Scientists slam Italy`s untested stem cell therapy

Italian scientists are criticising a decision by Italy`s government to allow a handful of children to be treated in public hospitals with an experimental stem cell therapy.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2013, 00:26 AM IST

Rome: Italian scientists are criticising a decision by Italy`s government to allow a handful of children to be treated in public hospitals with an experimental stem cell therapy.
The adult stem cell treatment was halted by the Italian Pharmacological Agency. But the government last week overruled the regulator after parents went to court to demand that the therapy be continued.

The health ministry said the therapy hadn`t shown "grave collateral effects" and could continue in the patients, some of whom are terminally ill.

In a letter to Italy`s health minister, a dozen scientists criticised the decision, saying there is no evidence the therapy works.

Adult stem cells can maintain and repair tissues within a person, but there is no known benefit of removing such cells and using them to treat patients.

PTI