Wesley Smith posted to his own blog and to Bioethics.com about the research out of Germany showing that patients’ own bone marrow stem cells can be stimulated to regenerate (normal) liver stem cells and then liver tissue, allowing the regrowth of enough new liver that surgeons can remove the cancer. (UK Telegraph article here, the abstract at Radiology online here.)
The next day, we learned that White House Press spokesman, Tony Snow, has metastatic colon cancer in his liver. This post was prompted by a not-so-nice comment on one of the non-prolife, pro-embryonic-stem-cell-research blogs that we should promote embryonic stem cell research. There’s a much kinder and informative post at the Cheerful Oncologist.
Mr. Snow’s illness may help educate and save many lives, both embryonic and non-embryonic.
I hope that the hope of stem cell research will be spread including the good news that multiple studies concerning the fine-tuning of knowledge about the precise population of stem cells that are functioning to regenerate the liver, and I believe that there will soon be treatments using adult, but not embryonic stem cell treatements. The patients’ own stem cells will be much easier to get past any Ethics Committee than any embryonic stem cells.
For more information try a “Pub Med” search on “liver regeneration.” at “Entrez Pub Med.” There are 20 or so promising articles on non-embryonic stem cell liver regeneration in the last month, including this one from the authoritative journal, Stem Cells, that appears to have identified the specific population of cells from the liver that serve to become liver stem cells and then functioning liver.