The Medical Advisory Board of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has issued an announcement urging caution regarding stem cell therapies for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
In addition to early stem cell initiatives raising some ethical controversy in terms of abortion politics and human cloning, the new wave of stem cell therapy based on adult stem cells is prompting disease advocacy groups like the PFF to encourage patients to tread carefully with the still-untested treatment.
“We know very little about the impact of such therapies in humans, and rigorous clinical trials have not been conducted to test the role (or adverse effects) of stem cells in the management of IPF. Furthermore, few studies have been conducted in animals or humans for the treatment of any lung condition,” the PFF Medical Advisory Board said in their announcement.
According to the Board, based on the potential regeneration of scarred lungs through stem cell therapies, patients are becoming increasingly eager to undergo such therapeutic interventions.
The PFF Medical Advisory Board emphasizes that, due to the promising therapeutic benefits of stem cell therapies, studies using these cells are being conducted in patients outside of approved clinical trials. Medical tourism for stem cell therapy is in fact becoming a reality, and the potential risks associated with it led the PFF to advise patients to use caution.