SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Doctors at Stanford Medical Center are teaming up with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose to take part in one of the first clinical trials using embryonic stem cells, which will be injected into recently paralyzed patients.

After the initial surgery, a patient suffering a debilitating spinal cord injury will be asked to participate in the stem cell trial, and then within two weeks a second surgery will take place.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“During that surgery we would actually inject stem cells that have been differentiated to become a part of the nervous system into the spinal cord,” said Dr. Stephen McKenna, chief of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s rehabilitation trauma center.

McKenna stressed this is a safety trial, and that initial patients will likely not be cured of their paralysis.  Still, future clinical trials will likely help paralyzed patients lead a more normal life, according to McKenna.

Stanford neurosurgeons will perform the surgeries, using stem cells developed and manufactured by Menlo Park-based Geron Corporation.

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Comments (7)
  1. Daniel Rather says:

    More and more of this needs to done. Good stuff and the more it is done the better. People get better at something, the more they do it. So keep doing this kind of work over and over again also spread it out to others so it is here to stay.

  2. Mary says:

    I am an RN at VMC’s SCI Rehab and I am so ecstatic that we are participating in these trials. I want nothing more than to have the opportunity to give our patients more independence. I am so excited about the possibilities!!!

    1. Bill says:

      I hope you truely are successful in these endevors, as the actions taken today will likely have far reaching impacts and influences for the future. AS bad as this probably sounds I hope you get a patient to accept this opportunity soon!

  3. Dad says:

    This is very important. Not so much for me but for all the new patients. Mary, you and I are both very close to these patients and therefor we see the need maybe more than those outside our community do.

  4. Bill says:

    Awesome! I almost wish I was back at SCVMC. I had to go to Germany to get a stem cell injection.

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