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International Cellular Medicine Society evaluates overseas stem cell clinics

A global association of stem cell clinicians has published a survey (.pdf) comparing clinics located outside of the United States that offer therapies for over 70 health conditions ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

Nature's Spoonful of Medicine blog reports:

The International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS), a non-profit group that claims a membership of 224 physicians and researchers from 21 countries, today unveiled a survey offering details about 22 clinics that offer adult stem cell therapies. The survey is based on the clinics’ voluntary responses to a series of questions about the sophistication of their protocols...Medical professionals from the ICMS judged the complexity of the clinics’ cell processing and implantation techniques and graded each on a scale of one to three.

The organization has also created a treatment registry to track patients of the overseas clinics who received stem cell therapies for the next two decades. Currently, only six of the 22 clinics included in the survey are participating in the registry.

As mentioned in an earlier Scope post, Stanford stem cell researcher Irving Weissman, MD, has been working with the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) to establish a system to review stem cell treatments. While the survey compiled by ICMS relies on clinics to voluntarily report information about procedures and patient outcomes, the ISSCR system will require clinics to provide peer-reviewed evidence of efficacy and safety and, in addition, documentation 'from an agency equivalent to the Food and Drug Administration showing the approval of the experiment or the therapy for human subjects with their disease.'

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