National

Oct 12, 2010 8:18 AM by Associated Press

First ever human study on stem cell treatment underway

Geron Corp. has begun testing an embryonic stem-cell treatment on a patient with spinal cord injuries, marking the first time such a drug has been used on a human.

The company says it has enrolled the first patient in the early stage study, which will look at the safety of the treatment and how well the patient can tolerate it.

In order to participate, the patient must have been injured within the last two weeks.

While a milestone in the technology, the drug candidate is still a long way from being proven and reaching the market. It still faces many years of testing for effectiveness. 

Embryonic stem cell research involves destroying the embryos, which some have argued is akin to abortion.

But, many researchers consider embryonic stem cells the most versatile types of stem cells.

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