Great Breakthroughs in Adult Stem Cell Research

Chloe: “You saved my life”

At a National Press Club lunch in Washington D.C. yesterday  --  sponsored by the Bethesda Life Foundation which was founded by the president emeritus of the 16 million member Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, Dr. Morris Chapman   --  Dr. Jeong-Chan Ra, a prominent scientist and president of RNL Bio, introduced his new book, The Grace of Stem Cells: A Story of Science and Faith.

This writer had the privilege of sitting next to a couple of Dr. Ra’s patients, two outstanding young people, a brother and sister, who Dr. Ra has helped with the use of adult stem cells.  Their parents, both physicians in Long Beach, CA, found Dr. Ra through a doctor friend of theirs.  The bright and articulate young woman is mentioned in Dr. Ra’s new book in Case Study #8, title “Chloe Can Hear Again.”  At age 17, she had total deafness in left ear and hearing loss in right ear.  After receiving conventional treatment (steroids), she received three intravenous injections of stem cells over 15 days and had hearing restored to 50% in her left ear and 90% in her right ear.  At yesterday’s lunch, she seemed to have her full hearing restored. 

In his book Dr Ra writes:  “In the beginning, Chloe’s mother, who is herself a doctor, (like Chloe’s father is,) adamantly opposed the idea.  As she learned more about RNL Bio’s approach and how unlikely it was for Chloe’s cells to mutate or for a tumor to form inside Chloe’s body, she became confident in the procedure, as both a mother and a doctor, and gave Chloe her blessing.  Three months after the last stem cell injection, Chloe regained a significant amount of her hearing.  Incredibly, Chloe’s hearing was nearly normal a mere three months since the treatment.  Chloe’s mother called it a miracle and vowed to do everything she could to let the world know more about the wonders of stem cell treatment.  As for Chloe, she now has everything she needs to once again pursue her dream of becoming an opera singer.”

At the National Press Club lunch, Dr. Ra made the case that embryonic stem cell research is dead. He shared how adult stem cell research and development is an important pro-life issue which has multiple dimensions in the public policy debate about healthcare, jobs, science and technology, and education.  He spoke about the great successes of adult stem research; with cures in some 70 diseases. 

Dr. Ra explains in his book that he wishes to give hope to those who suffer from incurable diseases and to their families; to show stem cell  research in an accurate and positive light; and to encourage students in related fields to take greater interest in adult stem cell research. 

More political leaders need to follow the example of Texas Governor Rick Perry who met with Dr. Ra on March 16, 2011.  Dr. Ra stated in his book that Governor Perry promised that Texas would support adult stem cell research, development and patent application.  Governor Perry personally asked Dr. Ra that he focus on treating multiple sclerosis (MS)   --  which afflicts the Republican presidential candidate’s wife, Ann Romney  --  and to focus on other diseases for which modern medical science at present has no answer.   Dr. Ra writes that he reached a basic agreement for construction of a stem cell bank in Sugarland, Texas. 

In his introduction to The Grace of Stem Cells:  A Story of Science and Faith, Dr. Ra writes about speaking with a prominent American plastic surgeon who asked him, “Why do you think stem cell treatment research in South Korea is so much more advanced than the rest of the world?”  Dr. Ra replied, “The South Korean people have been interested in and have had the courage to explore stem cells and the possibilities they offer.”

It would behoove the Republicans in the United States Congress and in the states, and indeed, their allies on the other side of the aisle, to get behind adult stem cell research which will enable cures and recoveries in cases such as Dr Ra’s patient, Chloe, with whom I spoke.   In her talk at the National Press Club yesterday, Chloe looked at Dr. Ra in the audience and said with tears in her eyes:  “You saved my life.” 

Millions of afflicted Americans, and their families, will be grateful to the Republican Party, and their allies in the Democratic Party, if they would just get behind adult stem cell research and treatment. 

Like South Korea has already done, the United States needs to vastly increase adult stem cell research and treatment.  Groups such as the Bethesda Life Foundation intends to play a big role in making this happen.