells is ever-increasing  and thus there is a crying need for a center that can process and manufacture clinical grade stem cells as well as initiate clinical trials.

Patient Richard Waters, a participant in an adult stem cell program trial at KUMC testified that the stem cell heart treatment he received last year was not available in the United States when he had his earlier heart attacks. Testimony from Waters and videos of two other patients who’d undergone successful, remarkable medical treatment from non-embryonic stem cells fascinated the attendees in the packed room at the state Capitol.

Dr. Omar Aljitawi, part of KUMC’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, said that KUMC is involved in 2 major umbilical cord blood transplant trials, a treatment first done successfully in 1988. Kansas is home to the development of the  “Wharton’s Jelly” part of the umbilical cord, which offers much promise as a base material for multiplying cells for patient application. Aljitawi bemoaned the fact that so many sources of ASC were being discarded, and need to be developed and made available for a waiting populace.

Senate Health committee chair, Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) said a bill is being drafted to create a cutting edge ASC center at the KUMC campus in Kansas City, for which no model exists nationally–or globally.

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(from left) Drs. Omar Aljitawi, Richard Burt, Dana Winegarner, David Prentice, with Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook & Rep. Brenda Landwehr

The Kansas House Health & Human Services committee was warned on Monday that their state is ‘missing-in-action’ when it comes to life-saving and life-changing adult stem cell medicine.

Because of that concern, committee chair, Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R-Wichita), and fellow pro-lifer, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) scheduled this presentation by international adult-stem cell advocate and cell-biologist, David Prentice, Ph.D., along with a trio of noted physician/ researchers:

  • Richard Burt, M.D., from Northwestern University Hospital in Illinois– a leading researcher in stem-cell immunotherapy;
  • Omar Aljitawi, M.D., assistant professor at the Blood & Marrow transplant center at Kansas University’s Medical Center; and
  • Dana Winegarner, D.O., a neurologist from the MidAmerica Neuroscience center in the Kansas City area.

The speakers’ united message was that both the public and physicians remain unaware that adult stem cells are already being used clinically to treat many diseases in human patients around the world. Dr. Prentice gave an overview of

innovative stem cell applications, including the “spray gun” that allows a burn victim’s own cells to be altered and then sprayed over the damaged area for skin regeneration.

Dr. Prentice reminded the committee that a 2010 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that adult stem cell transplants have become “the standard of care for many patients” (more…)

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Pro-lifers hearing National Public Radio’s Morning Edition Monday had to be smiling when Science editor, Robert Krulwich, revealed a little-known bond between a mother and her child.

The report examined the increasing evidence that “when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or daughter, [but]

an army of protective cells– gifts from her children that will stay inside her and defend her for the rest of her life.”

Krulwich begins his interview with Dr. Kirby Johnson, of Tufts University, doing a little myth-busting about the placenta, formerly considered “an impenetrable barrier [in which the] mommy cells stay on the mommy side and nature keeps them separate.”

Rather, Johnson discusses how researchers found, “in a teaspoon of an ordinary pregnant woman’s blood… dozens, perhaps even hundreds of cells… from the baby.” (The scientific name for the phenomenon is fetomaternal microchimerism.)

Researchers were surprised that the ‘baby’ cells aren’t attacked by the ‘mom’s’ immunity system.  The natural references (more…)

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