The journal Science has published a letter by Dr. David Prentice, the founding member of the DoNoHarm Coalition, and its communications director about treating diseases with adult stem cells. Last July Science published an article attacking Dr. Prentice and DoNoHarm for its claim that over 72 diseases have been treated with adult stem cells. It was published right before congress first voted to expand funding for ESC research. I can’t access either of the letters from Science because a paying membership is required, but here is what the DoNoHarm website has to say:
The authors of the original attack piece judged claims by Prentice that adult stem cells had helped human patients for the diseases and conditions listed as “simply untenable.” But as the current rebuttal points out, two of the original authors, William Neaves and Steven Teitelbaum, are themselves “founding members of a political group whose Web site lists over 70 conditions that ‘could someday be treated or cured’ using embryonic stem cells.” Moreover, the rebuttal further notes, this Neaves/Teitelbaum list “is based on no evidence of benefit in any human patient from embryonic stem cells and little evidence for its claims in animal models.” While the Prentice/Tarne rebuttal calls for “careful scrutiny” of all scientific claims regarding stem cells, it further notes that such scrutiny “should be directed equally to all sides.”
It also says that the Dr.’s letter is accompanied by a comprehensive online supplement documenting — from the peer-reviewed scientific literature — evidence of therapeutic benefit to human patients who have received an adult stem cell (including cord blood stem cell) treatment for the diseases listed on its website. This part is accessible and you can find it here: Supporting Online Material for “Treating Diseases with Adult Stem Cells”.
No doubt publications like Science, who actively promote ESC and cloning research, would like to ignore or at least downplay the number advancements made using adult stem cells, but it is just simply irresponsible to do so, especially when they list the same number of potential treatments that could maybe one day be achieved using ESCs.