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Kansas Gov. to sign bill funding innovative and ethically acceptable stem cell center

by | Jun 12, 2013

By Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director, Kansans for Life

Darryl Warren and Lee Young-mi visit their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah Warren, in a post-op room at the Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria after having received a new windpipe in a landmark transplant operation on April 9, 2013. JIM CARLSON / OSF SAINT FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER

Darryl Warren and Lee Young-mi visit their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah Warren, in a post-op room at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria after having received a new windpipe in a landmark transplant operation on April 9, 2013.
JIM CARLSON / OSF SAINT FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER

This past May, little two-year Hannah Warren breathed on her own for the very first time, thanks to a replacement windpipe formed from her very own stem cells. Hannah was born without a trachea, a fatal condition, but a Swedish doctor performed the unique transplantation in Peoria, Illinois. (You can read details here.)

Such is the transformational nature of stem cell therapies these days—a global medical explosion, with thousands of trials and successful treatments already on the books.

The unmet need for an updated global database of these experiments, and for producing enough cells to accelerate clinical trials, caused the Kansas legislature to create the ‘first-of-its-kind’ Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas.

Any day now, Gov. Sam Brownback will sign the Kansas state budget into law, which allocates nearly $2 million over two years’ time for the center, from the state’s Bio Science Authority fund.

By statute, none of the stem cells utilized at the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) can be obtained from embryonic or fetal sources. Instead, the center will use adult stem cells, a class of cells obtained from tissue from adults and children, as well as placental and umbilical sources. None of these sources hurt, let alone cause the death, of a human being. That is why they are ethically acceptable.

Kansas has also invested close to $1 million over the past seven years for umbilical cord blood research at the University of Kansas, and the MSCTC will coordinate with the existent state ‘cord blood’ transplant system.

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The creation of the MSCTC was Kansas’ response to annual reports delivered to the health committees, which not only told of continued stem cell successes, but also warned about predatory ‘stem cell tourism’, in which desperate American patients were traveling abroad for a variety of unapproved treatments.

Hannah and her parents were the happy beneficiaries of stem cell innovations under carefully managed supervision, and the MSCTC will insure that such successful international co-operation thrives.

Categories: Adult Stem Cells