FROM RATS AND QUICKLY TO HUMANS…A new experimental human embryonic stem cell therapy which is touted to possibly repair spinal chord damage has undergone very little pre-clinical trial efficacy studies. In fact those studies have been limited to mice only, and not larger animals. Despite the limited efficacy studies for this new therapy, the FDA has given approval for the first human clinical trial. The approval was granted directly after Obama’s inauguration making some feel that it was politically motivated.
What patients should know is that human embryonic stem cell clinical trials and research is experimental. Embryonic stem cell therapy has been hyped and painted as the future “miracle cure” for all diseases backed only by speculative theory without any substantive scientific evidence. Presently, human embryonic stem cell trials offer more danger than possible cures to the patients who enlist in them.
Let’s hope that these patients who enter human embryonic stem cell trials are counseled ethically regarding these dangers and will not suffer as they did in the controversial human gene therapy trials in the past where patients were lead to believe their treatment was safe, but died instead.