Doctors still hesitant to try stem cell therapy: Scientists

Date (2015-09-14 )

TRICHY: Vague guidelines from the Central government and the indifference of doctors who do not want to move away from the traditional method of prescribing medicines have made stem cell therapy a distant dream in the country, sale stem cell research scientists said here on Sunday. Despite being reported to be an effective method to cure diseases, for sale the new technology is yet to gain pace in most parts of the country, there they said.

Even then, biotechnology scientists continue their research on adult stem cells taken out from blood, umbilical cord tissues, dental pulp, bone marrow and fat tissues. Blood cells like the hematopoietic stem cells are said to cure blood disorders like blood cancer. Mesenchymal cells are sucked out from cord tissues to treat degenerative diseases.

The gradual development of stem cell and the stumbling blocks on its progress were the hot topics at the continuing medical education programme on 'Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering and Dr Abdul Kalam Innovation Award' conducted by Mother Cell Regenerative Centre and National College (MCRC) in the city. "Stem cell therapy treatment could be a one-stop solution to many diseases. Realising the effectiveness of the therapy, a limited number of doctors take bone marrow concentrate from the patients and inject it after long processing to treat them. If a majority of the doctors adopt this method, it will give the patients a new lease of life," said scientific coordinator Dr D Avinash Gandi on the sidelines of the programme.

The scientists as well as a small group of doctors researching on stem cells claim that the therapy can cure regenerative diseases in heart, kidney and diabetes. Chairperson of MCRC Dr S Sankaranarayanan, Trichy and organising secretary Dr V R Ravi claimed that stem cell therapy had showed positive results on three patients who were affected with cerebral palsy, retinal pigmentation and ameloblastoma.

The difficult process and the unavailability of labs are said to prevent doctors from taking up research on stem cell therapy. Besides, the unclear policies of the government about the stem cell therapy act as a hurdle.

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