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Stem cell transplantation a new boon for patients

Coimbatore, Feb 03: With a section of spinal surgeons expressing concern over the claim on the success of stem cell therapy in curing spinal cord injuries, leading surgeons on Monday said it was a new boon for patients in major ailments.

The orthopaedicians and neurosurgeons, who attended a one day seminar 'stem cell and clinical applications,' told reporters here that breakthrough research in using stem cell for spinal cord imaging and ischaemic heart diseases, have made desperate patients happy.

There are clinics having such stem cell therapies in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Russia, Singapore, Bangkok, Germany, which used foetus stem cells, umbilical cord cell, adult stem cells, Dr Samuel JK Abraham, director, Japan-based Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), Chennai, said.

There were proven scientific publications and literature on regenerative capability of mamolian brain was documented in 1969, he claimed, refuting the allegations of a section of surgeons, who contested a recent stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury on a woman, who met with an accident, Dr M Natarajan, chief neurosurgeon of K G hospital, who performed the surgery claimed.

Approach of treatment by an orthopaedic surgeon and neurosurgeon was different, Natarajan said.

Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) had recently expressed concern over media reports about the cure for spinal cord injuries through stem cell therapy and had demanded scientific proof.

Stating that the woman who had undergone the therapy has shown major improvement, Natarajan said the regenerative capability of the central nervous system of human beings has been well documented.

Treatment to patients suffering from ischaemic stroke has been documented successfully by Dr Honmon of Sapporo university, Japan, he said.

Dr G Bakthavathsalam, chairman of K G hospital said the technology of stem cell transplantation was based on the proven probabilities given by Japan technical collaborator through NCRM.

Till date, multicentric study of stem cell application by the hospital in spinal cord injury, liver cerosis and peripheral vascular diseases has proven the safety in all and efficacy in select group of patients, who otherwise have not other option of treatment at the moment, he said.

The contention of ASSI was not in good taste and casting aspiration on fellow doctors and surgeons was against medical ethics, Dr J K B C Parthiban, neurosurgeon, Kovai medical center and hospital, who himself is a member of ASSI, said.

The studies were done as per the ICMR guidelines with the patients' informed consent. "The association is blocking the public from coming for a future successful option,' he said.

"Those who criticise should go through the documents and journals, which publish success stories, Parthiban said.

Bureau Report

- Courtesy Zee News 03rd Feb 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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