NEW ORLEANS (CNS) — In 2013, the University of Kansas took a lead role in adult stem-cell research by establishing the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center.

David Prentice, a member of the center’s advisory board, gave an overview of several breakthroughs in the use of adult stems cells to an audience at the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans.

He provided almost a dozen examples in his July 10 presentation on “Adult Stem Cells: Saving Lives Now” and included photos of some of those who have benefited from such protocols.

Prentice is vice president and research director for the Washington-based Charlotte Lozier Institute — the education and research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

Here are the cases he highlighted in his address:

— A woman grew an entirely new bladder made from her own adult stem cells.

— A woman initially told by her doctors that she would have to have her leg amputated kept the leg after her own bone marrow was enlisted to grow new blood vessels in the diseased limb.

— A man who lost part of his jaw to cancer regrew his jawbone, has no lingering signs of disfigurement and was able to eat his first solid meal in nine years.

— A young girl with a perpetual “soft spot” on her head successfully grew bone over the spot, thanks to adult stem cells taken from her own fat tissue.

— Damaged corneal tissue has been successfully regenerated, restoring vision.

— In one published case, a man with Parkinson’s disease was treated with adult stem cells taken from his own brain and has had no symptoms of the disease for five years.

— Genetic skin diseases also are being treated successfully. One new technique involves the spraying of adult stem cells onto third-degree burns to generate fresh skin growth in half the time of a traditional skin graft.

— Paralyzed individuals and stroke patients have seen improvements in mobility after being treated with stem cells from their nasal tissue.

— Promising trials are taking place in the treatment of juvenile diabetes. In one current trial, 21 out of 24 patients are in total remission.

— A man suffering from multiple sclerosis has had no symptoms of the disease nine years after receiving adult stem cell therapy. One ongoing trial involves 500 MS patients, Prentice said.

— Procedures already successfully treating children for sickle cell anemia, using stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood, are now seeing fledgling success in adults. “I’ve seen, for sickle cell, that ‘C word’ — cure — used (when referring to) adult stem cells,” Prentice said.

More than 70,000 patients throughout the world are receiving adult stem-cell transplants annually, with an estimated 1 million total patients treated to date, he said.


Donze is a staff writer at the Clarion Herald, newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.