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Texas Governor's Surgery Included Adult Stem Cells

Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 4:29 PM CDT
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Texas Governor's Surgery Included Adult Stem Cells

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 18: Texas governor Rick Perry waves as he signs copies of his book "Fed Up" during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2011 Republican Leadership Conference features keynote addresses from most of the major republican candidates for president as well as numerous republican leaders from across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Doctors used adult stem cells to help Texas Gov. Rick Perry with his back surgery last month.

A spokesman said the stem cells were used in an "innovative way." The cells were taken from Perry's body and applied to the area where doctors decompressed a nerve and fused part of his spine. Adult stem cell therapy is different from using embryonic cells, which Perry opposes.

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved using stem cells to help people heal from surgery, but experimentation is common. Researchers do warn, however, of a slight increased cancer risk.

Perry, a Republican who is considering a run for president, has advocated research into adult stem cells. Since the July 1 surgery, Perry has worn a back brace but has maintained his work schedule.

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