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Stem cells and ACS-funded research

November 16, 2011 - Rob Weaver
A news brief from The Associated Press and a news release from American Cancer Society arrived this week which address stem-cell research. Read in tandem, the items might provide potential cancer-research donors some peace of mind.

First, The wire story:

Pope: Yes to adult stem cells, no embryonic VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has reaffirmed his opposition to embryonic stem cell research, saying it's morally wrong to destroy an embryo no matter how beneficial the resulting treatment is. Benedict made the comments Saturday to participants of a Vatican conference on adult stem cells convened under an unusual new partnership between the Vatican's culture office and a small U.S. biotech firm, NeoStem Inc. Church teaching holds that life begins at conception. As a result, the Vatican opposes embryonic stem cell research because embryos are destroyed in the process. It supports research using adult stem cells. Benedict said: "The destruction of even one human life can never be justified in terms of the benefit that it might conceivably bring to another."

Following are two key paragraphs from the cancer society’s release:

The American Cancer Society believes that human stem cell research, both embryonic and adult, holds significant potential in the fight against many diseases, including cancer. The Society continues to carefully monitor emerging science around human embryonic stem cell research to determine its potential implications for cancer patients, while at the same time providing information about all treatment options. The Society believes strongly that the nature of this research makes it imperative that it be pursued under appropriate protections and that the federal government is the institution best suited to oversee it. The Society does not approve research grants using embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue. The Society has chosen to continue funding peer-reviewed scientific inquiry that could offer alternatives to the use of embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue. Such alternatives could include the study of human stem cells derived from adult or umbilical cord blood sources. Therefore, no monies raised by the American Cancer Society in your community will be used to support embryonic or fetal tissue research.

Just in case you want to know.


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