Stem cell therapy a cure-all? Not so fast

Posted: October 31, 2012 at 10:49 pm

MANILA, Philippines Its supposed to cure various illnesses such as cancer, spinal cord injury and Parkinsons disease. Is stem cell therapy the cure-all that it is touted to be?

Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa said it is important to note that stem cell treatments are still at the experimental stage.

"The advisory is very clear. This is still an investigative form of therapy. Anecdotal reports are not enough evidence to say there is treatment, he said in an interview on ANC's Talkback with Tina Palma.

He said there are only two standard stem cell therapies considered effective and acceptable to the medical community.

"To date, I can only name two cases that are considered standard therapy. That is bone marrow transplantation--one for severe cancer, blood cancer and the other one is bone marrow transplantation after chemotherapy for any type of cancer, he said.

Herbosa said the Department of Health cannot confirm yet if stem cell treatment is indeed effective against certain diseases.

Dr. Tranquilino Elicao Jr., an oncologist who availed of the treatment in April in Frankfurt, Germany, said stem cell therapy cured his high blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and uric acid.

He had 12 injections of cells, which came from lambs.

After a month, I had my blood tests. Everything went down to normal, Elicao said.

Elicao also said he is not taking medication anymore because he has regained his health.

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Stem cell therapy a cure-all? Not so fast

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