The Promising Cell of the Future

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Date Submitted: 09/25/2012 07:34 AM

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Shelly Kallsen

Laurie Ferrell

English 201 Online: Final

15 Dec. 2011

The Promising Cell of the Future

A typical daily situation at the cancer center; a gentleman just finishes his six month checkup with his cancer doctor and the doctor mentioned he noticed a few swollen lymph nodes. The doctor thinks it is important to perform further tests. The follow up is necessary because of this patient’s history of Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A few days prior to Christmas the results of this patient’s biopsy came back resulting in a diagnosis the lymphoma returned. He was only in remission four years. The gentleman and his family were devastated at the news of the return of his cancer, especially right before Christmas. The doctor discussed options and “a plan of attack.” The doctor suggested trying chemotherapy first to shrink the spots and the idea he could possibly be a candidate for an autologous stem cell transplant was brought up. In this procedure the person’s own stem cells are collected and stored then after high doses of chemotherapy are re-infused back into the patient. At age 61, looking forward to retirement in a few months, just diagnosed with cancer for the second time within four years, and now the option to undergo a stem cell transplant to prolong life. The question arises; does he go ahead with the stem cell transplant or not? If stem cell transplant research was allowed to move forward many fatal diseases and cancers of our loved ones could be cured, research continues to be extremely important for our medical future.

In the past, stem cell research included controversy. The controversy started with the study on embryonic stem cells which debated the idea they were human-like. According to Alice Park in Time:

“Now it’s possible to grow stem cells in a lab, not just from embryonic tissue but also by turning back the clock on an already developed cell or otherwise called adult stem cells, bypassing the embryo altogether with four...