Volume 1 Issue 9
In This Issue
Science Advisory Board
Roberto Jorge Fernandez
Honorary Professor University Maimonides Argentina Honorary Professor University of Beijing, China
Shimon Slavin, MD
Professor of Medicine Medical & Scientific
Carlos Lima, MD
Zannos G. Grekos, MD
Kitipan V. Arom, MD,
PhD, FACS, FACC, FACCP, FRCST
Richard Humphries has plans to play in the 2009 Deep South Four Ball golf tournament. Seventeen months ago, Humphries, a 54-year-old Alexandria native who lives in Fort Worth, Texas, was bedridden and suffering from excruciating pain with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
“Very few people know this,” he said, “but I prayed to die every day and night, for the pain was off the charts.”…
…”The night after the second injection, I started to feel better and the fog had lifted. The time was midnight, and I had not been able to stay up that late in some time. The pain was gone….
…In February, Humphries underwent another experimental stem cell treatment to regrow inner ear nerve hairs. It not only improved his hearing but helped him tolerate heat, which can be a problem for people with MS…
MS Nerve Cell
“It’s an amazing recovery,” Ichem said (Dr. Tom Ichem of San Diego, a scientist). “I was with him in (Washington) D.C. and spent three days with him, and I was, honestly, bona fide flabbergasted. It’s one thing to read about recoveries like this, but to see it first hand — I hate to say ‘miracle,’ but it was absolutely something very, very stunning. Usually when we develop new treatments, we see results with some impact, but I’ve never seen this kind of stunning impact. It literally shocked me.”
Via http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/my-ms-pain-is-gone/ (Edited for length and content)
Another adult stem cell miracle! CONGRATS to Richard + Laura Humphries for having the sight and the gumption to pursue non-conventional treatments!
…but, is it truly a miracle? Let’s see:
Function: noun – Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late
Latin miraculum, from Latin, a wonder, marvel, from mirari to wonder at –
Date: 12th cent.
Nope. Definitely not a miracle. These kind of success stories of the improvement of so called “incurable diseases” are happening every day, all over the world, with repair stem cells…EXCEPT in the US!
Richard, Laura, thanks for helping to blaze the trail and getting the word out! I wish you continued health and hope your efforts and words inspire many, many people to follow your example! – David Granovsky
By Don Margolis
A question was recently posed by a friend I’ll call Jim. Jim asked: “Don, why aren’t adult stem cell treatments available in the USA?” He then added the additional condition: “Can you answer that question without going into an anti-science, anti FDA diatribe?”
Unfortunately, I could not answer him honestly without “going into an anti-science, anti FDA diatribe.” And yet, it occurred to me that 84 years ago, Bertrand Russell both prophetically answered his questions AND satisfied his conditions.
“I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy.” -Bertrand Russell, Icarus, or the Future of Science, 1925
In 1962, an oral vaccine using attenuated poliovirus, developed by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, was licensed for mass distribution. Since then, I maintain that Russell’s “dominant groups” have barred any medical-scientific progress that might lead to a cure of all major diseases.
All Jim needs to do to prove me wrong is:
Name one major disease that has been cured by American Medical Science since polio.
“Why isn’t this available in the USA?” Part 2
by David Granovsky
I am reminded of March 19, 2009, when Dr. Oz made a stunning statement: “I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead. The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.” (see “Doctor Oz wants to save lives without scalpel” in this Newsletter)
Shortly after the show was aired and the videos were watched; I was asked a number of related questions.
1. “Why would someone like Michael J Fox not seek treatment outside the U.S.?”
Unfortunately, Michael J Fox is a victim of the misleading media blitz that has been perpetrated on the US public for about 6-8 yrs. All focus was on embryonic stem cell research and no one in the US even knew about the advances that were going on outside except for some scientists and doctors. If you were to google adult stem cells dated prior to about 3 days before the Super Bowl this year, you will barely find even a dozen positive articles in a popular US periodical regarding the benefits of adult stem cells…that were happening anywhere in the world. And these treatments have been going on for up to 8 or so years! Sometimes the quotes from the few pro-adult stem cell published articles were completely reversed or the articles themselves were pulled without retraction or comment.
2. “That explains the lack of knowledge the general public has about the advances of adult stem cells…but what about the scientists and doctors who are on the cutting edge of research? Surely they know what is going on outside the US?”
A. The logic makes sense and some were aware of what was happening outside the US borders...but American scientists and doctors have been trained to believe that the American way (FDA, clinical trials, drug development = ~$500 million and 7-12 yrs to develop) is the only way to go. This is not a conspiracy theory (as Jim suggests), this is merely the only way the pharmaceutical companies can get patents and sell their drugs exclusively for 5-10 yrs to make back the ~$500 million cost of bringing a drug to market. Hindsight is 20/20 and it is abundantly clear that both the FDA and pharmaceutical companies consider the role of stem cells in the market to be “as drugs.”
B. The scientists and doctors have also been trained with an extremely exclusive Amero-centric philosophy. Just about every US scientist will not accept the results of a verified, completed, peer reviewed clinical trial that was PERFORMED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY…even from a well-respected publication like the New England Journal of Medicine. In fact, they will most likely REPEAT the study while following US codes and standards before they will allow themselves to believe the results.
3. “You would think that Michael J Fox, with the incredible resources of his assets and foundation, would be able get to the truth behind all of this.”
I’m not sure why he is in the dark about the advances of adult stem cell and iPSC. I checked his scientific advisory board and he has many brilliant scientists and doctors and at least seven of them are from Europe. I have no idea why his foundation has been so incredibly embryonic focused. Do you?
Stem Cell Awareness Seminar in Springfield, Missouri
Dr. A. A. Hakim, a USA resident and a leading stem cell researcher and Dr. Kara Zhang the lead doctor from Beike Biotechnology in Shenzhen, China will be the main speakers.
Attendees will also meet patients whom received stem cell treatments for ONH (optic nerve hypoplasia), SOD (septo-optic dysplasia) & Autism. They will talk about the changes treatment has given them. A representative doctor will discuss the progress in his patients after the stem cell treatments.
Brad Hart is hosting the "Stem Cell Awareness in Springfield, Missouri.” We invite you to join us. Please RSVP to Carol or Brad (contact info below)
Stem Cell Awareness Seminar Schedule:
Doors open at noon, event is from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
1) Dr. A.A. Hakim an expert in the field of stem cell research and
2) Diana Janey, Director of International Affairs, Beike Biotechnology, China
3) Dr. Kara Zhang, Beike Biotechnology, China - stem cell treatments
4) Dr. Larry Brothers, Optometrist with an office in
5) Dr. Bert Bachrach, Endocrinologist with an office in Springfield
6) Brad and Braden Hart, received cells for ONH blindness
7) Katie and Connor Corkern, Connor received SC for SOD and blindness
8) Dawn Moehr & Rylea Barlett, received stem cells for ONH blindness
9) Carol Petersen, stem cell advocate, founder of Stem Cell Awareness Assoc.
10) Melissa and Cameron Petersen, Cameron had SC for ONH/SOD blindness
11) Neil Barron, patient fund raising for stem cell treatments
This event is free to the public. We welcome everyone interested in regenerative treatments. Share this flyer with your friends and loved ones. For more information please contact Carol Petersen or Brad Hart.
Sincere Regards -
Carol Petersen, Stem Cell Advocate - Awareness Program Coordinator
Brad Hart, Stem Cell Advocate
Getting Beike’s Stem Cell Treatment at Qingdao Chengyang People’s Hospital
(Jon Michael Taft is an RSCI MS patient who chose China, one of the five of our top centers now treating MS successfully. This is his opening blog post.)
We are here in Qingdao. We arrived Tuesday (8/4/2009) morning around 9am local time. After several minutes clearing security, Liz (my caregiver and ex-wife and close friend) and I were greeted by Jack (one of the translators) and taken by van to the hospital.
The trip for me was extremely exhausting. We left Houston on Sunday evening at 7pm. The flight took 3 1/2 hours (Continental Airlines) with a 4 hour layover LAX. We left LA around 1am local time (Korean Airlines - very nice). The flight took almost 12 hours arriving into Seoul 4:30am local time. Waited 2 more hours then flew 1 hour into Qingdao. All of this without any sleep. (About 26 hours door-to-door---DM)
But since arriving, I am catching up on sleep, the doctors, nurses and translators are very helpful and nice. I have had two days of therapy, physical, electric shock treatment in my legs and acupuncture.
My first stem cell treatment on Friday (7 Aug) entered my body thru an I V on my hand. The next 5 are due to enter my body thru a shot into my lower back into my spinal canal. This is a direct route to the brain. I have two for the next blog period. (The technical word for this implant is “intrathecal.” –DM)
I plan to do weekly blogs while I am here and then monthly once I’m back home. The next blogs will have more info and hopefully start to include video and pictures. Communication in and out of China is difficult, we can no longer use the laptop and the public computers (2 of them) are in Chinese, which slows down the process.
I continue to be impressed with the doctors, nurses, staff and translators. I have only great praise for these professionals. I wish I would see more results and quicker. But the doctors and other patients insist I need to be patient. Some of the benefits will take months to see. But I hope that the more treatments and therapy build on each other.
Life here is quite boring. Liz has gone shopping everyday but I am too tired to leave, everyone wants to go shopping with Liz because she is such a savvy shopper and gets the best price. For me, I watch Chinese TV and talk with other patients in the common area and read.
The caregivers** are the unsung heroes here. They cook, clean, take care of us, and keep us company. The living quarters are tight and I am sure I get on her nerves, but without her here I would be so depressed that I would probably go crazy. I am going to have to bring my brother if I have to do this again; she said one trip to China is enough.
Signing off for now, your friend,
**The Chinese doctors agree. Patients do much better when they bring a caregiver. So Beike now insists that all patients have at least one. Their hospital suites can handle more than one if you are willing to pay a little extra.
Michael has arrived safely home and is resting. Here is the rest of his blog:
Bone Repair Cells Rebuild “Broken” Faces
Dedicated to Dianne in New England
Compassionate Use Patients in Spain Treated With Adult Stem Cell Therapy Demonstrate Jaw Bone Regeneration Enabling Dental Implants
Bone Repair Cells (BRCs) were used in Spain to repair the faces of patients suffering from severe craniofacial defects in 2008 and the 12-month results were released at a conference in China this month (Aug. 2009). The product was developed by what RSCI considers one of the top stem cell companies in America, Aastrom Biosciences.
Dr. Jose Mendonca, Director of the Head and Neck Surgery Unit of Hospital POLUSA in Lugo, Spain and previously a Clinical and Research Fellow in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry, reviewed the results of treatment with BRCs in three patients with craniofacial defects, as follows:
1-- The first patient was treated for severe mandibular osteoradionecrosis, or osteonecrosis of the jaw caused by radiation, and presented with pathological fracture and complete numbness of the lower lip.
At 12 months post-BRC treatment, the patient displayed restored vascular function, new bone formation, fracture consolidation and total recovery of lip numbness.
2--The second patient was treated for post-traumatic mandibular osteomyelitis and presented with massive bone loss, chronic infection, chronic pain and total impairment of function of both mandibular nerves.
At 12 months post-BRC treatment, the patient experienced complete functional nerve recovery and the formation of new bone.
3-The third patient was treated for iatrogenic massive bone loss in the posterior maxilla and presented with severe oral function impairment.
At 12 months post-BRC treatment, the patient had new bone formation in atrophic areas.
All patients underwent a minor surgery to insert a dental implant into the newly regenerated jawbone. Eight weeks later, the dental prosthesis (teeth) was attached to the implant completing the treatment objectives with the restoration of oral function.
"The outcome of these treatments with BRCs has been very satisfactory. We observed early bone formation in the afflicted areas that eventually resulted in complete healing," said Dr. Mendonca. "Unexpected therapeutic results from treatment with BRCs include peripheral nerve regeneration or repair, new skin formation and proliferation in blood vessels in ischemic areas!!”
NOTE from Don Margolis: RSCI knew that this “trial” would succeed, but the degree and variety of success surprised even us. We have seen five years of Repair Stem Cell successes, month after month. We continue to look for and find unexpected side effects---always positive---ever since TheraVitae’s pioneer heart stem cells surprised everyone by improving the patients’ diabetes in one out of six cases. These “side effects” are astonishing, to say the least. New blood vessels in ischemic areas from a jawbone? Nerve regeneration? New skin? This will take a while to sink in for those in the know…and will most likely never be seen in popular media!
Paying Women to Donate Their Eggs for Research - at What Risk?
The state of New York is the first state to approve payment (up to $10,000) to women donating eggs to human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research (22Jun09). Critics include some proponents of hESC research and most ethics bodies following the lead of the US National Academies, which in 2005 issued guidelines discouraging the practice. This action is in response to scientists' struggle to get more eggs for their laboratory research with hESC and cloning.
So what is really wrong with this picture of payment for eggs for research?
1. Donation procedure: 3 different hormone treatments, daily injections, surgical removal under anesthesia
2. Health risks:
· No long term safety data
· Known risks*:
Pain, polycystic ovarian syndrome 5-10%; ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal distention 10-20% and kidney damage, ovarian twisting, clotting disorders, respiratory distress 1-3%; cancers (breast ovarian, and uterine); possible long term fertility effects (insufficient data); surgical risks - bleeding, infection, anesthesia; psychological - mood swing, anxiety, irritability
3. Exploitation: monetary inducement will attract financially needy women (poor, college students); most civilized nations have banned paid donation.
4. Risk/Benefit ratio: Benefits of laboratory research do not outweigh health risks - no successful treatment of humans using embryonic stem cells; iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells) have made use of hESC "dinosaur technology" (see Ian Wilmut interview); therapeutic cloning is impractical and not economically feasible (It will take 40 million woman donors required to treat just 1/10 of heart, diabetes, and Alzheimer's patients). Since we have less than 100 million egg-bearing women and since the process is outrageously expensive, there is no practical reason to do this.
5. Donation for IVF not equivalent: donating eggs for IVF assume a personal health risk knowing the expected clinical pregnancy rate per egg transfer = 60%. Women donating eggs for hESC research assumes a health risk for outdated technology with as yet unproven benefit to humans.
Bottom line: There is no good scientific, medical, ethical, or humanitarian justification for paying women to donate their eggs for hESC research; the justification that scientists cannot get enough unpaid donors is outrageous in light of this.
* Committee on Assessing the Medical Risks of Human Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research
Editor’s Addendum: In any free market economy, the introduction of a new competitor always causes change. I wonder how $10,000 for “egg donation for research” will compete with the $5,000 to $10,000 for “egg donation for IVF” that typically requires the following tests and qualifications:
Precision Adult Stem Cells,
Not Embryonic Sledgehammers for Muscle Repair
by David Prentice
New research published online in the journal Nature suggests that adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells, are appropriate for use in therapies for repairing damaged and diseased muscle. Researchers from Maryland and Indiana report that experiments with mice show the genes involved in muscle development are turned off soon after birth, and are not used by adult stem cells that repair muscle. Lead author Christoph Lepper said, "I thought that if they are so important in the embryo, they must be important for adult muscle stem cells. I was totally surprised to find that the muscle stem cells are normal without them."
In their paper the authors note:
"Changes in genetic requirement for muscle stem cells from embryonic to juvenile to adult stages elucidate the inadequacy of applying knowledge gained from developmental studies to adult stem-cell biology. Our discovery should encourage future investigations into how widespread genetic transitions may occur in different adult stem-cell types. Age-dependent differences in stem-cell properties should also urge careful consideration of the age of stem cells used in transplantation-based regenerative medicine."
The implications? Studying embryonic stem cells is an inadequate substitute for directly studying how adult stem cells carry out their normal repair functions in the body, and embryonic stem cells themselves are inadequate substitutes for adult stem cells in medical therapies. In other words, don't use a sledgehammer instead of precision equipment.
Body has Holes; Can Surgeons Use Them?
Surgeons are currently trying to make the removal of organs a “HOLE” lot easier
“An appendix pulled out through the mouth. A gallbladder removed through the vagina. It almost sounds bizarre.” (Almost?! - DG) “...surgeons at a handful of medical centers across the country are performing these experimental procedures. This type of surgery, which involves removing organs through natural body openings, could be available locally if a Nebraska Medical Center surgeon succeeds in making a device to improve the procedure…” - http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=1219&u_sid=10562747
How would you feel about having your appendix pulled out through your mouth or your gallbladder removed through your vagina? Truth IS stranger than fiction. And while some are trying to make the removal of your organs easier, there is one famous doctor who is pursuing this unconventional and non-Western medicine line of thought:
“Maybe you would rather have your life saved using NO SCALPEL.” Who is this doctor?
Dr. Oz wants to save lives without using scalpel
Oz had a decent enough career before television beckoned. He’s a prominent surgeon with expertise in repairing heart valves. He will continue to perform surgery one day a week.
Yet Oz noticed that he was getting more jazzed up persuading people they didn’t need surgery than operating on them. “I found myself going to work and taking care of people who wanted to get better who believed that their only path to salvation was through my scalpel,” he said. “I can heal with steel. I know how to do that. But it’s very disenfranchising when you realize the true solutions are outside the operating room.”
I guess we should expect nothing less from the only celebrity doctor in the world to stand up (in front of Oprah, Michael J Fox and 7.2 million viewers) against embryonic stem cells due to their limitations and tendencies to become tumors...in February of 2009:
“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead. The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.” - http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-oz-stem-cell-debate-is-dead/
USA Direct Line:
Don Margolis, Chairman
This Newsletter is for
educational purposes only and not to be taken as medical advice.