Prompted by concerns about patients traveling to countries such as China or Thailand in pursuit of unproven stem cell–based treatments for paralysis, cancer, heart failure, and other conditions, a task force assembled by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has developed a draft set of guidelines to “ensure that best practices are applied to the clinical translation of stem cell research from the laboratory to humans” (http://www.isscr.org/press_releases/clin_guidelines.html). The draft guidelines also urge authorities to “prevent exploitation of vulnerable patients” in countries where practitioners are offering and charging patients for stem cell therapies outside an established clinical trial.
Stephenson J. Stem-Cell Tourism Caution. JAMA. 2008;300(3):271. doi:10.1001/jama.300.3.271-c