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Thread: A Cure Decades Away

  1. #1

    A Cure Decades Away

    http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/in-print/2...aby-steps.aspx

    Well there is the cheery news folks - we're all stuck like this..............

    "Spinal research takes baby steps
    Amanda Cameronacameron@nzdoctor.co.nz
    Brian Kwon News

    What researchers know about spinal cord injuries is mounting rapidly, but the world is decades away from "a cure", a Canadian orthopaedic surgeon and researcher says.

    With many novel potential therapies in the pipeline, "steps are going to be very slow and the victories are probably going to be very small," says Brian Kwon, an associate professor at the University of British Colombia.

    Dr Kwon was in New Zealand last month sharing ideas with local experts.

    The latest "breakthrough" in spinal cord injury treatment was reported recently when a paralysed man from Kentucky was helped to walk with the aid of 16 electrodes implanted in his spine (www.popsci.com, 20 May).

    Such case reports are few and far between, and progress towards treatments for spinal cord injuries is slow and incremental.

    Dr Kwon's contributions to the development of new therapies for spinal cord injuries include clinical trials in patients and stem cell studies in experimental models.

    He and his team of researchers have developed a pig model of chronic thoracic spinal cord injury that will be useful for future stem cell studies.

    They have also been developing a strategy of transplanting cells derived from stem cells found in the skin.

    While most research targets acute spinal cord injuries, a key to Dr Kwon's strategy is establishing the effectiveness of the therapy for individuals with chronic spinal cord injuries. These are typically the most avid supporters of spinal cord injury research.
    Few regulated cell transplantation clinical trials are being conducted in this area, Dr Kwon says.

    One, endorsed by the FDA and conducted in the US by biotech company Geron, recruited its second patient last week and uses cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

    Another, by Australian researchers, has injected olfactory ensheathing cells into three patients so far and is looking to extend recruitment to patients in South-East Asia and New Zealand.

    No results are available from either of these trials so far and, when presented, they will provide information about the safety of the technology and not about the therapies' ability to improve function, Dr Kwon says. The internet none the less is full of claims of success from practitioners offering stem cell transplants on a commercial basis in countries such as Russia and China.

    Dr Kwon's own research is sponsored by a group of non-profit organisations that includes the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.

    He was in New Zealand for six days as part of an annual academic exchange programme, involving Britain, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, and dating back to 1948.

    Dr Kwon was accompanied by six other academics on American British Canadian fellowships"

  2. #2
    Maybe the Chinese will be able to see beyond profit as the underlying motivator for a cure and solve the problem (of SCI) for the sake of solving it as opposed to just making a buck off of it. Any implied negativity here is aimed at Geron and not any of the non-Chinese researchers out there still working diligently on the problem.

    While I have never really thought that I would ever benefit from a cure and still won't, I hope I am wrong for mine and everyone else's sake. Living with a SCI is just tough no matter what your outlook!

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, none of the above surprises me. Every so often I write here that people should not waste time waiting for an elusive cure and putting their lives on hold. I have been verbally attacked for being negative, for having the "wrong attitude" and even once called a "sell-out," but after 45 years of SCI I am very glad that I continued on with my life after injury. For most of those 45 years the "cure" has been "five years away." I do think progress is being made, but I still think the whole concept of waiting for a cure to be not very productive.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Unfortunately, none of the above surprises me. Every so often I write here that people should not waste time waiting for an elusive cure and putting their lives on hold. I have been verbally attacked for being negative, for having the "wrong attitude" and even once called a "sell-out," but after 45 years of SCI I am very glad that I continued on with my life after injury. For most of those 45 years the "cure" has been "five years away." I do think progress is being made, but I still think the whole concept of waiting for a cure to be not very productive.
    Agreed! The best advice that I received coming out of rehab was to live my life the best I could. I have nothing against fighting for a cure but we do have to somehow find a way to go on with life regardless. Much easier said than done!
    Last edited by Patton57; 11-27-2011 at 01:02 AM.

  5. #5
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    I used to wish for a cure. Now I just wish to win the lottery.

  6. #6
    Yeah, I've lived my life the best I could and it is a huge compromise compared with the life I lived before.

    Eileen, don't feel bad about being attacked for your views - that happens if you support a cure too

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Unfortunately, none of the above surprises me. Every so often I write here that people should not waste time waiting for an elusive cure and putting their lives on hold. I have been verbally attacked for being negative, for having the "wrong attitude" and even once called a "sell-out," but after 45 years of SCI I am very glad that I continued on with my life after injury. For most of those 45 years the "cure" has been "five years away." I do think progress is being made, but I still think the whole concept of waiting for a cure to be not very productive.

    I think most of we "old timers" were accused of being sell-outs or negative Eileen.

    Perhaps the RHF is right in empathizing better Care techniques because they know research can only go so fast and that fast is decades away.

    Even with the news that is sadly said, I'm sure we'll still get flack for being "sell-outs".

  8. #8
    But you are a cure advocate as well Patrick - you said so in a previous post

  9. #9
    But you are a cure advocate as well Patrick - you said so in a previous post

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Unfortunately, none of the above surprises me. Every so often I write here that people should not waste time waiting for an elusive cure and putting their lives on hold. I have been verbally attacked for being negative, for having the "wrong attitude" and even once called a "sell-out," but after 45 years of SCI I am very glad that I continued on with my life after injury. For most of those 45 years the "cure" has been "five years away." I do think progress is being made, but I still think the whole concept of waiting for a cure to be not very productive.
    Well said Eileen

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