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Groundbreaking Stem Cell Treatment Begins In San Jose

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Vial of human embryonic stem cells (AP)

Vial of human embryonic stem cells (AP)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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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.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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