Robert Matheny, M.D.

Dear Senator Shafer,

I am writing in support of your recently submitted Senate Bill 148, the Saving the Cure Act.  Stem cells have successfuly demonstrated the potential for treatments and cures thought to be impossible until recent years.  Even though it had first been thought that only embryonic stem cells harbored the greatest potential, it has more currently been demostrated that adult stem cells have the capability to become the source of various treatments and therapies.  Indeed, dozens of current clinical trials are ongoing that demonstrate this ability of adult stem cells and this includes cord blood within this group.  I am unaware of any embryonic stem cell clinical trials.

By avoiding the use of embryonic stem cells, problems with subsequent tissue rejection requiring immune system suppressing drugs can be negated.  In addition, cord blood cells and other adult stem cells can be readily available, undergo storage and testing, and avoid any ethical problems applicable to embryonic stem cells.

I support your bill in furthering the availability of these types of cells for the people of Georgia.  It is my conviction that we can turn these into treatments in the very near future.

Sincerely,

Robert Matheny, M.D.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Researcher