Posted on: 10/09/2014



Use of stem cell holds great promise for improving health and treating variety of illnesses by restoring the function of cells and organs damaged due to degeneration or injury or creating new organs. There are frequent reports about this treatment being given to patients and claims of its success. It has also lead to exploitation of patients by some clinicians by offering untested and unproven stem cell treatment as a magic bullet for many types of diseases and conditions. 

In order to curb this malpractice of offering stem cell therapy for uncurable diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnology issued a guideline few months back stating that from now on, any stem cell use in patients other than for haematopoietic (producer of red, white blood cells and platelets) stem cell reconstitution for approved indications, is investigational and will be considered research, and not therapy. Stem cell use in patients must be done only within the purview of an approved and monitored clinical trial with intent to advance science and medicine. In accordance with this stringent definition, every use of stem cells in patients outside an approved clinical trial shall be considered a malpractice.

Bone marrow transplant is a form of stem cell therapy and is the only proven therapy presently as given in cases of  haematopoietic  illnesses like leukaemia/lymphoma/multiple myeloma, etc.

There are various clinical trials underway to ascertain the role of stem cell in treating illnesses like diabetes, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury, chronic kidney disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, etc; but is not yet available as a standard therapy.

To know more about the latest update on this treatment protocol and treating centers offering the same as well as for getting your reports reviewed, post a query

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