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Thread: Patients warned about unproven spinal surgery

  1. #1

    Patients warned about unproven spinal surgery

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...l/440850b.html

    Critics attack Chinese treatment despite anecdotal successes.

    Pressure is mounting on a Beijing neurosurgeon to prove that his popular treatment for spinal-cord injury works. In an article published last month, a group of spinal experts concludes that the treatment, which involves implanting fetal cells into the spine to promote nerve-cell regeneration, has significant side effects and does not provide any benefit.

    Hongyun Huang's technique is based on the theory that olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which normally help to link nerve cells in the nose and the brain, can help regenerate nerve cells at the site of an injury. Since 2001, Huang, who works at Chaoyang Hospital, has treated around 600 patients with tissue from aborted fetuses that he says contain OECs (see Nature 437, 810–811; 2005).

    Three spinal-cord experts have now published a critique of his methods (B. H. Dobkin, A. Curt and J. Guest Neurorehabil. Neural Repair 20, 5–13; 2006); the researchers followed seven of Huang's patients before and after treatment, reviewed his publications and visited his lab.

    They say Huang's surgical techniques are good. But despite Huang reporting at a February 2004 meeting that there had been no adverse effects of more than 500 implantations, the researchers found that five of the seven patients experienced side effects including meningitis. They also question whether the cells used by Huang are OECs. "We don't know what those cells are but they are not pure OECs," says first author Bruce Dobkin, a neurorehabilitation specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  2. #2
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    Question Patients warned about unproven spinal surgery

    http://www.nature.com/news/2006/0604...l/440850b.html


    Patients warned about unproven spinal surgery

    Pressure is mounting on a Beijing neurosurgeon to prove that his popular treatment for spinal-cord injury works. In an article published ...
    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ta...cord+treatment
    Have anybody seen this issue of Nature and what this is about?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for moving my thread, I was to quick and didn't see this thread... 600 Patients???

  4. #4
    I think all doctors offering invasive procedures should be called to do this - exploitation can then be avoided

  5. #5

    Complete Article

    I was able to obtain the complete article. I have posted the pdf for those who are interested.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  6. #6
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    Another one is going

    (Thanks cheesecake).

    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...d=968332188492

    Sisters put faith in surgery
    Disabling crash crushed their bodies and dreams
    They're willing to try controversial procedure in China
    Apr. 17, 2006. 06:28 AM
    STAN JOSEY
    STAFF REPORTER

    The first thing that catches your eye as you enter the spacious family room of the Deering home in Port Perry is the attractive young woman with her hands strapped to an exercise machine.

    As her arms move the machine in slow, rhythmic circles, the next thing you notice is the number of trophies, medals and sports memorabilia lining the walls and fireplace mantle.

    This is Shannon and Erica Deering's special home, built by community members whose hearts were touched two years ago when a car accident left the sisters paralyzed from mid-chest down, with only partial use of their arms and hands.

    <sci>

    They are pinning their hopes on a Chinese procedure called neuroregeneration, repair and function recovery. It involves transplanting cells from the nasal lining of aborted fetuses to the spinal cord injury site in the hopes the cells will encourage regeneration of the cord.

    "It doesn't replace the spinal cord cells but it encourages growth of new cells," Shannon says.

    Xishan Hospital Neurological Disorders and Research Centre in Beijing claims the procedure has enabled patients to recover neurological function. But the treatment is controversial since it involves harvesting tissue similar to stem cells from aborted fetuses.

    And while hundreds have flocked to the clinic for treatment, there is no clinical proof that Huang's method works.

    Huang's skeptics say his approach has not been subjected to rigorous tests and some accuse him of exploiting desperate victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and spinal cord injuries.

    "I haven't come across anyone in the field who considers his procedures safe and effective," says Professor Geoffrey Raisman of the Institute of Neurology at the University of London who is doing pioneering research in the use of these special olfactory cells in spinal cord regeneration.

    And since the procedure has not been tested to North American standards, no private or public health insurance benefits are available to the Deerings or others seeking the treatment.

    More.
    [/quote]
    The last part of this article is not quite correct is it? I am thinking of the original thread here? It is tested now and criticised by American experts I mean.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 04-21-2006 at 05:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif
    (Thanks cheesecake).

    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...d=968332188492

    The last part of this article is not quite correct is it? I am thinking of the original thread here? It is tested now and criticised by American experts I mean.

    The article got several things wrong. First, the cells do not come from "nasal linings" but from the olfactory bulb. Second, this is probably the largest study of its kind, of any cell transplant therapy. Third, he has tried numerous times to publish the work. What can he do? People are refusing to believe his claim that the procedure is safe, improves sensation in most patients and has had only modest motor improvements. Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 04-21-2006 at 05:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    I’m not sure if I understand here – are you saying that this procedure actually improves sensation in most patients?

    I can see at the end of the above report it says “based on the observations in this series of 7 subjects, the safety and efficacy of Dr. Huang’s implantation procedure in unclear”. I also read that the scientists in the reports calls for international standards for trail methodologies – easy for them to say I guess.

  9. #9
    Hi Lief, I believe the average degree of recovery was 2-4 dermatomes of sensation and 1-1.5 motor levels.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif
    I’m not sure if I understand here – are you saying that this procedure actually improves sensation in most patients?

    I can see at the end of the above report it says “based on the observations in this series of 7 subjects, the safety and efficacy of Dr. Huang’s implantation procedure in unclear”. I also read that the scientists in the reports calls for international standards for trail methodologies – easy for them to say I guess.
    Leif,

    I have posted extensively on the procedure and recovery of patients, including a study that Dr. Huang has published in a Chinese Medical Journal of the first 171 patients that he operated on. In the past four years, I have seem perhaps 80 or more of his patients during my various visits to Dr. Huang. A majority have reported improved sensation, particularly pinprick and touch sensation 4 or more dermatomes below the injury site. Motor recovery has been modest, usually part of a segmental level. Some patients have had more motor recovery but it is difficult to tell whether the recovery is related to the people trying harder to walk and doing more exercise. I believe that a dozen or so people from CareCure have had the transplants. If you do a search for oeg or boeg03 or boeg04 (I put these keywords into the topics where people have reported their experiences in Beijing), you should find a lot of posts on the subject.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 04-22-2006 at 11:50 AM.

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