Surgeon uses adult stem cell therapy in spinal fusion clinical trial

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Surgeon uses adult stem cell therapy in spinal fusion clinical trial

The Argonaut Interview: Dr. Hyun Bae

By Gary Walker

Stem cell research remains a controversial topic throughout much of the nation, for religious as well as ethical reasons. Embryonic stem cells, which can differentiate into extraembryonic tissues and are derived from human embryos, are a particularly hot-button topic.

Scientists and researchers around the globe have been exploring the potential that adult regenerative stem cells could have on patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including spinal cord injuries, heart conditions and diabetes.

While stem cell research - especially clinic studies involving human embryos - remains highly politicized, Californians have shown their support for the controversial therapy. Voters approved a 2004 initiative that allocated $3 million toward human embryonic stem cell research.

Proposition 71 made California the largest state-funded scientific research initiative in the United States.

Three years ago, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that reversed President George W. Bushs earlier policy of prohibiting the use of federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research.

Unlike embryonic cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is much less controversial. Dr. Hyun Bae, a spine surgeon at Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, is the principal investigator in a clinical trial using adult stem cell technology. The hospital is one of only eight sites nationwide that have been chosen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the studies.

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Surgeon uses adult stem cell therapy in spinal fusion clinical trial

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