Mumbai: Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) today said the stem cells research in India is still inits infancy and cautioned public about claims by any doctorregarding treatment with its help based on personal testimony. ICMR said stem cell research should be promoted in thecountry in view of its potential for its clinical use but theat the same time, the doctors should not claim anythingwithout putting their findings in the peer-reviewed scientificjournals.
They have become very promising areas of new advances inmedicine, since they can replace the diseased cell in our bodyin contrast to existing practice where diseased cells aretreated with drugs and antibiotics. "However, stem cell research raises many ethical, legal,scientific and policy issues that are of concern to the policymakers and public at large. As the research progresses andtechnologies advance, the regulatory system needs to bestrengthened and a law has to be enacted," Dr Jotwani said. "Bone marrow transplantation nowadays fashionably termed`Stem Cell Therapy` has been a standard mode of treatment forleukemia for several decades. It will take many more years forstem-cell-based therapies to move from bench to bedside," shesaid referring several claims that were being made in Delhi,Mumbai and Chennai. Science is not yet mature to recommend therapies to thepatients, but many clinics are already exploiting the hopes ofpatients, encouraging `medical tourism?, collecting large sumof money without any scientific basis, transparency,regulations or patient safety, Srivastava said. "Such unproven therapies put patients at risk and mayaffect stem cell research adversely, on the issue," he said. The meeting was attended by large number of stakeholdersand medical experts like Dr Shyam Agarwal, eminent geneticistand immunologist from Lucknow, IVF expert Dr Indira Hinduja,former ICMR deputy director general Dr Vasantha Muthuswami. PTI
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