Because the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is concerned that stem cell therapies are being sold around the world before they have been proven safe and effective, they have released a Patient Handbook on Stem Cell Therapies.

Stem cell research holds extraordinary promise for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions, yet stem cell therapies are nearly all new and experimental. The Patient Handbook on Stem Cell Therapies provides resources that patients and doctors need to make the best decisions possible for treatment. It addresses frequently asked questions about stem cells and clinical therapies using stem cells including:

What is a stem cell therapy?

For what diseases or conditions are stem cell treatments well established?

How do I know if an approved stem cell therapy is safe?

What should I be cautious about if I am considering a stem cell therapy?

Also, Consumers should be wary of Web sites from clinics that offer stem cell treatments, says a study that found a lack of firm medical evidence to back up their claims. The Web sites in the study generally portrayed their therapies as safe, effective and ready for routine use, but published research doesn't support that "overoptimistic" picture, the study authors said.

The analysis is presented in the December issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell by scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada. They cautioned that their overall findings can't be applied to the claims of any individual clinic.

Scottish Stem Cell Network

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