Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Disease Warning

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

There are many successful adult stem cell treatments, such as TheraVitae's VesCell therapy, which has completed clinical trialing, been used to treat significant numbers of patients and whose results have been well documented in TV reports, newspapers and medical journals.

However, in the wake of more and more cases of people opting for unproven embryonic stem cell therapies, researchers, from King's College London, published their concerns in the British Medical Journal according to the BBC News website

Premature use of stem cell therapy could put many patients at risk of contracting disease, say the experts. They warn that without adequate safety measures use of the cells runs the risk of infecting patients with viruses and prion diseases, such as vCJD.

This warning applies to embryonic stem cells, as stem cells have not yet been grown in the conditions that would be expected, for instance, for any pharmaceutical product destined for human consumption. But the researchers suggest that expanded stem cells lines should be tested for a variety of pathogens before they are released for use.

They warn that science should learn the lessons from disasters, such as the HIV infection of haemophilia patients who received tainted blood transfusions.

Professor Roger Pederson, an expert in regenerative medicine at Cambridge University, told the BBC News website he was confident that stem cell research in the UK was safe. However, he said research of a more dubious nature was taking place elsewhere.

"The rule of thumb here is that if anyone is asked to pay to take part in a trial, then they probably should not do it," he said. "Any legitimate trials will be paid for by governmental sources."


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