domenica 8 giugno 2014

Controversial stem-cell treatment gets OK for toddler

'We'll administer Stamina tomorrow'

(ANSA) - Milan, June 6 - A controversial stem-cell treatment will once again be administered in an Italian hospital after being widely discredited, a pediatrician said Friday. "We've gotten the go-ahead from the (Brescia) hospital.

Tomorrow at 10:00 we'll administer Stamina treatment" to a toddler suffering from a brain disease, said Dr. Marino Andolina, the vice president of the Stamina Foundation. The doctor, who will personally apply the treatment, said he received confirmation after a meeting with the head of Brescia's civic hospitals Ezio Belleri. Stamina's credibility has long been suspect, and last fall the health ministry ruled that the Stamina Foundation would no longer be allowed to test the treatment on humans. The foundation was also stripped of its non-profit status after a study found its treatment was "ignorant of stem-cell biology".

Recent investigations have shown risks of the treatment range from nausea to cancer, and as many as one quarter of all patients treated have experienced "adverse effects". The head of the foundation, Davide Vannoni, may face indictment. But support from some patients who have used or requested the treatment remains strong, and a few days ago, a court in the central Marche region ruled that toddler Federico Mezzina could receive Stamina treatment for Krabbe disease. 

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