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Chennai Sunday 03rd February 2008

Stem cell therapy, an emerging option

Coimbatore Feb. 3: While there are conflicting versions on the validity of stem cell transplantation, leading surgeons who met in Coimbatore on Sunday claimed that there had been a breakthrough in research using stem cell for spinal cord imaging and ischaemic heart diseases. Dr Samuel J.K. Abraham, director, Japan-based Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on “stem cell and clinical applications” that stem cell therapy has been used in many developed countries and there were stem cell therapy clinics in Singapore, Russia, Germany and other countries. There were proven scientific publications on the regenerative capability of the mamolian brain which had been documented in 1969, he claimed.

Recently, the Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) had questioned the therapy on curing spinal cord injuries. This was disputed by Dr M Natarajan, chief neuro surgeon of K G Hospital, who performed the surgery on a woman who had met with an accident. Dr Natarajan said the regenerative capability of the central nervous system of human beings has been well documented. ?Treatment to patients suffering from ischaemic strokes had been documented successfully by Dr Honmon of Sapporo University, Japan, he said.

Dr J K B C Parthiban, neurosurgeon, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital, who is a member of ASSI, said that the contention of ASSI was not in good taste and casting aspersions on fellow doctors and surgeons was against medical ethics. The studies were done as per the ICMR guidelines with the patient's consent before the procedure. “The association is blocking the public from undertaking a better and more successful option,” he said. “Those who criticise should go through the documents and journals, which publish success stories,” Dr Parthiban added. Dr G Bakthavathsalam, chairman of K G Hospital said the technology of stem cell transplantation was based on the proven probabilities given by the Japan technical collaborator through NCRM.

- Courtesy Deccan Chronicle, 03rd February 2008 issue.
*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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