April 24, 2024

Experts worried about stem cell claims

Stem cell scientists worried about shonky cures
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) announced
today that it has launched “A Closer Look at Stem Cell Treatments”,
a website to arm patients, their families and doctors with information
they need to make decisions about stem cell treatments. The Web site
was developed in response to the growing number of aggressive marketing
campaigns on the Internet and elsewhere offering stem cell treatments.
The ISSCR urges individuals to be cautious and to learn the facts before
making any decision.

“Stem cells do hold tremendous promise for the treatment of many serious
diseases. Yet there are organizations out there that are preying on
patients’ hopes, offering stem cell treatments – often for large sums of
money – for conditions where the current science simply does not
support its benefit or safety,” said Irving Weissman, president of
the ISSCR. “We want to stress through this initiative that there are
internationally accepted medical criteria for getting new medicines into
clinics. Patients have a right to know if the clinic or treatment they
are considering adheres to these criteria.”

Currently there are only a small number of stem cell treatments that
have been shown to be beneficial in rigorous studies. These mostly
pertain to diseases or conditions of the blood as well as skin grafts
and corneal repair. The ISSCR is concerned that stem cell treatments are
being marketed to patients worldwide for a variety of medical
conditions, without having the mechanisms in place to ensure safety or
likely benefit. Without these safeguards, patients may be put at risk. ~ ISSCR press release, June 8

Michael Cook
stem cells