For Patients

The possibility that stem cells will one day be able to cure conditions such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and many other conditions has given hope to many suffering from these conditions, their family, carers and friends. While research is progressing, and we are learning more and more about how to grow and use stem cells, for those seeking cures the wait to deliver on the promise can be frustrating.

Current proven therapies using stem cells:

Within Australia the only proven treatments available involving stem cells are corneal and skin grafting, and blood stem cell transplants for the treatment of some blood, inherited immune and metabolic disorders, cancer and autoimmune diseases. There are many other potential treatments, but these are still in the research phase or in clinical trials, and are yet to be proven safe and effective

Importance of clinical trials:

In Australia and around the world, stem cell research is also progressing with clinical trials underway to test whether other types of stem cells treatments can help patients regain function from disease or injury, or halt the progression of a disease. Importantly in the clinical trials, researchers and doctors are making sure that any new stem cell treatment will be safe and effective before being widely adopted. Find out more about Australian stem cell clinical trials

Unproven stem cell clinics:

It is concerning many doctors and stem cell scientists that there are clinics and companies that are already offering stem cell treatments without having first thoroughly tested their proposed therapies through the clinical trial process. These therapies may therefore pose great health risks for the patients and  are offered outside accepted medical practice. Moreover, they are very expensive and are not recognised by Medicare or private health insurance companies. For more information, including warning signs to look out for, visit our unproven stem cell treatments page. 

Before embarking on any treatment it is important you discuss all your options with your doctor. Remember the testimonial from a patient is not scientific proof that it will work for you. Please also contact patient advocacy groups for further information or clarification.

Resources for patients:


 
Australian Stem Cell
Handbook
ISSCR Patient
Handbook
A Closer Look
at Stem Cells

Prof Kirsten Hebert
"Stem Cell Tourism"

MOVE - Stem Cell
Treatment flyer