‘Pioneer’ Paarl neuro sets alarm bells ringing

Chris Bateman


A Paarl neurosurgeon claims to be on his way to a world first in repairing spinal cord injuries using therapeutic stem cell cloning, having removed 35 mm from the spinal cord of a quadriplegic man and injecting a ‘special’ matrix of the cells into the defect. Dr Adriaan Liebenberg asserts that the stem cell work via his surgery is responsible for enhanced arm strength and the return of (delayed) sensation to the hands and feet of 32-year-old Tommie Prins, of Milnerton, paralysed in a sand-bar diving accident six years ago. However, two of the country’s top stem cell experts, regulatory authorities and university ethicists expressed deep alarm.

Author's affiliations

Chris Bateman, HMPG

Full Text



Therapeutic stem cell cloning, ethical approval, clinical trials

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2013;103(1):8-9. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.6587

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-12-03
Date published: 2012-12-06

Article Views

Abstract views: 2952
Full text views: 8985

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here