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Using His OWN Adult Stem Cells...
Texas Governor Rick Perry, has Successful Surgery! - -

,  2011-08-07 14:37:59-04  - The Texas Tribune

Texas Governor Rick Perry received an injection of his own adult stem cells during spinal fusion surgery last month and wants his state to be a leader in the use of adult stem cells in medical treatment.

Perry and a state representative who has multiple sclerosis championed a healthcare bill that created an adult stem cell bank in Texas.

A month after Perry signed that bill into law, his friend, Stanley Jones, MD, a Houston-based orthopedist, performed spinal fusion surgery on the governor using Perry's own adult stem cells to treat a recurring spinal injury, according to an article in the Texas Tribune.

The Tribune also said that Jones is a major advocate for adult stem cell therapy: Jones says he was cured of his debilitating arthritis after receiving injections of his own adult stem cells in Japan. Following the surgery, according to the Texas Tribune, Perry and Jones reportedly urged the Texas Medical Board to hold a meeting to explore ways to regulate the procedure in Texas.

The procedure is similar to spinal fusion surgery using a piece of bone harvested from the patient's own iliac crest to fuse two or more vertebrae. However, mesenchymal stem cells have a higher stem cell concentration than what is found in the iliac crest.

Mesenchymal or adult stem cells differ from iliac bone cells because they are multipotent, meaning they can turn into bone, fat, cartilage, muscle, and skin.

Nick Shamie, MD, president of the American College of Spine Surgery and an associate professor at UCLA, said he used a similar method in patients and has had "numerous" examples of success.

In one case, Shamie treated a young woman who was suffering from painful vertebra slippage for 12 years. He used her own stem cells to fuse her spine, and two-and-a-half months after surgery she is pain-free, he told MedPage Today.

And, he added that the idea of using one's own stem cells to cure an ailment -- "self healing self" as he phrased it -- is a "very real possibility" and a "technology that the United States should actively be pursuing."

"Although this is a promising technology for the future, at this point there is minimal evidence that it is effective in humans," he said in an email. Still, others like Peterson are waiting to see how the new technology evolves. "It will be interesting to see just what happens in this case and hopefully many more cases to come," he said.


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