St. Luke’s qualifies use of stem cell therapies

Researches ongoing for Alzheimers disease, cancer

MANILA, Philippines -- St. Lukes said it will only endorse and make available established and safe stem cell therapies that have undergone rigorous, long-term clinical research.

The hospital is also now in the midst of gathering data on stem cell treatments through clinical research. It is also starting to establish guidelines in the use of stem cells derived from adult skin, fat, bone marrow, and other possible sources to address various medical conditions.

Our institution at this time will use stem cells as a standard treatment only when there is data to show its clinical outcomes, its safety features, said Dr. Joven R. Cuanang, St. Lukes senior vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer.

This, amid the proliferation of stem cell therapies have in the Philippines that promise a virtual cure for a plethora of medical conditions from arresting aging to improving libido, as well as healing what were once considered incurable diseases such as cancer or degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

Nonetheless, these treatments may be harmful since they have yet to pass extensive clinical trials.

At present, St. Lukes Stem Cell Center uses stem cell as a standard of care for leukemias such as acute leukemia, chronic myolegenous leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome; myeloma; lymphomas; non-malignant hematologic diseases, and other bone marrow diseases.

The St. Lukes International Eye Institute also treats some ocular surface diseases using stem cells.

All other disease indications for stem cell and gene therapy remain to be on a clinical research level, as there are no long term studies, even abroad, to present to patients who are seeking them out, Cuanang said.

The hospital has also been able to establish clinical protocols for Alzheimers disease and spinal cord injuries. It said the results will be presented to the public when sufficient data has been gathered.

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St. Luke's qualifies use of stem cell therapies

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