That letter mentioned above actually noted nine, not seven, treatments.
Here’s the opening paragraphs from the letter (Sorry, subscription only) (Note the uses of “treat,” “cure” and “phases”),
Originally published in Science Express on 13 July 2006
Science 28 July 2006:
Vol. 313. no. 5786, p. 439
Adult Stem Cell Treatments for Diseases?
Opponents of research with embryonic stem (ES) cells often claim that adult stem cells provide treatments for 65 human illnesses. The apparent origin of those claims is a list created by David A. Prentice, an employee of the Family Research Council who advises U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and other opponents of ES cell research (1).
Prentice has said, “Adult stem cells have now helped patients with at least 65 different human diseases. It’s real help for real patients” (2). On 4 May, Senator Brownback stated, “I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the listing of 69 different human illnesses being treated by adult and cord blood stem cells” (3).
In fact, adult stem cell treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions on the Prentice list, not 65 [or 72 (4)]. In particular, allogeneic stem cell therapy has proven useful in treating hematological malignancies and in ameliorating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Contrary to what Prentice implies, however, most of his cited treatments remain unproven and await clinical validation. Other claims, such as those for Parkinson’s or spinal cord injury, are simply untenable.
And here’s the references that are noted,
1. Posted at the Web site of DoNoHarm, The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics (accessed 8 May 2006 at http://www.stemcellresearch.org/facts/treatments.htm).
2. D. Prentice, Christianity Today 49 (no. 10), 71 (17 Oct. 2005) (accessed 8 May 2006 at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/010/24.71.html).
3. S. Brownback, “Stem cells,” Congressional Record, 4 May 2006 (Senate) (page S4005-S4006) (accessed 8 May 2006 at http://frwebgate6.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/wais-gate.cgi?WAISdocID=122359256098+2+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve).
4. According the latest version of the list, accessed 12 July 2006.