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Thread: China: Going full force in stem cells

  1. #11
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Dr. Young

    I respect your comments concerning the state of claimed SCI cures in China. Sounds familiar to other countries (USA, Mexico for example).

    Stem cell research being conducted in China is performed with the intent of application/commercialization in the future, therefore it would be important (if not imperative) that their research be published in a western journal. Isn't Huang in the process of doing this for OEG?

    On the other hand, if credible reports start emanating out of China regarding successful stem cell SCI therapies, people will still go despite the absence of a recognized peer reviewed abstract, just like Huangs current OEG "trials".

    And lastly, your response gives me the impression there is questionable credibility concerning China, but this is probably just my interpretation.

  2. #12
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    They often will not believe that a therapy works unless the work is published in a peer-reviewed western journal. I have been to China several times in the past two years and find that most of the doctors are quite skeptical of the claims.


    i know their is a lot of fraud. but this is bull crap. computer programmers has to keep updated to the latest codes, yet doctors here and there can still apply treatments from 1963 and has the green light not to advance any further.

  3. #13
    Schmeky,

    In a nation of 1.2 billion (perhaps more now) people, there are bound to be charlatans. Think of how many charlatans there are in the United States with only 270 million people. There are probably five times as many in China. The style of medical practice in China is perhaps not that dissimilar from what it was in the United States 30-40 years ago, before the current emphasis on evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, and malpractice induced defensive medicine. Until recently, of course, because of the political and societal situation in China, most doctors were employees of institutions or government. Now, of course, with capitalism coming on strong in China, there are many medical entrepreneurs and people trying to sell therapies. It is not difficult for them to find willing and gullible consumers.

    DA, Dr. Huang is a very special man. He is not typical of the Chinese doctors. Having worked with him for several years, I know that he is exceptionally committed to curing spinal cord injury. He has pushed and taken risks with the OEG well beyond other doctors, no matter where they may be situated in the world. It was not easy to do what he did and he did so under heavy criticism and skepticism of his colleagues. This is to his credit and not necessarily, in my opinion, a reason to criticize or belittle American doctors.

    I told Dr. Huang and he knew before I told him that it is critical that he gather convincing data that the treatment works in humans. Even if he were to operate on 2 patients per day for the next 10 years, he can at most implant OEG cells into perhaps 6000 patients. There are probably several million people in China with spinal cord injury. He is trying very hard to get his paper published in a good "western" journal. I hope that he is successful.

    Incidentally, many of the best Chinese doctors and scientists in China trained in the United States and Europe. Over the last 10 years, most of the major research centers in the United States had many Chinese postdoctoral or graduate students. In many programs, they constitute a majority of trainees. They have sent their best students abroad. Until recently, most have remained overseas (like myself) but in the past decade most have been returning back to China to do their work. China is just now beginning to fund research in their univerisities and research funding is still very hard to come by.

    The top Chinese universities are as good as American universities in terms of the quality of their students. The premier universities have incredibly good students. If people think that it is hard to into Harvard or Berkeley, they should consider that most of the premier Chinese universities such as Beijing University accept about 10% of their applicants. Considering that Chinese high school students far outscore American students on scholastic achievement tests and there are five times more such students in China than in the United States, we should not be surprised if their research and perhaps even medical technology eventually surpasses ours. It is also of interest that many foreign students are applying to Chinese universities.

    America has been complacent about education and research, believing that nobody can overtake us. Well, it is happening. Beijing is the medical capitol of the most populous country on earth. Relatively unregulated but highly competitive, it is an environment that is likely to produce cutting edge medical therapies. In the meantime, the U.S. is falling significantly behind in many of the most critical areas of biology, including stem cells.

    Wise.

    [This message was edited by Wise Young on 06-18-03 at 12:38 PM.]

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