April 25, 2008

Doing Good with Menstrual Blood

If this is true, it's astonishing.

Menstrual  Blood: A Valuable Source of Multipotential Stem Cells
Researchers seeking new and more abundant sources of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine have identified a potentially unlimited, noncontroversial, easily collectable, and inexpensive source -- menstrual blood.
Stromal stem cells derived from menstrual blood exhibit stem cell properties, such as the capacity for self-renewal and multipotency," said Amit N. Patel, MD, MS, Director of Cardiac Cell Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. "Uterine stromal cells have similar multipotent markers found in bone marrow stem cells and originate in part from bone marrow."

A day later, a Japanese study shows that cells from menstrual blood may be useful in repairing heart damage.

The success rate is 100 times higher than the 0.2 to 0.3 percent for stem cells taken from human bone marrow, researcher Shunichiro Miyoshi, a cardiologist at Keio University's school of medicine, told French news agency AFP.

There's even a company that's begun menstrual blood banking!

It wasn't so long ago that the public and scientific consensus was that stem cells could only be harvested from human embryos. 

I'm not the only one who remembers the hysteria that surrounded President  Bush's decision not to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 

Charles Krauthammer does in Technology Vindicates Morality.    So does the Anchoress who reminds us that embryonic stem cells have produced nightmarish results in the lab and never had a successful application.

So far there have been 73 successful treatments using adult stem cells and none for embryonic stem cells.

Doing good by doing no harm works.

Posted by Jill Fallon at April 25, 2008 1:18 PM | Permalink