Last night, as part of a disability ministry seminar, I heard a keynote speech by Joni
Eareckson Tada. She mentioned — almost in passing — that she knew people who
traveled to Lisbon for stem cell surgery, who had regained feeling and even started to
walk again.I was astonished and hit the net for more info.
All links led to ‘miracle doctor’ Carlos Lima, a former rockandroll singer, and now
spinal cord expert at Lisbon’s Hospital de Egas Moniz. Dr. Lima has been performing the
surgery since 2001 with significant results. One of his patients is reported to have started
noticing improvements three weeks after the operation. He first regained sensation
immediately below the injury site. Then came control of abdominal muscles and recently
abductor muscles, slowly gaining more control each day. However, Dr. Lima doesn’t
promote false expectations and there are no guarantees the surgery will work for Mr.
Drover, but the odds are good and he’ll take his chances.
The surgery involves adult stem cells, not the embryonic stem cells that form the basis for
vitriolic debate in American politics. Lima extracts stem cells from high in the patient's
own nasal passages and implants them in the back of the brain. Then the body takes over.
PBS has done on show on some of the success stories. It aired back in 2004. Does
everyone else already know this? Am I the only one who hasn't heard that adult stem cells
are making people walk?
In Germany, according to PBS, stem cell surgery is helping heart patients.
According to a program director at the National Institute of Health, US researchers are
concerned that no animal studies were done before the human surgeries and there may be
complications if those nasal passage cells carry germs.
Despite those risks, similar surgery could be available in the US as early as 2006.
Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/stemcellshelpingpeople
Stem cells help woman walk again
From correspondents in Seoul
A SOUTH Korean woman paralysed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired
her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.
Hwang MiSoon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades
Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a
press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of
their stemcell therapy.
They said it was the world's first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had
been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Though they cautioned that more research was needed and verification from international experts
was required, the South Korean researchers said Hwang's case could signal a leap forward in the
treatment of spinal cord injuries.
http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=347728 Nov 2004
A remarkable reconstruction technique is being trialled by British
surgeons, who are harvesting stem-cell-enriched fat from women's
bodies to plug the dip often left by breast cancer operations.
The procedure appears to restore the softness and suppleness of
breast tissues, undoing the damage frequently caused by
lumpectomy and radiotherapy. Early signs indicate that it also eases
the considerable pain with which patients are often left after
More than 31,000 women a year in Britain with early-stage breast
cancer undergo operations in which just the lump and a healthy
margin of tissue around it are removed. The cavity left in the breast
following surgery can vary from a dimple to a mini-crater, but the dip
invariably becomes more pronounced following radiotherapy, which
most patients need. Irradiation damages the blood supply to the
breast and shrinks and toughens overlying skin so that it sticks to the
chest wall. Nerves can get trapped in the resulting scar tissue,
causing constant discomfort. Although some surgeons have had
short-term success with simple fat transfers - liposuctioning fat from
elsewhere and injecting it into the breast hollow - the blob of fat
struggles to get a decent blood supply.
The alternative has been more surgery, either to reduce the size of
the healthy breast so it is a better match with the other or, perhaps
most upsettingly, a total mastectomy and full breast reconstruction on
the lumpectomy side. Scientists believe the stem-cell fat will reduce
the need for this sort of revision surgery by suppressing inflammation
and encouraging the laying down of a healthy blood supply so that fat
loss is minimised.
The organs and tissues of the body are a natural cache of adult stem
cells ready to repair damage when injury occurs. Ironically, it is the
chameleon-like attributes of stem cells that fuelled doubts in the
minds of some British surgeons before the start of the trial last
summer. "Cancer is all about the proliferation of cells, so our theoretical worry was that we could be putting cells into the breast
that would encourage rapid growth of surrounding tissue, resulting in
another cancer," said Philip Turton, a consultant breast surgeon at
Leeds General Infirmary.
Lead investigator and consultant plastic surgeon Eva Weiler-Mithoff
says she is impressed with the results so far. "What is striking is the
softness and suppleness the technique gives the skin and tissues.
When I see these stem-cell-enhanced patients after three months,
their skin is significantly softer."
Patients have their fat harvested under general anaesthetic. Half is
set aside; half is washed in a processor, where the stem cells are
distilled. This concentrate is then mixed with the set-aside fat and
injected under local anaesthetic.
Surgeons had two more nagging concerns before the study got under