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71 Reasons to Support Stem Cell Research

Discussions about stem cell research are often very scientific, but it's important to keep our eye on the prize.  Ultimately, this isn't about blastocysts, or somatic nuclear transfer, e=mc2, dilithium crystals, etc., etc., etc., -- it's about cures.  The "pro stem cell" movement is first and foremost a "pro cures" movement.   

Here are 71 diseases and injuries that may be treated or cured by stem cell research.  First, a caveat -- this research is still in its early stages, and we're not saying that cures are here today, or will be here next week.  But we are saying this -- with stem cell research, we will almost certainly get these cures and treatments sooner -- a lot sooner.  It's not a promise of a cure, but it is a promise of one key thing -- more hopeA lot more hope.

Okay, so here's the list. 

Autoimmune Diseases/ Musculoskeletal/ Connective Tissue Disorders

Arthritis, Crohn's Disease, Devic's Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus), Systemic Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes


Bladder/Kidney, Brain/Central Nervous System, Breast, Colon/Lower Bowel, Endometrium/Cervix/Ovary, Esophagus, Leukemia, Liver, Lungs/Respiratory System, Lymphoma, Myeloma, Pancreas, Prostate, Skin, Stomach

Cardiovascular Diseases

Acute Ischemic Heart Disease (angina), Myocardial Infarction (heart attack), Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease (athersclerotic heart disease), Cardiomyopathy Cerebrovascular Disease (stroke)

Circulatory/Respiratory Diseases

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis


Severe Burns, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Spinal Cord Injury

Eye Disorders

Macular Degeneration, Retinitis Pigmentosa

Infectious Diseases


Metabolic Diseases

Adrenoleukodystrophy, Aspartylglycosaminuria, Canavan's Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Fabry Disease, Fucosidosis, Gaucher Disease, Leukodystrophy, Mucopolysaccharidoses, Niemann-Pick Disease, Pompe Disease, Porphyria, Sickle Cell Disease, Tay-Sachs Disease, Type 2 Diabetes

Muscular Dystrophies

Becker, Duchenne, Emery Dreifuss, Facioscapulohumeral, Fukuyama, Limb Girdle, Myasthenia Gravis, Myotonic Dystrophy

Neurological Diseases of Adulthood

Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), Parkinson's Disease

Neurological Diseases of Childhood

Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Hydrocephalus, Rett Syndrome

Source: Yes on 71 - Californians for Stem Cell Research & Cures, 2004.

(NOTE: This is NOT an exhaustive scientific accounting of all potential target diseases but, rather, intended as a guide for the lay-public to use in their advocacy efforts)

John Hlinko @ 01:00 PM


Marisa Knott said:

My 3 and a 1/2 year old daughter, Isabella, was recently diagnosed with a MECP2 mutation causing Rett Syndrome.I feel that her fate lies in the hands of stem cell research.It would be so wonderful to find a treatment for all our girls with Rett Syndrome so that they may be able to lead the quality of life that they are entitled to as too many children with other genetic disorders. Extremists who fight stem cell research have no idea what it is like to have a beloved child being stripped of all their abilities that healthy people take for granted.They're narrow minded fools who live in the dark ages.Yes, we're not meant to live for ever but we're all entitled to have a decent quality of life while we're here.My child will never tell me she loves me, will never sign language as she has no purposeful use of her hands will never feed, toilet, bathe or dress herself,and will never run around in our garden, but, she is the happiest little girl in the world because she knows she's loved by all she meets.I would do anything for her and I pray every day for scientists to find a way to replace or treat these affected cells and stem cell research is definitely heading in the right direction. Yours sincerely, Marisa Knott, Melbourne Australia.

Jul 21, 2005 7:43:53 PM

Bob said:

Thank you Marisa for sharing your story and your feelings. With rare conditions Isabella's it's sometimes easy to feel all alone. My grandson Joe's diagnosis is different, yet his symptoms are very similar to Isabella's. My family and I share your pain, and your joy. Like you, we're hoping to touch the calloused hearts of those like our President and First Lady who would have our children grow up without hope rather then admit they are, indeed, living in the dark ages.

Jul 28, 2005 2:32:39 PM

Nathan A Dyer said:

What kind of idiots run this PAC? President Bush does not support embrionic stem cell research because no cure has ever come from it. Despite this list of could possibly happen cures if ever legalized. There is so much more success in adult stem cell research. There is no hope for this PAC

Jul 31, 2005 7:31:41 PM

Nathan A Dyer said:

I am ashamed of Senator Frist. He has betrayed the Republican party by shifting his pro-life stance to a very liberal stance on stem cell research. Up untill he supported stem cell research, I would have voted for him if he ever runs for president. Senator Frist just killed his chances in getting the GOP's nomination. Because of his change of stance, he will never become president.

Jul 31, 2005 8:46:28 PM

Jack P said:

Nathan, you are a horse's ass.

It's still at the basic research stage -- and because dimwits like you are holding it up, the cures are farther off than they need to be.

Any scientist with half a brain who has researched this issue knows that adult stem cell are great, but they are *not* a substitute for embryonic stem cells.

If you want to oppose embryonic stem cell research for moral reasons, fine. But at least have the balls to admit that you are holding up cures. Cut the BS about it not having scientific value.

People like you are an embarrassment to the GOP, with your "war on science" mentality. People like Frist are what the *real* GOP is about.

Aug 1, 2005 11:00:35 AM

K. Gillen MD said:

Hope is a powerful thing, as a physician I would love to offer my patients more hope. Maybe even discuss a cure for there chronic disease process instead of insulting the immunsystem and the liver with chronic medications. Senator Frist has my support, this isn't a polical issue, it's a human issue. It's looking my patients in the face and telling them and there families, their may be hope.

Aug 1, 2005 3:42:01 PM

Brian G. said:

Nathan,you are worse than a horses ass!!!My dog has more brains than you.It is amazing to me that people like you exist,but common sense will prevail and crush backward ass morons like you.

Aug 1, 2005 11:54:06 PM

Dee said:

It is frustrating that so many people have an opinion on stem cell research and indeed what constitutes a fully fleged human life and yet have no idea of what they are talking about. Those that argue counter to stem cell research are invariably full of religious emotional twaddle with no scientific grounding.

The fact that the current administration takes a negative stance on this subject is pathetic as they actually have advisors to do the research and should understand the issues and cost implications and daily loss of life that their stance is responisble for.

I am sure they will look back with pride on their achievments in delaying the advancement of treatments based on this basic biological research. I am sure they will even feel patriotic tears welling up in their eyes when in 10 years time the US is licensing this technology from Korea.

Clearly the problem here is again one of hypocritical religion and a basic lack of eduction.

I totally agree for going after these people they clearly should not be in any position of responsibility.

Oh and Nathan get an education will ya

Aug 2, 2005 9:07:17 AM

Desmond Tutu Fan said:

Nathan should take his stupid and ignorant anti-science attitude and shove it up his rear end. He sure is an idiot and he should stop commenting on subjects that he doesn't know anything about. Adult stem cells are more mature than embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells cannot develop into any type of cell in the human body. Embryonic stem cells can do this and they hold a lot more promise for curing many diseases. Both sides of my family have suffered from glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, juvenile macular degeneration, and cataracts and I am sick and tired of watching my relatives go blind. I want cures for these diseases to be discovered and that is why I support research with embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, placenta stem cells, and umbilical cord stem cells. Medical researchers should also continue their reseach with bone marrow transplants and lasers.

Aug 2, 2005 12:35:35 PM

michelle gwin said:

First for all of you who say the success is in adult stem cells...you might want to look at umbilical cord stem cells (cells taken from a umbilical cord and placenta after the baby is BORN).
Second, if you ever hold your dieing child you may feel differently about what should and should not be done. Medical waste, that is all we are asking for.
Most of the diseases, Adrenoleukodystrophy, Krabbe Disease, SKIDS, Hurlers, Sanfilipo have been cured with umbilical cord stem cells at Duke Unversity. My 7 month old daughter was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease and treated with the stem cells that a mother donated after her healthy baby girl was delivered.
We need our government to fund money for banking cord blood, for people to donate cord blood and save lives using cord blood.

Aug 2, 2005 12:42:17 PM

michelle gwin said:

One more thing...embryonic stem cells are the only chance my daughter has to walking, talking and eating. We stopped her disease but we have no way to reverse the damage already done.
As much as I believe cord blood can save lives, I also believe we need more research.

Aug 2, 2005 12:51:05 PM

william c goldy said:

I have als could steer me to biotech which as stem cells which an legitamin company

Aug 4, 2005 6:20:18 PM

John said:

Is he·mo·phil·ia (A Blood Disorder)a disease
that stem cell reseach could help ?


Aug 12, 2005 4:52:24 AM

Matt Seil said:

Adult stem cell research has been around since 1960. Real therapies are just now reaching trials. Embryonic stem cells were only isolated in 1998, so there will be some time before cures are found.

Aug 14, 2005 12:45:43 AM

Joe P. said:

I'm of course disappointed in all the continued dispute without a solid knowledge of what is occuring within this field. The hope for cures is obviously the desire for everyone especially myself that has a history of heart disease in my family, but the path that the scientific community is heading in, is one that will impact the human race in a negative and not a positive one. The desire to obatain embryonic stem cells is a moral issue that has only one answer, it is wrong, and will lead to our destruction one day. Why do I say that? The need to obtain the cells of course leads to two avenues which are both incomprehensible: destroying embryos and cloning embryos. Are we so omniscient that we know more than the creator himself, that we become creators and destroyers of human beings. I don't want any part of it, especially after realizing that the main push is not the potential of cure but the desire and lust for profit. As of yesterday, 8/22/05, scientists for the first time have converted an adult skin cell into an embryonic stem cell. It is time for the Pro-embryo group to be morally focused and not selfishly driven. Please learn and open your hearts to the defenseless. Develop a conscious and protect life. Focus on what has and continues to be successful in this field, adult stem cells. With this new finding, God is giving us a second chance to mend our evil ways.

Aug 23, 2005 5:22:57 AM

David Wesley said:

Where's Pat Roberts when we need him? Out shooting people and doing harm to others!

Aug 28, 2005 5:41:38 AM

Mary A. Hamilton said:

I'm a zoologist who has been watching these studies for the past several years.

Did you know that most of those conditions are ALREADY being addressed and often 'cured' using Adult Stem Cells? Earlier this year I put up: http://StemCells.WayCurious.com which addresses many conditions ... and after reading this I hope to update the page to make it more specific to this.

If you read Scientific American, you know that ESCs not only cause turmors ... the ability to make tumors is how scientists identify the exisistance of ESCs.

You also know that the US Government spends more on ESC research than almost all the other countries put together ... and if you include investments it does include more.

And the US has the least restrictive environment for ESC research - only government funding is limited to a few lines ... nothing else is off limits.

You also know that lines are hard to create ... that's why there are less than 150 worldwide.

And that they mutate after awhile - making them useless after a few generations.

AND if you read SCIENCE Mag you'd know there is a growning concern in the community that women are going to die just to give up their eggs so someone can do research.

Right now insurance is paying for Adult Stem Cell treatments ... hESCs are unlikely to be paid for in my lifetime ...

So hESC treatments will put poor young women at risk to provide treatment for the rich. Great.

Oct 24, 2005 11:55:33 AM

Mary A. Hamilton said:

Please visit http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov to see if your loved one qualifies for a current trial. It puts researchers & the public together. (As I post there are over 400 for ASCs, though man just 'how-tos' not to cure.)

Also, remember that any treatments could limit your ability to qualify for other trials, so choose carefully ... the more invasive the less you would qualify.

And PLEASE visit Quackwatch http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/treatmentindex.html There is an unlimited number of snakeoil salesmen who have no trouble exploiting your pain ... to them 'ESCs' and a few dead ones from a cow are the same thing ... AND you would fall of the real trials lists.

Oct 24, 2005 12:48:56 PM

JackP said:

Mary, it is true that adult stem cell research has shown great promise, but you are setting up a false choice -- we should not research "either" adult or ESC, we should research BOTH.

I would urge you to learn more about the subject, and to research it further -- nearly every line of your post contains a factual error.

Just to begin, you say there is a, "growning concern in the community that women are going to die just to give up their eggs so someone can do research..."

This is utterly ridiculous.

As are your other assertions, your "evidence" is downright silly. You've taken a combination of selective facts, quotes, and religion to weave an argument that ESC is worth researching.

There's just one problem -- 99% of the scientists who actually work on the stem cell front *disagree* with you. So either they are all wrong, or you are.

Look, if you oppose it for moral reasons, that's your right. But please stop throwing out BS scientific "facts" that have nothing to do with reality or real science. Oppse ESC if you want, but have the guts to admit that you are almost certainly slowing the race for cures.

Nov 17, 2005 5:42:06 AM

andy said:

Nathan, you are an idiot

Nov 21, 2005 6:18:47 PM

kaurina said:

i am doing a persuasive essay on pro stem cell research and i would like to say its wonderful what you guys are doing. loving someone unselfishley and doing the best that you can. you are the reason why we fight...especially those of us who are just fighting for a cause...

Mar 20, 2006 8:38:37 PM

Randi said:

Is it possible for someone to donate their stem cells to help others? Is there a stem cell registry?

Apr 5, 2006 3:19:21 PM

Grace said:

I'm a Christian, and I say if there may be a way to save someone's life without looseing another, go for it. There are so many people dying because we don't spend enough money on research. But! there are so many people that can't even afford insurance to be able to find out what to do. I feel the USA is spending a lot of money on things that are not helping anyone. I do-not know much about this stem research but I believe in trying to save lives. God is love and I believe in trying to help others. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I have leukemia and I'm very proud that they have come out with a lot of things to help. I was in remission for about 10 yrs. before I had to have Chemo treatments. I am in remission again and I thank God and people that keep on working for cures. There were not any when I first got Leukemia. Thanks to those that keep trying.

May 10, 2006 7:37:28 PM

Reyna said:

Well, iam doing a research for my debate iam in pro, and iam so happy in this side, i think that we have the last decision in this, we are going to be benifiated with this, and if we want to live longer and see our children growing up we need to give them the opportunity to try to do it. And also i will like to know a lot more.

May 30, 2006 7:20:26 PM

Penny said:

I have a child with cerebellar atrophy. He is 13 years old and for his whole life I have searched for some answeres. He has had so many test to find out what type of atrophy it is without any luck. People have no idea of what it is like to have a child and watch them struggle through their whole life, until they have one. This government takes interest and sympathy on other country's and sends money, but when it comes to our own country the interest and smypathy stops there. I understand that if they found a cure that people would live longer but also our ill children would have a chance to just live, don't they diserve at least that. People need to imagine having a child go all the way though school having a 4.0 gpa and the promiss of being someone, but then have that all taken away because of their life is at end because there is no hope for them to find a cure. There is no way to know how it feels until you experience with your own loved one. Someone out there please have alittle passion for our children that need at least a hope.

Jul 18, 2006 4:56:09 AM