By Hilary White

TEL AVIV, February 18, 2009 ( – A report in the journal PLoS Medicine (Public Library of Science) says that an experiment with fetal stem cells using a young Israeli boy suffering from the fatal genetic disease, ataxia telangiectasia, resulted in the development of brain and spinal cord tumors, described as “benign and slow-growing.”

Ataxia telangiectasia causes degeneration of certain brain regions, affecting the motor functions. It also affects the immune system, often leading to death by secondary infections or cancer. The boy’s parents, desperate to find a treatment, took the boy to a clinic in Moscow that offers injections of tissue taken from aborted children. 

Israeli researchers reported Tuesday that the boy, who has not been identified, received injections the first time at age nine. This was followed by two more injections, into his spine and brain, at ages ten and twelve. Then, at age 13, he started complaining of headaches. Doctors in Israel discovered a mass of tumors pressing on his brain stem and spinal cord, which were removed by surgeons in 2006.

Tests have revealed that the tumor tissue is composed of fetal cells.

Other experiments with fetal stem cells have also resulted in what has been described as a “disaster” for patients. The May 1996 issue of Neurology described an experiment with a Parkinson’s patient using tissue from aborted children that resulted in the uncontrollable growth of “hair shafts, skin, cartilage and bone” in the patient’s brain.

A study published in the March 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine describing the use of aborted fetal tissue on Parkinson’s patients, resulted in what the researchers themselves described as “disastrous side effects.” Dr. Paul Greene, a neurologist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said, “We are absolutely and adamantly convinced that this should be considered for research only. And whether it should be researched in people is an open question.”

In the 2001 study, in the case of 15 percent of the patients who underwent an embryonic stem cell treatment, the cells began producing too much dopamine, causing patients to “chew constantly” and “writhe and twist, jerk their heads, fling their arms about.” Greene remarked that the results are “absolutely devastating … It was tragic, catastrophic. It’s a real nightmare. And we can’t selectively turn it off,” he said.

In August 2003, a similar experiment using cells derived from aborted tissue, a repeat of an earlier attempt, resulted in what researchers involved called “catastrophic” and irreversible side effects. The study, published in the Annals of Neurology, showed that of the 23 Parkinson’s patients who received transplants of aborted fetal tissue, 13 developed irreversible spasmodic movements in their limbs.

Read related coverage:

Study: Human Embryonic Stem Cells May Cause Brain Tumours


Commenting Guidelines

LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.