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Concern over claims on stem cell therapy

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: The Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) has expressed concern over claims by hospitals across the country that stem cell therapy is providing a cure for patients with spinal cord injuries that have left them immobile.

Association vice-president S. Rajasekaran and joint secretary H.S. Chhabra told presspersons here on Saturday that an executive committee meeting of the ASSI on Friday moved a resolution, expressing concern over these claims.

The surgeons said only research was on and that there was no proven case of a cure. The association was not against the research in the possibility of a cure for spinal cord injuries. But, it was not fair to claim that the cure was already available. “This can be projected as a research or trial and not as a cure,” said Dr. Chhabra. Dr. Rajasekaran said this could be seen as an attempt at exploiting the desperation among the patients who yearned to be back on their feet.

Actual status

“Our meeting took a decision to make the actual status clear to the public,” he said.

Both the surgeons also pointed out that the brain and the spinal cord did not have regenerative capability like some other organs.

Till now, the stem cell therapy was at a “very, very experimental stage. And, there is no documented proof of any paraplegic or quadriplegic patient being cured through stem cell therapy”.

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