Human Exceptionalism

Here We Go Again: This Time Adult Stem Cells Treat Liver Disease

One day, you would think the New York Times would find this kind of story worthy of extended coverage. Bone marrow stem cells from patient’s own bodies have improved liver disease in three of five patients in early human trials.

“Within two months, the liver function and general health of three of the five patients improved significantly, according to a report in the New Scientist magazine. The two patients who did not respond showed no ill-effects from the treatment…The stem cells appear to home in on damaged areas of the liver and make repairs, although the process involved is not yet fully understood.

Nagy Habib, a surgeon at Imperial College, London, who led the trial, said of one of the patients, in his 60s: ‘At the outset, he had jaundice, vomited blood and had ascites – swelling caused by fluid around the liver.’ Two months later the jaundice had disappeared, while levels of albumin – a marker of healthy liver function – rose to normal.”

Pretty good stuff. If it were embryonic stem cells the front page headlines would be as bold as those that were seen on VJ-Day.