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Bogus Stem Cell Therapies Sold on Internet
Date:12/3/2008

safety of the stem cells; voluntary informed consent of participants in research projects along with careful monitoring of these volunteers and caution in using stem-cell-based therapies outside a research context.

Despite its promise, stem-cell based treatment is the standard of care for only a few diseases and conditions. These include hematopoietic stem cell transplants for leukemia and epithelial-stem-cell-based treatments for burns and corneal (eye)disorders.

Still, the potential of stem cell research is vast, experts said. Although research has not yet translated directly into abundant therapies for patients, the gains have been substantial, albeit indirect.

"For patients, it's not surprising that there are not direct applications but what is often lost to public is that so much knowledge had been gained from stem cell research," Hyun said. "The advancements for patients are going to come sooner through these indirect routes, not direct cell-based therapy, from the expansion of knowledge.

More information

There's a patient handbook on the new guidelines at the International Society for Stem Cell Research.



SOURCS: Insoo Hyun, Ph.D., associate professor, bioethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland; Paul Sanberg, distinguished professor, neurosurgery, and director, University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa; December 2008, Cell Stem Cell


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