California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state's
$3 billion stem cell research program, has released its long-awaited
plan, including the agency's research priorities and projected
The draft plan
describes a long road to any possible treatments based on embryonic
stem cell research—in sharp contrast to the exaggerated claims
that were a hallmark of the 2004 initiative campaign.
draft plan concludes:
[I]t is unlikely
that CIRM will be able to fully develop stem cell therapy for routine
clinical use during the ten years of the plan. Within that time
span, however, we will be able to advance therapies for several
diseases to early stage clinical trials, and to have therapies for
other diseases in the pipeline.
is a positive step for CIRM to use language this clear to temper
public expectations, these expectations were raised in large part
by the promotional campaign for the ballot measure that created
the stem cell program. Unfortunately, similar irresponsible rhetoric
is being repeated, most notably in the current debate over the proposed
Missouri stem cell research constitutional amendment.