DOH: Stem cell therapy dangerous

By JENNY F. MANONGDO

Manila, Philippines Doctors yesterday warned against fatal complications of the use of stem cell therapy.

According to the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine (PSSCM), a stem cell transplant poses a host of complications, including fatal complications that depend on several factors such as the type of blood disorder, type of transplant and the age and health of the person receiving the transplant. If the stem cell that you received is not from your own body, it could lead to fatal complications, PSSCM said.

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) also warned that a patients body may reject the transplant stem cells from a donor.

Although some people experience few problems with a transplant, others may develop complications that may require treatment or hospitalization. Some complications could even be life-threatening, said Dr. Leo Olarte, PMA vice-president.

According to Olarte, the complications that can arise with a stem cell transplant include graftversus-host disease, stem cell (graft) failure, organ injury, infections, cataracts, infertility, new cancers, and even death.

According to Olarte, a person who will undergo a stem cell transplant from a donor (allogeneic stem cell transplant) may be at risk of graft-versus-host disease.

This condition occurs when a donors transplanted stem cells attack your body. Graft-versushost disease can be mild or severe. It can occur soon after your transplant or months to years later. Aside from the graft-versushost disease, stem cell transplant from a donor can likewise affect any organ, commonly the skin (rash, often like sunburn), gut (mouth sores, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting), liver (jaundice or yellowing of the skin), lungs (blocked airways) or eyes (irritation and light sensitivity).

Olarte said it could also lead to chronic disability arising from organ injury or infections that are potentially life-threatening.

Commercial establishments offering stem cell treatments have increased following its popularity in the treatment of various diseases.

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DOH: Stem cell therapy dangerous

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