Ethical Stem Cell Research By Dr. Mark J. Holterman

Current Ethical Stem Cell Research

With an ongoing and sometimes controversial debate still raging about stem cell research, Mark J. Holterman, MD, a pediatric surgeon who practices out of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, has a long track record of focusing on stem cell research derived from ethical sources.

Particularly focusing today on the use of embryonic stem cells ethically sourced from the cells of those grieving parents who have lost their chance of being parents through a miscarriage, Dr. Mark Holterman is also co-founder of the Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies and does not otherwise use embryonic stems cells in his work. Read more at to know more about Dr. Mark Holterman.

It’s a known fact that fetal stem cells can be isolated not only from fetal tissues, as well as bone marrow and fetal blood, they are also rich sources of hemopoietic stem cells. While these bio molecular advantages over embryonic stem cells are considerable, their greatest benefit is in their classification status as being “less ethically contentious” and less subject to controversial debate.

As a full professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine since 2011, Dr. Mark Holterman also serves as an attending pediatric surgeon at the Advocate Christ Children’s Hospital and the famed Children’s Hospital of Illinois at the St. Francis Medical Center.

Dr. Mark J. Holterman has distinguished himself with having several memberships in other professional organizations that include the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Specializing in the fields of pediatric surgery, his focused research include regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies as well as obesity and novel cancer treatments. Read more about Dr. Mark Holterman at Ideamensch.

Dr. Mark J. Holterman’s Background

Coming with more than 29 years experience in medical science, Dr. Mark J. Holterman attended Yale University, majoring in biology. Having graduated cum laude before earning his PhD and MD from the University of Virginia, he finished his residency in general surgery at the University of Virginia Health Sciences and a fellowship in pediatric surgery at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center at the University of Washington.

Having also served as surgeon-in-chief at Advocate Christ Children’s Hospital, Dr. Mark Holterman also attended as a pediatric surgeon at Rush University Medical Center. Likewise, Dr. Holterman is presently affiliated with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center and St Alexius Medical Center.


Clay Siegall leads pharmaceutical research industry to find cure for cancer

For most of human history, a diagnosis of cancer was generally a death sentence. Although some patients with some types of cancers were able to live for a number of years, in most cases, a cancer diagnosis meant that the patient had little more than a few months to live. Even with the advent of modern surgical techniques, the survival rates for most types of cancers were dismal.

That did not begin to significantly change until the 1930s and 40s, when both radiation and primitive chemotherapies began coming on the market as ways to effectively treat various types of cancer. It was also in this period when surgical excision techniques began to come into their own as truly effective means of curing certain types of non-metastatic cancers in the earliest stages.

However, these treatments came with trade-offs. While some forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, melanoma and certain types of intestinal cancers, saw dramatic improvements in survivability, others were barely touched by the new treatments. In fact, between about 1950 and 1990, the overall improvement and survivability of most types of cancers was modest at best.

But the worst aspect of these treatments was the brutality that most engendered. Many of the surgeries to remove cancerous growths involved large-scale excisions and even amputations. The other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, often involved bringing the patient to near-death in order to rid the body of fast reproducing cancer cells. The side effects of all these treatments were often horrific, with patients routinely ending up scarred for life and oftentimes having severe disabilities as a result of the treatments.

But one man decided to change all of this. Clay Siegall, co-founder of Seattle Genetics, has developed a new model of cancer treatment. He’s invented a new class of drugs called antibody drug conjugates. Using the body’s own immune response against cancer cells, an antibody drug conjugate is able to bind a highly toxic chemical to an antibody, only releasing the cytotoxin upon contact with the malignant cell.

This has radically transformed cancer treatment and promises to someday deliver a cure.