DoNoHarm in Science
Science Publishes Rebuttal to Attacks on DoNoHarm Founding Member and Adult Stem Research
The journal Science has published a second Letter from Do No Harm founding member David Prentice, Ph.D. and communications director Eugene Tarne, again in order to refute attacks published against Prentice and the veracity of the Coalition's scoreboard of adult stem cell benefits to human patients. Both the newer and the original letter point out the distortions, inconsistencies, and dismissal of the published science as represented by the first and second attack letters.
The Do No Harm letters are supported by a comprehensive online supplement documenting -- from the peer-reviewed scientific literature -- evidence of therapeutic benefit to human patients who have received an adult stem cell (including cord blood stem cell) treatment for the 72 diseases and conditions posted on the Coalition's website.
The original attack letter was published online by Science on July 13, 2006 -- shortly before a scheduled vote in Congress on expanding federal involvement in embryonic stem cell research. Because of the timing, a published rebuttal before those votes was impossible. The second attack letter was published simultaneously with the Do No Harm response on June 8, 2007.
The authors of the original attack piece judged claims by Prentice that adult stem cells had helped human patients for the diseases and conditions listed as "simply untenable." But as the both rebuttals point out, two of the original authors, William Neaves and Steven Teitelbaum, are themselves "founding members of a political group whose Web site lists over 70 conditions that 'could someday be treated or cured' using embryonic stem cells." Moreover, the rebuttal further notes, this Neaves/Teitelbaum list "is based on no evidence of benefit in any human patient from embryonic stem cells and little evidence for its claims in animal models." While the Prentice/Tarne rebuttal calls for "careful scrutiny" of all scientific claims regarding stem cells, it further notes that such scrutiny "should be directed equally to all sides."