Peter Kiernan, chairman of the Christopher And Dana Reeves Foundation, said he's excited about this latest development in stem cell research.
"This is not just a comet across our sky, this is really more like dawn," Kiernan said. "We are beginning a vast human experiment, and we have been waiting an extremely long time to get to this point. This is a very significant development."
At the same time, Kiernan said he does not overestimate what can be expected from this trial.
"Of the millions of people dealing with paralysis in our nation, they are all delighted with subtle increases in function," Kiernan said. "We eat, drink, sleep getting people out of wheelchairs, but the reality of the world we are in is if people get bowel function, some sexual function, some ability for movement, that is a wonderful outcome."
For more on embryonic stem cells, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Jan. 23, 2009, teleconference with Thomas B. Okarma, Ph.D., M.D., president and CEO, Geron Corp., Menlo Park, Calif.; Peter Kiernan, chairman, Christopher And Dana Reeves Foundation, Short Hills, N.J.
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