StemCells Inc. Gets FDA Approval to Use Stem Cells from Aborted Babies in Macular Degeneration Trial

StemCells Inc. has been given permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to proceed with a controversial trial that will involve taking stem cells from babies that have been aborted and injecting these stem cells into the eyes macular degeneration sufferers, according to OneNewsNow.

A recent report from OneNewsNow’s website indicated that StemCells’ trial will involve injecting stem cells derived from aborted babies’ brain tissue into the eyes of up to 16 trial participants who have macular degeneration. StemCells will then determine whether or not the procedure has any impact on their vision.

While StemCells has secured FDA approval and can move forward with the trial, not everyone is in favor of the development. Family Research Council (FRC) is one organization that definitely does not approve. It not only questioned the FDA decision, but also suggested that there are other ways to treat macular degeneration.

Dr. David Prentice, a spokesperson for FRC, said in the article that there are lots of ethical issues that come into play when utilizing stem cells from aborted children. He explained, among other things, that previous tests employing cells from aborted babies led to various complications such as the formation of tumors in some patients. He went on to say that patients receiving the stem cells are like modern day “guinea pigs.”

According to Dr. Prentice, a disastrous 2001 study that involved employing fetal stem cells to help sufferers of Parkinson’s disease should not be forgotten. The article cited a New York Times report on the in which the newspaper said that the end result of the 2001 study was nothing short of  “devastating.”

According to Dr. Prentice, there are numerous ethical alternatives that can be pursued to treat macular degeneration patients. Adult stem cells from bone marrow or from other tissues have been proven to be effective, he continued, adding that companies interested in using such ethical methods are waiting to secure FDA go-head so that they can launch patient trials of their own. He added in the article that adult stem cells have successfully been used to treat dozens of medical conditions and ailments.



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