Respectful Insolence

It figures, it really does, that this would have to be one of the first clinical uses of stem cells that they’d come up with.

The really weird thing about this article is its schizophrenic nature. It starts out with a sensationalistic description of the new use of stem cells, and then it describes the discovery of a mutated allele of a gene that gives around a 10% decreased risk of breast cancer. It’s like two entirely different articles pasted together in a haphazard fashion.

Comments

  1. #1 Tyler DiPietro
    February 16, 2007

    Doesn’t really bother me. The internet grew as much as it did in the early-mid 90′s largely due to the expansion of internet porn. This is a good sign.

  2. #2 Brian X
    February 16, 2007

    Well, I guess it’s something… gotta walk before you can run, that sort of thing… and boobies, can’t forget the boobies…

    It’s really market-driven, isn’t it?

  3. #3 Brian X
    February 16, 2007

    Tyler:

    Hm, good point. Never thought of it that way.

  4. #4 llewelly
    February 16, 2007

    Doesn’t really bother me. The internet grew as much as it did in the early-mid 90′s largely due to the expansion of internet porn.

    Much of which was distributed via web pages loaded with malicious code.

  5. #5 Brian McEnnis
    February 16, 2007

    “Why you think the net was born?
    Porn, porn, porn”

    The Internet is for Porn – Avenue Q

  6. #6 Joshua
    February 16, 2007

    llewelly: And since apparently these things can mask (if not cause — isn’t that always a danger with stem cell therapies?) cancer, that’s actually still a pretty close analogy.

  7. #7 Paul Power
    February 17, 2007

    Orac:
    I thought stem cells were already widely used, one example being bone marrow transplants. The technical name for this is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation . So what do you mean by “one of the first clinical uses of stem cells that they’d come up with” ?

  8. #8 Orac
    February 17, 2007

    OK, I should have said “of non-hematopoietic” stem cells.

    I was thinking more of stem cells to make solid organs.

  9. #9 notmercury
    February 17, 2007

    So are the cells harvested from the recipient and re-implanted or is this some sort of chimerism where the donor cells proliferate in the host? Can you explain how this is supposed to work? The article wasn’t very clear.

  10. #10 PlanetaryGear
    February 17, 2007

    Or less solid, soft and supple organs as the case may be…

  11. #11 quitter
    February 17, 2007

    notmercury,
    I suspect that this doesn’t work and is probably a scam.

    Here are the signs.

    1. News of the treatment is released as a press-release, not a paper.
    2. The schizophrenic element of the article comes from them trying to conflate the nature paper about breast cancer into this treatment (if we can believe them that some of the people in the study were in fact recipients of this treatment)
    3. This treatment already does exist, the transfer of one’s own fat into other areas of the body has been done for a long time – but often leads to poor results in breast augmentation as it ends up being lumpy.
    4. The authors are trying to suggest the stem cells make the fat transfers magically less lumpy (from this and other articles). Very typical of “stem-cell woo” in which people expect various types of stem cells to act as “magic bullets”, and provide a targeted and specific result.

    I’ll believe it when I see a trial with actual results comparing fat transfer to fat + stem cell transfer.

    Hey Orac, off topic, when are you going to do Enzyte woo? I’m sick of those damn commercials.

  12. #12 Organic Chemistry
    February 22, 2007

    This is why I don’t listen to the media on most issues. While this revealation is not novel, it never ceases to amaze me why haphazard (as you aptly put it) these articles are written.

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