Two women with untreatable eye diseases said they had dramatic improvements in their vision after injections of human embryonic stem cells, making it the first documented time these controversial cells have helped someone.
A 50-year-old man from Trion, Georgia, is the first person to be injected with stem cells in the upper part of the spinal cord, making him yet another pioneer in the scientific quest to use stem cells to heal.
The Bartolo Colon story has intrigued me since it first broke in May. Colon is a former AL Cy Young winner whose career seemed to be lost but who is now pitching effectively again for the Yankees at age 38. I did more than raise an eyebrow when I heard that his incredible comeback was aided by a relatively unknown stem cell procedure. As an injured pitcher who is also 38, I had to know more. It didn't take long for me to find Colon's doctor, Joseph Purita of The Institute of Regenerative and Molecular Orthopedics in Florida.
Is it possible for humans to regenerate a damaged body part the way starfish and salamanders can? Will doctors one day be able to replace cancer-ridden organs with healthy ones engineered in a lab? Will lengthy waiting times for organ transplants eventually become a thing of the past?
"Pitcher's Treatment Draws Scrutiny," proclaimed the headline for this week's New York Times story about the medical treatment performed on New York Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon's elbow and shoulder. The Web browser banner for the story was: "Disputed Treatment Used in Bartolo Colon's Comeback." Based on follow-up headlines across the sports world, the point of dispute is muddled at best and entirely misinterpreted at worst.