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Stem cell sites 'exploiting sufferers'

Stem cell sites 'exploiting sufferers'
8th December 2008

People suffering diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis are at risk of exploitation from internet firms claiming to offer stem-cell therapies, it is claimed.

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) calls for guidelines to be brought into play which will ensure stem cell research is "responsibly transitioned into appropriate clinical applications".

It makes its comments as it published Guidelines for the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells, a paper which considers the various scientific, ethical, regulatory and clinical issues which affect turning such research into treatments.

"Unfortunately, there are clinics around the world that exploit patients' hopes by offering supposed stem cell therapies, without credible scientific rationale, oversight or other patient protections," the ISSCR warns.

Last month, scientists presented data to Neuroscience 2008, the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, suggesting there has been an important step forward in the possibility of using a stem cell-based treatment for Parkinson's disease.

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