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Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1431
    Quote Originally Posted by Quad62 View Post
    Hi Han Solo, you are not wrong. Davies pulled the wool over all the CareCure hopefuls who had put great faith in him because of what he said himself. He used them to only to solicit funds for his lab research and career.

    To paraphrase a poster, "is there is a member here who is unable to see the truth or is the member too proud to say mea culpa?" The answer is not that it's too early to make a definitive conclusion. The answer is it doesn't matter. Davies is done and gone far, far away.

    I have been injured for five longer years than you. I can say Davies will not come out well. I can't say something else will come out well, even a little well, in the near future (even beyond the perpetual five-year window horizon) even with all the other things going on (all versions of epidural stimulation, in vivo, neural stem cells, etc.). I keep hoping on though. Sorry, I can't be any more hopeful than that. Hope we all have other life interests in family, hobbies keeping us alive and kicking.
    Hi Quad62,

    Why all of the anger? How can you be so sure? Han said he hopes he was wrong and "all comes out well". Davies reported incredible results with rats, both with GDA BMPs (guided stem cells, not naive stem cells) and also Decorin. I did some digging and his work with Decorin has been replicated at the University of Birmingham in the UK by Ann Logan, et al:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?...al+cord+wounds

    From the abstract: "Decorin also promoted the regeneration of similar numbers of axons through acute and chronic wounds. Accordingly, intrathecal delivery of Decorin offers a potential translatable treatment for scar tissue attenuation in patients with spinal cord injury."

    This paper in "Neurobiology of Disease" from April 2014 clearly supports Davies' research. It seems to me that Davies was right about Decorin. I, for one, will be very interested to see what comes of his work in Australia.

    Cheers,
    Charley
    T-6 Complete, 9-1/2 years

  2. #1432
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    Hi Han,

    I can understand your feelings. There was at least one group that tried to replicate Daveis' work without success. The question is why were they unable? Did Davies fabricate data, or did the other group overlook something important? It's too early at this point to make a definitive conclusion.

    Best,
    Charley
    It's a bit difficult to follow Charlie. His last paper published was some 8 years ago now. He left the U.S. a couple years ago and there were actually two labs working on replication of which neither one could replicate his major findings. They were Giles Plant (Stanford) and Itzhak Fischer (Drexel). There doesn't seem to be much interest in him or that line of research anymore since it kinda took the back roads so to speak. There's only so much money to spend on SCI research and if something isn't showing enough promise in the field, there isn't a whole lot of additional money thrown at the "why didn't it work" questions. The science and the funding simply move on to greener pastures. If you read further about him at Foley, it appears they have his career geared more toward "Stroke" now anyway. http://www.florey.edu.au/research/ne...ials-australia
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 02-25-2016 at 05:45 AM.

  3. #1433
    Charley, Grammy echoes my thoughts. Many people on our online forum ( myself included) donated in good faith and when questions were asked we received silence. Anger is justified when deceptive tactics are used.

  4. #1434
    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    It's a bit difficult to follow Charlie. His last paper published was some 8 years ago now. He left the U.S. a couple years ago and there were actually two labs working on replication of which neither one could replicate his major findings. They were Giles Plant (Stanford) and Itzhak Fischer (Drexel). There doesn't seem to be much interest in him or that line of research anymore since it kinda took the back roads so to speak. There's only so much money to spend on SCI research and if something isn't showing enough promise in the field, there isn't a whole lot of additional money thrown at the "why didn't it work" questions. The science and the funding simply move on to greener pastures. If you read further about him at Foley, it appears they have his career geared more toward "Stroke" now anyway. http://www.florey.edu.au/research/ne...ials-australia
    Hi Grammy,

    OK, now we have two studies that showed Decorin with significant results and two studies that didn't. Again, the question is "why?" Now we can be clear that Davies didn't simply fabricate data - unless one would believe that he paid Ann Logan's lab to also fabricate data. That strongly suggests that both the Plant and Fischer studies differed in some way from the Davies and Logan studies. It's difficult to draw conclusions, but I would speculate that performing these kinds of experiments is extremely tricky. Care and preciseness of technique become extremely important, and these studies are clearly difficult to perform.

    I think one would have to actually be involved directly in the work to understand all of the variables that must be controlled, and how difficult that can be. I work in a completely different field and often see null results from less careful experimenters. We are not doing published research, but nonetheless are extremely methodical and careful at each step. It is the only way to achieve reliable data.

    I agree that there is very little money available for SCI research. Unfortunately the entire medical research process is completely broken, in my opinion. It is dominated by impossibly huge private industry - "big pharma". Yet their sole interest is in making profit. That is why their marketing budgets are typically over double their R&D budgets. In addition there are two problems with private industry developing an approach to treating SCI:

    1) The number of potential customers is minute - only 11,000 per year in the US. Cancer is 1000x more profitable a field.

    2) The last thing that "big pharma" wants is to cure anybody of anything. That would be a one-time sale! Their ideal product is a band-aid that treats the symptoms well enough to keep the patient alive and taking it every day for the rest of their lives - things like blood-pressure medication, cholesterol-lowering medication, diabetes medications, et cetera. That is where all the research is, as that is where all the profit lies. Even cancer is far more profitable. They can charge lots of money for treatments that require years of therapy.

    That leaves government funding as the only viable source of money. The Republican party seems to be determined to dismantle every branch of government that exists. The NIH budget suffered woefully during GWB's two terms. It is up somewhat under Obama, but not a lot. Then there is the question of how to allocate the funds. Peer-review committees are set up, but now there are new conflicts of interests. The only people qualified to judge the merits of a proposal are people working in the same field. Yet they are human being, and like the rest of us, not yet perfect. They are subject to all of the human emotions - jealousy, greed, envy, avarice, et cetera.

    When presented with a truly great research proposal, several possibilities exist. One would hope that the greatness would be recognized and the study funded. But if that funding comes at the expense of the reviewer's own funding, then there is an inherent conflict right off the bat. Another problem may be that the reviewer's biases are such that they don't believe that a study is valid when in fact it is. Or they may recognized its validity but be envious that they didn't come up with the idea first. Simply put, there are more ways for the process to go wrong than right.

    The same considerations apply to researchers trying to replicate experiments. One would hope that there would be honest and diligent attempts to validate the original research. Yet there is little reward in doing so. It simply gives more recognition to the original researcher. We all remember that Einstein theoretically predicted that gravity could affect the path of massless photons, but does anybody remember the researcher who confirmed this experimentally, decades after Einstein's death?

    Yes we all would hope that the researchers are selfless human beings, with no other interest than getting us out of our chairs. Yet when someone acts in a truly selfless way - such as Mother Teresa - it is so rare that she is literally nominated for sainthood. It's a lot to expect that a researcher be smart enough to achieve the unthinkable - regeneration of the human CNS. But now we also expect them to act as saints besides?

    In the end each of us has to make our own decisions on who to support, and for what reasons. It's no different in many ways than choosing which politician to support, or which musical group to like, or even which person to marry. Each of us will make different choices, based on different reasons. I have strongly supported Dr. Davies in the past and continue to do so. I don't know of any other therapy that has achieved comparable results - both functionally and in terms of quantifiable regeneration of damaged tissue. YMMV.

    Best,
    Charley

  5. #1435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    Hi Grammy,

    OK, now we have two studies that showed Decorin with significant results and two studies that didn't. Again, the question is "why?" Now we can be clear that Davies didn't simply fabricate data - unless one would believe that he paid Ann Logan's lab to also fabricate data. That strongly suggests that both the Plant and Fischer studies differed in some way from the Davies and Logan studies. It's difficult to draw conclusions, but I would speculate that performing these kinds of experiments is extremely tricky. Care and preciseness of technique become extremely important, and these studies are clearly difficult to perform.

    I think one would have to actually be involved directly in the work to understand all of the variables that must be controlled, and how difficult that can be. I work in a completely different field and often see null results from less careful experimenters. We are not doing published research, but nonetheless are extremely methodical and careful at each step. It is the only way to achieve reliable data.

    I agree that there is very little money available for SCI research. Unfortunately the entire medical research process is completely broken, in my opinion. It is dominated by impossibly huge private industry - "big pharma". Yet their sole interest is in making profit. That is why their marketing budgets are typically over double their R&D budgets. In addition there are two problems with private industry developing an approach to treating SCI:

    1) The number of potential customers is minute - only 11,000 per year in the US. Cancer is 1000x more profitable a field.

    2) The last thing that "big pharma" wants is to cure anybody of anything. That would be a one-time sale! Their ideal product is a band-aid that treats the symptoms well enough to keep the patient alive and taking it every day for the rest of their lives - things like blood-pressure medication, cholesterol-lowering medication, diabetes medications, et cetera. That is where all the research is, as that is where all the profit lies. Even cancer is far more profitable. They can charge lots of money for treatments that require years of therapy.

    That leaves government funding as the only viable source of money. The Republican party seems to be determined to dismantle every branch of government that exists. The NIH budget suffered woefully during GWB's two terms. It is up somewhat under Obama, but not a lot. Then there is the question of how to allocate the funds. Peer-review committees are set up, but now there are new conflicts of interests. The only people qualified to judge the merits of a proposal are people working in the same field. Yet they are human being, and like the rest of us, not yet perfect. They are subject to all of the human emotions - jealousy, greed, envy, avarice, et cetera.

    When presented with a truly great research proposal, several possibilities exist. One would hope that the greatness would be recognized and the study funded. But if that funding comes at the expense of the reviewer's own funding, then there is an inherent conflict right off the bat. Another problem may be that the reviewer's biases are such that they don't believe that a study is valid when in fact it is. Or they may recognized its validity but be envious that they didn't come up with the idea first. Simply put, there are more ways for the process to go wrong than right.

    The same considerations apply to researchers trying to replicate experiments. One would hope that there would be honest and diligent attempts to validate the original research. Yet there is little reward in doing so. It simply gives more recognition to the original researcher. We all remember that Einstein theoretically predicted that gravity could affect the path of massless photons, but does anybody remember the researcher who confirmed this experimentally, decades after Einstein's death?

    Yes we all would hope that the researchers are selfless human beings, with no other interest than getting us out of our chairs. Yet when someone acts in a truly selfless way - such as Mother Teresa - it is so rare that she is literally nominated for sainthood. It's a lot to expect that a researcher be smart enough to achieve the unthinkable - regeneration of the human CNS. But now we also expect them to act as saints besides?

    In the end each of us has to make our own decisions on who to support, and for what reasons. It's no different in many ways than choosing which politician to support, or which musical group to like, or even which person to marry. Each of us will make different choices, based on different reasons. I have strongly supported Dr. Davies in the past and continue to do so. I don't know of any other therapy that has achieved comparable results - both functionally and in terms of quantifiable regeneration of damaged tissue. YMMV.

    Best,
    Charley
    This post clarifies your position on Stephen Davies perfectly. Comparing Stephen Davies to Mother Teresa is just bat-shit crazy. What makes Stephen Davies any better or more honorable than all of these other evil intented scientists looking to hold him back? There is much evidence showing that he is far less honorable than most of his peers.

  6. #1436
    Quote Originally Posted by nrf View Post
    There is much evidence showing that he is far less honorable than most of his peers.
    Hi N,

    Such as?

    Thanks,
    Charley

  7. #1437
    The Republican party seems to be determined to dismantle every branch of government that exists.




    I am am never convinced any one issue is handled poorly by any one party. In 2001 Bill Clinton signed a really stupid piece of legislation into law called the Ambassador Fund. Suppose to provide good will gestures in foreign countries to preserve things deemed culturally significant, including churches and mosques. Ten years later we all witnessed the gratitude for our "good will". Fifteen billion dollars in 2010 alone spent on good will gestures. No idea what the total was for the 10 years, but it included 750 million dollars on a new sewer system in Egypt where American engineering fixed the problem of a rising water table, it included millions restoring a church in China during a time they wasted money and materials building ghost towns to falsely inflate their GDP; this could go on and on. I am pretty sure Flint, Michigan wouldn't mind a piece of that 750 million to help fix their water troubles and they would probably appreciate it more than the brotherhood in Cairo appreciated us keeping a mosque from falling in a sinkhole. Unfortunately, there is only so much money and if we spend it on stupid stuff then we don't have it to spend on important things. Perhaps, we could go on a letter writing campaign to have all of this funding permanently redirected to the NIH for the sole purpose of spinal cord research and clinical trials. We would definitely be more appreciative of this money being spent as research dollars. I, for one, could care less if any old building, statue, or document falls in a hole and considering how much money we give to the United Nations. . . enough is enough.
    please . . .test what you already know; and give us what you have. we may not be dying, but we certainly are not living either

  8. #1438
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicksdad View Post
    enough is enough.
    Hi Nick's Dad,

    I agree completely and it would seem that the majority of the country feels this way - hence the current situation where the two "outsiders" are beating the established candidates. It is clear that both parties are beholden to special-interest groups and not to the people whom they are actually supposed to represent. One of the best things I have seen is a non-partisan movement called Represent Us:

    https://represent.us/

    If you scroll down the screen you will see two short videos, one called "The Problem" and the other called "The Solution". I think this is the best hope for the future of our country, regardless of where one falls in the political spectrum.

    Cheers,
    Charley

  9. #1439
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    Hi Nick's Dad,

    I agree completely and it would seem that the majority of the country feels this way - hence the current situation where the two "outsiders" are beating the established candidates. It is clear that both parties are beholden to special-interest groups and not to the people whom they are actually supposed to represent. One of the best things I have seen is a non-partisan movement called Represent Us:

    https://represent.us/

    If you scroll down the screen you will see two short videos, one called "The Problem" and the other called "The Solution". I think this is the best hope for the future of our country, regardless of where one falls in the political spectrum.

    Cheers,
    Charley

    They are definitely saying what most of us are thinking.
    I believe Senator Rubio was the sponsor for the legislation that declared September as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Maybe, he'll rescue the NIH just for us? :-)
    please . . .test what you already know; and give us what you have. we may not be dying, but we certainly are not living either

  10. #1440
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicksdad View Post
    They are definitely saying what most of us are thinking.
    I believe Senator Rubio was the sponsor for the legislation that declared September as Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Maybe, he'll rescue the NIH just for us? :-)
    I was not aware that September had been declared "National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month". So much for "awareness". It was a resolution - not legislation. Legislation is for laws, and this resolution "does not have the force of law", according to www. govtrack.us. It was originally sponsored by Marco Rubio (R-FL) and cosponsored by Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the Senate and designated September 2011 only. It was passed by "unanimous consent". The following year, Rubio sponsored the almost the same resolution by himself (no co-sponsors). This time he said that a person is paralyzed every 48 minutes, a 60-fold reduction from the previous year, where he claimed a person is paralyzed every 48 seconds. Even though it lacked the force of law, it apparently had a dramatic effect. Too bad they didn't do it a third year, as perhaps he would have reduced it to once every 48 hours. (sarcasm)

    The only time that a politician seems to do something is when it affects them directly. I heard they finally added diabetic foot wounds to the conditions approved for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) after a period of ~40 years because a Texas legislator had a family member with the condition. I suppose one tactic would be to inflict an SCI on a prominent lawmaker... You didn't see Christopher Reeve working for SCI's until he suffered one himself.... It's just part of being human. It's hard to imagine how hard it is until it happens to you.

    Hang in there!
    Charley

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