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Thread: Cure for Parkinson’s disease in three years

  1. #1

    Cure for Parkinson’s disease in three years

    This is a catchy headline that is bound to attract readers but the subject is much more mundane and important. It reports the successful effort by the Roslin Institute to grow embryonic stem cells without using any animal products. The claim that they are the first to do so is inaccurate but nevertheless the article correctly emphasizes the importance of this problem. Until this problem of growing stem cells without animal products is solved, clinical trials of all kinds using stem cells will be difficult to initiate.

    Wise.

    http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=137359
    Cure for Parkinson’s disease in three years

    Wednesday March 15, 2006 (0149 PST)

    ISLAMABAD: A safe treatment for Parkinson’s disease could be available in as little as three years, thanks to new research in stem cell therapy.

    Scientists at Scotland’s Roslin Institute have managed for the first time to culture stem cells - which can differentiate themselves into any kind of human cell - without using animal-derived products, the daily Scotsman reported.

    Earlier, research had demonstrated that stem cells from pigs could help reverse symptoms of Parkinson’s disease when implanted in a sufferer’s brain.

    However, this carries the risk of the patient developing a deadly new cross-species disease which has potentially devastating consequences - for example, vCJD, which is a fatal new condition originating in animals.

    Previously, human stem cells - usually derived from embryos, angering the pro-life lobby - have been grown in a culture of animal tissue, also risking cross-species contamination.

    But Roslin scientists, led by Paul De Sousa, have managed to culture stem cells from donated embryos - which, in this case, are the "surplus" from fertility treatment - in a medium derived from human tissue, the first time this has been done in the world.

    They are now looking to create a way of mass-producing stem cells, as millions are required to repair damage to the brain.

    De Sousa said he believed that, in three to five years, following further research in animals, it should be possible to start implanting human stem cells in patients affected by Parkinson’s disease.

    He said: "We are still away - it’s one thing to produce the cells. Now myself and other groups need to be efficiently producing the types of cells in the culture dish that are useful for treatment.

    "We’ve got to walk before we can run. We’re talking another three to five years before we could be at the point where we have enough pre-clinical animal model data to have some confidence in the cells we can put into people."

    Producing stem cells without using any animal-derived tissue is a crucial step because it prevents the possibility of cross-species disease.

    "If stem cells are ever going to be useful for people, we have got to find a way to produce them safely and efficiently," De Sousa said.

    "For the most part, the state of the field as it had stood was that there was a reliance on either animal cells or products from animal tissues.

    "We have isolated four (cell lines) to date and one of these four has been isolated in a completely different media - a coating of a human protein, normally found on the outside of cells that helps cells stick together.

    "There is no direct exposure to animal cells or to animal tissue-derived products such as serum."

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    How about a cure for SCI in 3 years, with or without animal products.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky
    How about a cure for SCI in 3 years, with or without animal products.
    Schmeky,

    It will have to be without animal products. It will have to be with clinical trials. And it has to be with the participation of academia, government, and industry. All this has become clear in the last three years. In the spinal cord injury community, we have been guilty of wishful thinking, believing that a cure will arrive without all three components, that it can proceed fast without sufficient funding, and that it will arrive all by itself. It needs knowledgeable and committed help from the community.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky
    How about a cure for SCI in 3 years, with or without animal products.
    Funny how you asked about a cure for SCI in 3 years because I was thinking about something that Dr.Young stated on a radio broadcast when he was here in Australia in 2003. I think he said that if SCI research was receiving the funds that AIDS research is getting that the therapy would be here in 3 years, but on the downside, he also stated that with the amount of resources being received back then, it could take up to twenty years! I hope that we all don't have to wait another 17 years.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Schmeky,

    It will have to be without animal products. It will have to be with clinical trials. And it has to be with the participation of academia, government, and industry. All this has become clear in the last three years. In the spinal cord injury community, we have been guilty of wishful thinking, believing that a cure will arrive without all three components, that it can proceed fast without sufficient funding, and that it will arrive all by itself. It needs knowledgeable and committed help from the community.

    Wise.
    Dr. Young,

    I was being flippant, sorry. I am well aware of how the progression towards treatments will take place. Impossible in three years, I know.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky
    Dr. Young,

    I was being flippant, sorry. I am well aware of how the progression towards treatments will take place. Impossible in three years, I know.
    Schmeky,

    I am sorry, too, for getting on a high horse there. But I sincerely believe that we will achieve therapies that will provide real gains of function for people with chronic spinal cord injury within 3 years, perhaps not cures and perhaps not approved by the FDA yet but nevertheless rigorous evidence of therapeutic efficacy.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stlyin moe's Avatar
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    Wise,

    I'll buy you a 40 horse team of Clydesdayles so you can have all the high horses you need if what you said comes to fruition. Only downside is it's a lot of cleaning up and feeding to do...
    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by zokarkan
    Funny how you asked about a cure for SCI in 3 years because I was thinking about something that Dr.Young stated on a radio broadcast when he was here in Australia in 2003. I think he said that if SCI research was receiving the funds that AIDS research is getting that the therapy would be here in 3 years, but on the downside, he also stated that with the amount of resources being received back then, it could take up to twenty years! I hope that we all don't have to wait another 17 years.
    I found a transcript of that interview and it states that scientists would get the therapy in three years, not that it would be here in three years. I apologize to you Dr.Young, I posred the other thing of the top of my head. Here is a link to the transcript if anyine is interested.

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s771627.htm

  9. #9
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Schmeky,

    I am sorry, too, for getting on a high horse there. But I sincerely believe that we will achieve therapies that will provide real gains of function for people with chronic spinal cord injury within 3 years, perhaps not cures and perhaps not approved by the FDA yet but nevertheless rigorous evidence of therapeutic efficacy.

    Wise.

    Are you referring to proof of concept? Or actual limited applications to humans? Significant difference.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky
    Are you referring to proof of concept? Or actual limited applications to humans? Significant difference.
    schmeky, I mean what I said... rigorous proof of efficacy in human. Actual FDA approval, adoption by doctors, and insurance coverage may come later. I can only try to predict the science, assuming of course that clinical trial funding is available.

    The clinical trial funding issue is very frustrating to me because I keep hearing people complaining about the cure not being here and they are giving up but they are not pushing as hard as they can for clinical trial funding in the United States.

    While $100 million for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act is not enough, it is better than nothing and is a good start. It is also an investment in the future. I don't understand when I hear people say that they do not support cure research for future generations.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 03-18-2006 at 05:08 PM.

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