Below is a summary of media coverage from various sources of recent studies by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) using embryonic stem cells derived from therapeutic cloning to treat Parkinson's Disease in mice:
United Press International, March 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM EDT:
"A U.S. and Japanese study used therapeutic cloning to treat Parkinson's disease in mice. The nucleus taken from skin cells from the tail of the mouse were used to generate "customized" dopamine neurons. The study, published online in Nature Medicine, found mice receiving dopamine neurons from the individually matched stem cell lines showed neurological improvement. But when these neurons were grafted into mice that did not genetically match the transplanted cells, the cells did not survive well and the mice did not recover."
HealthDay News, March 24, 2008:
"Therapeutic cloning successfully treated Parkinson's disease in mice, researchers report. Using the process to develop dopamine-producing neurons with an identical genetic profile to each mouse being treated allowed scientists to significantly improve the neurological performance of the diseased animals, without provoking any evidence of immune system rejection."
The Independent, 24 March 2008:
"A potential cure for Parkinson's disease has come a significant step closer today with a study showing that it is possible to treat the degenerative brain disorder with cells derived from cloned embryos – a development condemned by the Roman Catholic Church. The research was carried out on laboratory mice but scientists believe the findings are proof that the techniques could be applied to humans suffering not just from Parkinson's, but a range of other incurable diseases. Researchers have demonstrated the possibility of treating Parkinson's disease by transplanting laboratory-matured brain cells back into the individual who supplied the skin cells that were turned into cloned embryos – a process known as therapeutic cloning."
Daily Mail - Glasgow, UK, 24th March 2008, 11:07am GMT:
"A potential cure for Parkinson's disease has come a significant step closer today with a study showing that it is possible to treat the degenerative brain disorder with cells derived from cloned embryos. The cells were successfully used to treat animals with the disease for the first time. The experiment marked the first time that cloned stem cells had been used to reverse disease in the same animals from which they were taken. Mice bred to develop the equivalent of Parkinson's showed signs of improvement when they received neurons containing the chemical dopamine which had been grown from their own cloned stem cells. The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggest it could be possible to use this cloning approach, known as therapeutic cloning, to treat Parkinson's in humans."
Sydney Morning Herald, March 24, 2008 - 6:33AM:
"THE controversial technique of therapeutic cloning has been successfully used to treat a disease for the first time, with mice with Parkinson's disease found to improve after receiving their own modified cells. American and Japanese researchers converted skin cells from the tail of the sick animals into the dopamine-producing brain cells they lacked, and grafted the genetically matched tissue back into the same mice."
BBC News 23 March 2008 19:03 GMT:
"Therapeutic cloning has been successfully used to treat Parkinson's disease in mice, US researchers say. The study in Nature Medicine provides the best evidence so far that the controversial technique could one day help people with the condition. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre team say it is the first time animals have been successfully treated with their own cloned cells. UK experts said the work was promising and exciting development."
Bloomberg News, March 23, 2008:
"Researchers cured mice with a version of Parkinson's disease by treating them with brain cells made from clones of their own skin cells. The researchers employed nuclear transfer, which involves swapping genetic material from one individual into an egg cell belonging to another. The same procedure was used to create Dolly the sheep, one of the first animals produced by cloning. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Medicine, offer a glimpse into how the cloning technique might one day be used to develop therapies, as opposed to making copies of an individual."
The Guardian, March 24, 2008:
"Scientists have shown that stem cells produced by therapeutic cloning are effective for treating Parkinson's disease, in the first convincing demonstration that stem cells derived from the subject can be used to treat a serious disease. The technique has only been tried in mice, but scientists have hailed it as proof that a similar approach could be successful in humans."
The Times, March 24, 2008:
"Cloned embryonic stem cells have been used to treat animals with Parkinson’s disease for the first time, in an important step towards developing the therapy for human patients. The successful experiment marks the first time that cloned stem cells have been used to reverse disease in the same animals from which they were derived, and suggests that it should be possible to use therapeutic cloning in medicine."
Reuters, March 23, 2008 2:05 pm EDT:
"Researchers who used cloned embryonic stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease in mice said on Sunday they worked better than other cells. The researchers were trying to prove that it is possible to make embryonic stem cells using cloning technology and use them to provide a tailor-made treatment. But they found that a mouse's own cloned stem cells were far less disruptive to its body than cloned cells taken from other mice."
New Scientist, 18:00 GMT 23 March 2008:
"Therapeutic cloning works – in mice, at least. An international team has restored mice with a condition similar to Parkinson's disease back to health, using neurons grown in the lab that were made from their own cloned skin cells. This is the first time that a disease has been successfully treated using cloned cells that had been derived from the recipient animals."
The Courier Mail, March 24, 2008 05:30am AST:
"RESEARCHERS who used cloned embryonic stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease in mice said today they worked better than other cells. The researchers were trying to prove that it is possible to make embryonic stem cells using cloning technology and use them to provide a tailor-made treatment. But they found that a mouse's own cloned stem cells were far less disruptive to its body than cloned cells taken from other mice."