German authorities have closed down a controversial clinic offering unproven stem cell treatments following the death of a baby who was given an injection in the brain.
You can read the full news story in the link below:http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/about_us/news/news_items/all_news/stem_cell_clinic_shut_down.aspx
The XCell clinic had been treating a variety of conditions including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. But there is no scientific proof that the treatments actually work.
The authorities are investigating the death and the case of another child, who is understood to be more severely disabled than when first treated at the clinic.Exploiting a legal loophole
The XCell clinic had been operating under a loophole in the European regulations. This allowed some treatments already in use when the new regulations took effect to continue for 18 months without formal approval.
A European Union regulation passed in 2007 now defines stem cell transplantation as a medicine. This means that before stem cell procedures can be licensed for use by the general public, they must undergo the same kind of rigorous trials as those used for other medicines.
Stem cells in Parkinson’s are still experimental. There is currently no proven stem cell therapy available for Parkinson’s anywhere in the world.
Stem cell treatments, like the ones offered by the XCell clinic, are banned in the UK unless they are part of a clinical trial because there is no scientific proof that they work.Research into stem cells
Researchers have made considerable advances in stem cells and scientific studies are producing promising results. But a lot of work still needs to be done to develop a safe and effective stem cell treatment for people with Parkinson’s.
The link below shows current Parkinson’s UK funded stem cell projects:http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/research/current_research/current_stem_cell_research.aspxTake part in our Q&A on stem cell research
If you have a question about research into stem cells, you can take part in our upcoming question and answer session. http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/questions
Dr. Rosemary Fricker-Gates, a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Keele University, will be answering questions about stem cell research.
You can submit questions between 18 and 24 May 2011
. Answers will be posted on 26 May.