X-Message-Number: 13950
From: "Terry Grossman" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: human replacement parts vs. telomerase
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 08:11:58 -0600

re: #13898: human replacement parts [Terry Grossman]
    #13927: re: replacement parts from cryopreserved tissue [Terry Grossman]
    #13928: Storing FrozenTissue [Scott Badger]

I originally posted a note that there is now simple, inexpensive technology
to cryopreserve one's present age tissues for future use so that new organs
could be one day regenerated from today's younger cells.

Several coreespondents questioned whether  this was even necessary,
particularly since work reported by Dr West suggests that cloning activates
telomerase, which then seems to reset the clocks on the cells to more
youthful levels anyway.

As much as we hope telomerase research will prove to be the holy grail of
rejuvenation, or what I call, "immortality medicine," this may not be the
case - or, at least, not as simple as we have hoped. The following article
appeared today:

Transplant Treatment, Cancer Linked

AP Science Writer=
    An experimental lab technique for growing cells to transplant
into people may activate a gene that promotes cancer, a new study
    The technique uses an enzyme, called telomerase, which has been
called a potential fountain of youth for cells. Telomerase made
headlines in 1998, when researchers reported that it let human
cells remain young and continue to divide indefinitely.
    ... They envision taking tissue from a patient and using the enzyme to
build up a
population of rejuvenated cells that could be implanted in the
    That idea has been shadowed by concerns that telomerase
treatment might promote cancer, even after other research in 1998
found no sign of that connection.
    The new result doesn't mean scientists should abandon hopes for
telomerase, said study author David Beach of University College
London in England. Instead, he said, it suggests the enzyme isn't
the whole answer.
    Beach and two colleagues in the United States present their work
in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
    The researchers worked with human breast cells. After they
inserted a gene to make the cells produce telomerase, and the cells
were grown in a lab, scientists found the cells had activated a
gene called ``c-myc.'' That gene is active in a wide variety of
    The cells in the experiment were not cancerous, but they had
``moved one step closer to becoming tumor cells,'' Beach said. That
suggests a risk of cancer if telomerase-treated cells were used in
therapy, he said.
    So ``we have got to do a bit more biology'' to overcome that
problem, he said.

    Cloning and telomerase may be a huge part of the answer, but... then
again they may not.  The article above suggests that turning on telomerase
may also stimulate cancer cell growth. Freezing a sample of one's present
day cells offers us an inexpensive insurance policy. See again #13898: human
replacement parts [Terry Grossman].

Long life and best wishes,
Terry Grossman, M.D.
Medical Director,
Frontier Medical Institute
2801 Youngfield St., Suite 117
Denver CO 80401
(303) 233-4247
Toll-free (877) LIV4EVR
Subscribe to our free e-newsletter at www.liv4evr.com

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