Skip to main content

Embryology

Volume 713: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the state of research into stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); and what is their advice to patients regarding clinics offering curative stem cell therapy for PAH, particularly in relation to safety. [HL5661]

Stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains an experimental approach and is not a proven treatment. There have been a small number of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals that point to a potential role for stem cells in the treatment of PAH, but much more laboratory and clinical research is needed ahead of any definitive proof of efficacy or safety.

The department is aware of a growing number of unlicensed and unproven stem cell products that are being marketed to patients over the internet from overseas “clinics”. Regrettably, such marketing falls outside the jurisdiction of medicines legislation in the United Kingdom. The department, NHS Choices and the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee have all issued warnings and provided advice on their respective websites for anyone who may be considering such “stem cell treatments”.