Bioethics News

The Perils of Stem Cell Tourism: Case Report

July 1, 2016

(Medscape) – A new case report describes a patient who developed a glioproliferative neoplasm of the spinal cord after stem cell transplants at commercial clinics in China, Argentina, and Mexico. The 66-year-old man was seeking to ease residual deficits from ischemic stroke when he visited these clinics, where he underwent intrathecal infusions of mesenchymal, embryonic, and fetal neural stem cells, according to clinic reports. He wasn’t given any immunosuppressive drugs and subsequently developed the glioproliferative neoplasm. This case highlights the risks of “stem-cell tourism,” say the authors of a letter to the editor describing the case, published online June 22 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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