The success of adult stem cells has been so great that there is no reason to continue embryonic stem cell research, which necessarily involves the destruction of a human person, she argued, noting that there are 4,300 adult stem cell trials currently underway, but only 26 embryonic stem cell trials.
The most mature advances in adult stem cell therapies are in cardiovascular disease, Smith said. Injecting stem cells into the heart of people who have had heart attacks has stimulated the heart to repair itself.
There is also "very exciting data in wound repair, bone healing, advances for vision and certainly organ repair." Adult stem cell therapies are also being used to treat diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, autoimmune disorders, and other health issues, all of which are discussed in "The Healing Cell."
"The Healing Cell" will be published on April 2 and is available for pre-order at stemforlife.org. The first edition of the book was presented to former Pope Benedict XVI in June, and it includes his address to the participants at the Nov. 2011 adult stem cell conference.
The book also includes a foreword by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture under Benedict.
Msgr. Trafny, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture's Science and Faith department, told CNA that his office aims to show people that "there is a possibility to embrace well performed research...and to do so in peace with your conscience."
"So there's no opposition, no need to make a choice, between science and faith," he said, explaining that the Church embraces adult stem cell therapy because does not destroy a human life and therefore represents no violation of ethical norms or religious belief.
The pontifical council wants to "show that there is hope, especially for those who are affected by degenerative diseases and who desperately need help," said the monsignor.
He added that his office explores the advances in science "that will substantially change the future of society, and regenerative medicine is one of them."
"Being part of the discussion and research is part of the Church's mission, to help those who suffer, to assist them, and to find the best solution for their illness."