Friday, May 25, 2012

Actor Recants Embryonic Stem Cells for Parkinson's Cure

Hollywood celebrity Michael J. Fox, after helping Democrats like Sen. Claire McCaskill gain control of Congress in 2006 (and ultimately the White House in 2008) by hyping the promise that embryonic stem cell research would cure many of the worse diseases, now believes embryos are a virtual dead-end in that regard.

For background, read Stem Cell Hopes: Oprah & Michael J. Fox Ambushed and also read Stem Cell Science Advances Without Embryos as well as Embryonic Stem Cells Fail Where Other Research Advances

-- From "Michael J. Fox sidelines stem cells for Parkinson's" by Peter Aldhous, New Scientist 5/22/12

For years, actor Michael J. Fox was on the front line of the US's "stem cell wars", arguing that embryonic stem cells could cure conditions like his own – Parkinson's disease.

Last week Fox revealed he now believes that other lines of research hold more promise. "There have been some issues with stem cells, some problems along the way," Fox told ABC News. "An answer may come from stem cell research but it's more than likely to come from another area."

The Michael J. Fox Foundation, based in New York City, is still backing stem cell research, says its chief scientific adviser, Gene Johnson of Washington University in St Louis, but has shifted its emphasis in recent years. "Using stem cells as therapeutic agents is a very complicated business," Johnson says.

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From "Michael J. Fox Sees the Light on Embryonic Stem Cell Research" by Rebecca Taylor, 5/23/12

This is no surprise for those of us who were paying attention during the stem cell frenzy of the last decade. We remember the irony that in 2006, Michael J. Fox endorsed Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democratic candidate for United States Senate.

Fox told viewers of a TV ad that McCaskill supported stem cell research that could provide a cure for his Parkinson’s disease. McCaskill, a Catholic, is an ardent champion of embryonic stem cell research.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Michael J. Fox Admits Embryonic Stem Cells Likely Won’t Cure Him" by Steven Ertelt, 5/18/12

“It’s not so much that [stem cell research has] diminished in its prospects for breakthroughs as much as it’s the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research but it’s more than likely to come from another area,” [Fox] said.

Fox is just the latest big research advocate to admit embryonic stem cells are not helping patients now and probably won’t any time in the near future. Earlier this year, Komen for the Cure quietly changed its position on funding agencies that are engaged in embryonic stem cell research.

More recently, Komen also released a new statement on embryonic stem cell research — saying such research shows “no promise” when it comes to finding cures or treatments for breast cancer. In fact, embryonic stem cells themselves have never been tried on human patients because of massive problems such as the formation of tumors and immune system rejection issues — whereas adult stem cells have helped patients dealing with more than 100 diseases or medical conditions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.