First Time Federal Funding for Breakthrough Treatment
Smith Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act
Landmark legislation creating a new federally-funded stem cell therapeutic and research program for the scientifically sound collection and inventory of umbilical cord blood will be on the floor of the House of Representatives the week of May 23rd, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said today.
The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act creates a new federal cord blood stem cell program, reauthorizes and expands the current federal bone marrow stem cell program, and establishes a new federally-funded data program with a single electronic access point so doctors and patients can research and tap into the therapy that is best suited to treat the life-threatening condition they are facing.
To highlight the groundbreaking medical implications of Smith's legislation, Smith will hold a press conference with doctors, patients, and other lawmakers supportive of the legislation.
"Umbilical cords are a rich, non-controversial source of stem cells, but currently hospitals throw millions of them away each year because we do not have the infrastructure needed to properly collect and store them," said Smith who has been championing this legislation for three years. "The best kept medical secret has been that thousands have been successfully treated with cord blood stem cells for more than 67 diseases including Leukemia and Sickle Cell Anemia. The infusion of federal funds will make this medical miracle available to thousands more and will ensure that research continues so that this source of stem cells can treat many other debilitating diseases," Smith said.
"Published studies have shown that cord blood stem cells have the capacity to change into other cells types, which give them the potential to treat many other debilitating conditions such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson's, diabetes and heart disease," Smith said.
When: Monday May 23, 2005; Time: 1:00 pm
Where: Cannon Terrace
What: Stem Cell Press Conference
Who: Patients who have been treated with cord blood stem cells and their doctors.