Quantcast
Latest Stories

The Consumer

New rules will regulate stem-cell therapy use

By

All the publicity about stem-cell therapy (SCT), including endorsements from some of the country’s most powerful people and brightest stars, has made it seem like a miracle cure, even a cure-all.

From the treatment of life-threatening medical problems to reversing the effects of aging, people are now beginning to look to SCT—especially if they can afford it—for salvation.

But, according to a doctor I know, there are actually only two proven applications for the therapy right now. The rest, at this stage, is really still experimental. People have, of course, volunteered for pioneering procedures, hoping for a cure for whatever ails them.

Education still needed

That’s well and good, as long as they are fully informed and give their unequivocal consent to being experimented on. The problem, however, is some people undergo the therapy without fully understanding it. And there are groups that seem to think that because they have Googled the therapy and read everything on the Net about it, they are capable of doing the procedure.

I mentioned in this column previously that even beauty parlors were offering to do SCT. Although it would be only for cosmetic purposes, the procedure is too new and complex to leave in the hands of beauticians.

Finally, the Department of Health has issued rules and regulations to regulate the SCT practice, a move warmly welcomed by the medical community, particularly the Philippine Medical Association and Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine, which expressed concern before that the popularity of SCT would lead to abuse and illegal practice if left unregulated.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in published reports, said the guidelines aimed to safeguard the “welfare of our patients and the general public by making [sure] safe, effective and ethical stem-cell modalities and practices are within emerging international and global standards considering the very complex nature of this therapy.”

Among other things, the rules restrict the use of genetically altered stem cells and tissues of human adults and the umbilical cord, fat-derived human stem cells and live animal stem cells.

Ask questions

I learned that some groups were offering to harvest stem cells from the umbilical cord of newborns and from the placenta to families that could afford their fees. They tell parents the harvested stem cells will be kept in storage for use by the child should he/she need it in the future. The fees, I understand, are in the hundreds of thousands of, even million, pesos.

If the parents are willing and can afford it, they are perfectly free to do that. I just hope they know exactly where and how the stem cells will be stored. Will the stem cells stay safe and usable until needed? What are the guarantees that only the family will have access to it? These and other questions should be asked—and answered—before families agree to anything.

FDA warning

Last week, too, the DOH’s Food and Drug Administration cautioned the public about buying food supplements that claimed to cure cancer.

While many doctors do not discourage the use of herbal products, what they are concerned about is the fact that patients stop using prescribed medication or therapy, relying solely on these preparations for their cure. The word supplement says it all—the products are meant to supplement whatever medical therapies people have to undergo. They are not substitutes for the treatment.

Patients should be open with their doctors and tell them exactly what supplements and nutritional aids they are taking to ensure that these are compatible with whatever prescription the physicians will give.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Consumer Issues , Health , Lifestyle , Stem Cell Therapy



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

News

  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Moderate earthquake jolts southern Iran
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • Netizens seething in anger over Aquino ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
    Marketplace