Researchers have discovered that umbilical cord stem cells, found in the blood of the umbilical cord, and able to differentiate into various types of tissue, represent a valid treatment alternative for leukemia patients that cannot find a compatible donor for a bone marrow transplant. American hematologists meeting in San Francisco for the 50th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Congress are now focusing their research on these types of stem cells to fight blood borne tumors.
Are any stem cell treatments approved in the U.S.?
FDA has not approved any stem cell-based products for use, other than cord blood-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells (blood forming stem cells) for certain indications including certain blood cancers and some inherited metabolic and immune system disorders.
What should consumers know before being treated with therapies derived from stem cells?
As is the case with any investigational treatment, consumers should speak with their doctor to learn about the potential risks and benefits from being treated with a stem cell-based product. Consumers should seek assurance from their treating physician that necessary FDA approval has been