The idea that the body's own stem cells could act as a repair kit for many conditions, including cardiac repair, underpins regenerative medicine. While progress is being made, with hundreds of clinical trials underway to evaluate possible autologous cell-based therapies, some patients and physicians are not prepared to wait and are pursuing treatments without evidence that the proposed treatments are effective, or even safe. This article explores the inherent tension between patients, practitioners and the need to regulate the development and commercialization of new cellular therapies--even when the cells come from the patient.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.