Charisma Caucus

Kansas Senate Passes Ethical Stem Cell Therapy Bill

Kansas is moving forward as a potential leader in an area of ethical adult and cord blood stem cell therapies.

The Kansas state Senate has passed a bill that would establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, a regional hub to advance and deliver adult and cord blood stem cell therapies to patients, and serve as a resource for adult and cord blood stem cells for therapies. The Center would also inform professionals and the public about such therapies.

Family Research Council Senior Fellow Dr. David Prentice, a cell biologist who was selected by George W. Bush's Council on Bioethics to write a comprehensive review of adult stem cell research in 2004, testified before the Kansas Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare in support of S.B. 199 on Feb. 25.

Dr. Prentice additionally serves as adjunct professor of molecular genetics at the John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America, and formerly served as professor of life sciences at Indiana State University and adjunct professor of medical and molecular genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine.

The bill will now go to the Kansas House of Representatives for consideration.

In his testimony, Dr. Prentice said:

"There are significant opportunities right now for Kansas ... to benefit from the establishment of a center of excellence specializing in the application of adult stem cell therapies for certain diseases, as well as educating physicians as well as the public about the advantages and availability of stem cell treatments.

"Kansas is moving forward as a potential leader in the area of adult and cord blood stem cell therapies. Estimates are that KU Med has done over 1,000 adult stem cell transplants, from bone marrow as well as a growing number from umbilical cord blood. These include stem cell transplants for various cancers and leukemias, but also initiating clinical trials to treat heart damage. Much more is possible.

"Kansas is well-positioned to become a leader in this area, and a global resource. The potential benefits for patients are incalculable. I urge you to support S.B. 199."

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