CHICAGO — The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), along with the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, is hosting a Washington, DC-based workshop and live webcast examining the practice and consequences of unproven stem cell treatments on November 18, 2013 from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT. The workshop is free, and registration is open to the public.
Stem cells hold tremendous potential to advance health and medicine, but, to date, only a few clinical applications have been reviewed for safety and efficacy and received regulatory approval. However, clinics have been established throughout the world offering "stem cell therapies" for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Often promoted as established and effective, and sometimes provided at great expense, these treatments have not generally received stringent regulatory oversight, nor have they been tested through rigorous trials to determine safety and likely benefit, and claims remain largely unsubstantiated by medical science.
Workshop speakers will examine the extent of unsubstantiated treatment offerings and the associated clinical risks and concerns. Discussions will delve into global regulatory and legal landscapes for stem cell trials and treatments and explore a range of potential solutions for assuring the quality of unregulated offerings.
"This event brings together scientists, clinicians and regulators to engage patients and the public on issues around stem cell treatments and their regulation," said ISSCR Past-president Fred H. Gage, who helped to develop the workshop. "Our collective work is a step toward assuring everyone has access to quality information on stem cell treatments and toward improving patient safety globally."
The "Stem Cell Therapies: Opportunities for Assuring the Quality and Safety of Unregulated Clinical Offerings" workshop will take place at the National Academy of Sciences building in room 125 at 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418. Registration is available at www.iom.edu/unregulatedstemcelltherapies. Participation via live webcast will be available through an embedded video player on the same website, and webcast registration is encouraged but not required.
The ISSCR offers resources for patients with questions related to stem cell treatments, including a patient handbook, at www.closerlookatstemcells.org.
About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org)
The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.
7 November, 2013
Michelle Quivey, Senior Communications Manager
International Society for Stem Cell Research