Stem cell treatment still under research mode, clarifies govt

In order to spread awareness about the guidelines and educate all the stakeholders, dissemination programs are being organized in different parts of the country

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New Delhi: Answering a question seeking clarity over stem cell treatments on the floor of Parliament, the Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ms Anupriya Patel, mentioned, “Stem Cell Treatment is still under research mode in India and the Government is supporting various basic pre-clinical and clinical research activities. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had released ‘Draft Guidelines for Stem Cell Research/Regulation’ in 2002, which was elaborately worked upon along with Department of Biotechnology resulting in ‘Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Therapy (2007)’.”

“Incorporating further inputs and consultations from all stakeholders, the draft guidelines were then finalized as ‘National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research (NGSCR)-2013’. This document guides clinicians and scientists working in the field to conduct research in scientifically responsible and ethically sensitive manner. The 2013 document has been further revised incorporating recent advances and harmonizing the existing rules and regulations. The document was released on 11th October, 2017,” she stated.

“In order to spread awareness about the guidelines and educate all the stakeholders, dissemination programs are being organized in different parts of the country,” informed the Minister.

As per the National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research- 2017, only bone marrow/hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for blood disorders (including blood cancers and thalassemia) is permitted use of stem cells all other conditions have to be done only under the purview of clinical trials in compliance with National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research 2017.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi is providing stem cell treatment for cancer and thalassemia patients through various departments like Department of Hematology, Pediatric Oncology, Medical Oncology, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH) and Stem Cell Facility. Other hospitals such as Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai is also providing Stem Cell treatment.