New rules will regulate stem – cell therapy use

The Consumer By Linda Bolido Philippine Daily Inquirer

All the publicity about stem-cell therapy (SCT), including endorsements from some of the countrys most powerful people and brightest stars, has made it seem like a miracle cure, even a cure-all.

From the treatment of life-threatening medical problems to reversing the effects of aging, people are now beginning to look to SCTespecially if they can afford itfor salvation.

But, according to a doctor I know, there are actually only two proven applications for the therapy right now. The rest, at this stage, is really still experimental. People have, of course, volunteered for pioneering procedures, hoping for a cure for whatever ails them.

Education still needed

Thats well and good, as long as they are fully informed and give their unequivocal consent to being experimented on. The problem, however, is some people undergo the therapy without fully understanding it. And there are groups that seem to think that because they have Googled the therapy and read everything on the Net about it, they are capable of doing the procedure.

I mentioned in this column previously that even beauty parlors were offering to do SCT. Although it would be only for cosmetic purposes, the procedure is too new and complex to leave in the hands of beauticians.

Finally, the Department of Health has issued rules and regulations to regulate the SCT practice, a move warmly welcomed by the medical community, particularly the Philippine Medical Association and Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine, which expressed concern before that the popularity of SCT would lead to abuse and illegal practice if left unregulated.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in published reports, said the guidelines aimed to safeguard the welfare of our patients and the general public by making [sure] safe, effective and ethical stem-cell modalities and practices are within emerging international and global standards considering the very complex nature of this therapy.

Among other things, the rules restrict the use of genetically altered stem cells and tissues of human adults and the umbilical cord, fat-derived human stem cells and live animal stem cells.

Read more:
New rules will regulate stem - cell therapy use

Related Post