Medical Board Mulls Stem Cell Therapy Used On Perry

AUSTIN (AP) – The experimental stem cell procedure that Texas Gov. Rick Perry underwent this summer could be restricted or even blocked under new rules being considered Friday by the state’s Medical Board.

Some top scientists are questioning the safety and wisdom of the procedure, and doctors say it may run up against federal rules. It also carries potential health threats, ranging from blood clots to increased cancer risk.

The Republican presidential candidate had stem cells taken from fat in his own body, which were then grown in a lab. They were injected into his back and his bloodstream during an operation in July to fuse part of his spine.

Adult stem cells have long been used to treat leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. While the cells are being studied to treat other ailments, from heart disease to diabetes, experts say it’s too soon to know if the approaches are safe or effective. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved using adult stem cells to help people heal from surgery — but experimentation is common.

Perry opposes greater oversight in Texas, and he sent a letter to the board urging members to recognize the “revolutionary potential” of adult stem cell research and therapies.

“Texas is a leader in innovation in many fields,” Perry wrote after his surgery. “It is critical that we continue to foster an environment that encourages technological advancement in the health care arena.”

Adult stem cell therapy is different from using embryonic cells, a controversial technology that Perry opposes.

The medical board will meet Friday to discuss rules that would require an accredited body to review any procedures involving stem cells before they’re carried out, to access research trials and ensure patient safety. The rules also would require that such therapies be done by physicians and in adherence to Texas and federal laws.

The 19 volunteer board members — all appointed by Perry, including a dozen physicians — could approve the proposed rules, make or seek changes, or scrap them altogether, board spokeswoman Leigh Hopper said.

If the board vote goes against him, the matter could become a campaign issue as Perry struggles to reinvigorate his White House bid. His polling numbers have tumbled in recent weeks. Perry has worn a back brace but maintained his work schedule since the surgery.

Some orthopedic surgeons are experimenting with stem cells to help bones heal, with the cells being taken from bone marrow and injected or implanted in the trouble spot. The theory is that such “master cells” will follow cues from cells around them and form bone or cartilage, though researchers worry they also might spur unwanted growth and cancer.

Perry’s treatment, which involved using stem cells from fat, was even more experimental.

Perry said in his letter that he understood the need to protect patients, but added, “we need to ensure that physicians in this state can continue to pursue new technologies and treatments that will benefit all Texans.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • NiteNurse

    I’m very sure if Perry or someone he loved dearly became paralyzed and someone had a cure using embryonic stem cells he would move mountains to make sure there were no laws stopping him from getting that cure. Or he would secretly go to some foreign country where it was legal.

  • Darlene

    There are other stem cell products out there! One released in Texas in March of 11 that naturally boosts your stem cell growth! Within one hour of taking your stem cell production is increased by over 70%. This allows your body to send the stem cells to where is needed in your body. go to to see more about it!!

    • mike

      Again, Perry does not know what he is doing. He is a right wing religious fanatic who does not support research, and in my opinion is a scary choice for President. He should step down, he is embarrasing the USA. Anyone believing in his politics is misinformed. My Brother has Lukemia, and has benefitted already. I hope the medical board he appointed wakes up and realizes he has his own rightwing agenda, fueled by religious money. Time to quit Rick !!

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  • JerParffluirl

    Футболки с рисунками и надписями.
    Для тебя, для друзей, для всех.
    Заходи, выбирай, покупай.

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  • orca_nu

    .Rick Perry is really a joke isn’t he?

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