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For one patient, stem cells show promise

In this week's Lancet, several Norwegian cardiologists linkurl:urge caution;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607609921/fulltext before testing stem cell therapies in patients following heart attacks. Three of the clinical trials so far haven't shown any positive effects, and the one that did was questionable, they write. At least one patient in Michigan didn't like being subjected to one such experiment in 2003; he's linkurl:suing;www.the-scientist.com/article/display/

Ivan Oransky
In this week's Lancet, several Norwegian cardiologists linkurl:urge caution;http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607609921/fulltext before testing stem cell therapies in patients following heart attacks. Three of the clinical trials so far haven't shown any positive effects, and the one that did was questionable, they write. At least one patient in Michigan didn't like being subjected to one such experiment in 2003; he's linkurl:suing;www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15446 his doctors. So what does the subject of a similar trial, still ongoing, think? For our October issue, I linkurl:profiled;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/10/1/48/1/ Doug Bergman, the 54-year-old former truck mechanic who may have had a needle filled with his own linkurl:CD34+ cells;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/24104/ -- thought to be stem cell-like -- linkurl:jabbed into his heart;http://images.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/24908/ ten times as part of a clinical trial in Minneapolis. I say ''may have'' because that needle may have been filled with saline in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. I spoke to him last week about how he's doing. It took a while...

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