European rights court says Stamina ban legit

Discredited stem-cell treatment loses in Strasbourg

(ANSA) - Strasbourg, May 28 - The European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday ruled that an Italian ban on a controversial stem-cell therapy was legitimate. The case centered around a woman suffering from a degenerative brain disease since birth who argued her rights had been violated by the State denying her Stamina treatment. The process involves extracting bone-marrow stem cells from a patient, turning them into neurons by exposing them to retinoic acid for two hours, and injecting them back into the patient. But its credibility has long been suspect, and last fall the health ministry ruled that the Stamina Foundation would no longer be allowed to test the treatment on humans. The foundation was also stripped of its non-profit status after a study found its treatment was "ignorant of stem-cell biology". Recent investigations have shown risks of the treatment range from nausea to cancer, and as many as one quarter of all patients treated have experienced "adverse effects". The head of the foundation, Davide Vannoni, may face indictment.

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European rights court says Stamina ban legit

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