Accessibility links

Breaking News

Nobel Laureate Says Unproven Stem-Cell Therapies 'Dangerous'

iPS cells derived from adult human dermal fibroblasts (REUTERS/Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University/Handout)
Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka is warning patients against unproven stem-cell therapies offered at clinics and hospitals in a growing number of countries.

Japan's Yamanaka, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine on October 8 together with British biologist John Gurdon, told the Reuters news agency the following day that many so-called stem-cell therapies were being conducted without any preclinical testing or safety checks and were highly risky.

Clinics in countries such as China, Mexico, India, Turkey, and Russia offer alleged stem-cell cures for a range of diseases, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.

Yamanaka and Gurdon were awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that adult cells can be transformed back into embryo-like stem cells that may one day regrow tissue in damaged brains, hearts, or other organs.

Based on reporting by Reuters