UNITED KINGDOM, January 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – British sufferers from multiple sclerosis are reporting remarkable improvements in their condition after injection with adult stem cells taken from their own bodies. The treatment is part of a clinical trial of techniques pioneered at America's Northwestern University by Dr. Richard Burt.
The adult stem cell treatment for MS is just one of many being applied around the world for more than 100 medical conditions, many to do with diseases of the auto-immune system.
Sheffield patient Holly Drewry, a 25-year-old mother of one, went into that city's Royal Hallamshire Hospital in a wheelchair but left on her own feet after a single treatment using her own adult stem cells, taken from her bone marrow. “I started seeing changes within days of the stem cells being put in. It was a miracle,” she told a BBC interviewer for an episode of Panorama.
Researchers for a clinical trial at Hallamshire and at a London hospital have re-examined Drewry and found her multiple sclerosis in remission.
“I couldn't walk steadily. I couldn't trust myself holding her [daughter Isla] in case I fell. … It is scary because you think, when is it going to end?” said Drewry. But after a two-stage treatment involving first chemotherapy to kill her malfunctioning autoimmune system and then adult stem cells to remake it, she reported that “I walked out of the hospital. I walked into my house and hugged Isla. I cried and cried. It was a bit overwhelming. It was a miracle.”
Research team member and neurologist Basil Sharrack agreed. “Since we started treating patients three years ago, some of the results we have seen have been miraculous,” he told the Telegraph. “This is not a word I would use lightly, but we have seen profound neurological improvements.”
Equally impressive is the recovery of Steven Storey, a triathlete left completely paralyzed by MS. “I couldn't flicker a muscle,” he said. But within nine days of injection with his own stem cells, he could move a toe, and after 10 months, he swam a mile.
“It was great. I felt I was back,” he said.
The British trials for adult stem cell treatment are based on successful American research led by Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University. According to stemcellresearchfacts.org., over the past 14 years, Burt has developed successful treatments for 23 diseases including MS, scleroderma, and lupus.
The successful treatment for MS, though still technically in the clinical trial phase, marks the growing success of adult stem cell treatments and ongoing failure of embryonic stem cell treatments. As stemcellresearchfacts.org points out, “[a]dult stem cells have already been successfully used in human therapies for many years. As of this moment, no therapies in humans have ever been successfully carried out using embryonic stem cells.” Indeed, the adult stem cell advocate David Gronovsky lists more than 100 diseases being treated with adult stem cells.
The quiet victory of adult stem cells in the once noisy debate over adult versus embryonic stem cell research was unofficially announced in 2009 by pop medical icon Dr. Oz, on the equally iconic Oprah Winfrey Show, when he told her, “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.”
The medical research establishment continues to defend embryonic stem cell research. The U.S. National Institutes of Health, for example, asks, “Have human embryonic stem cells been used successfully to treat any human diseases yet?” on an information page about both kinds of stem cell research. The NIH avoids giving a straight answer with this statement: “Stem cell research ['embryonic' has been dropped] offers hope for treating many human diseases. Click here to read a description of the current status of stem cells and human disease therapies.”
The link takes the reader to a different NIH page containing yet another link, labeled “The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR),” which, the NIH promises, “will help you evaluate claims you may have seen regarding stem cell treatments.” This leads to one more a site called acloserlookatstemcells.org, which, while warning the viewer against unproven adult stem cell treatments, has nothing at all to say about embryonic stem cell treatments.