30.10.2013

Ophthalmology and Pediatric Associations condemned the offer of stem cell treatments

A statement against therapies offered in Argentina and abroad which failed the experimental stage was signed.

Tags Stem cells
Ophthalmology and Pediatric Associations condemned the offer of stem cell treatments

Members of the Advisory Commission on Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of the Science portfolio together with the ophthalmological association and the Argentina Society of Pediatrics representatives.

The main ophthalmologic associations of the country today condemned the offer of experimental treatments with stem cells for vision diseases. The entities adhered to a statement from the Advisory Commission on Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, which warns about the current lack of established treatments using stem cells for vision-related diseases.

The initiative is supported by the Argentina Society of Ophthalmology, the Argentine Council of Ophthalmology, the Argentina Retina and Vitreous Society and the Argentina Society of Children's Ophthalmology. It was also supported by the Argentina Society of Pediatrics which brings together more than 16,000 professionals around the country.

The international scientific community condemns the use of stem cells to treat patients as an "unproven medical innovation" when it occurs outside of a clinical trial, and especially when patients have to pay for the procedure. The ethical recommendation is that doctors and/or scientists should refrain from participating thereof. Stem cells are likely to be an alternative treatment for many diseases in the future. However, their therapeutic use is currently limited to some hematological diseases, related to the bone marrow transplantation or hematopoietic, so the clinical application to other diseases as neurological, diabetes, cancer, etc. is still far away. For this to happen, not only therapeutic efficacy should be tried but also their security by clinical research methodology.

The Associations concluded that in the case of accessing to such therapies, it is important to comply with the existing legal framework, following the medical research methods, it should be free because it is an experimental procedure, adhere to a research protocol approved by the local regulatory authority, in the case of Argentina, the Unique Central National Institute of Ablation and Implant Coordinator (INCUCAI) and have the given informed consent by the patient. Compliance with this regulation is the only safeguard indicating that the risks to which the patient is exposed have been seriously evaluated.

The Ministry of Science has a portal that collects all information about stem cell treatments which can be visited at www.celulasmadre.mincyt.gob.ar

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Ophthalmology and Pediatric Associations condemned the offer of stem cell treatments

Members of the Advisory Commission on Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine of the Science portfolio together with the ophthalmological association and the Argentina Society of Pediatrics representatives.

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