Boots, guts and biochemistry

06 May 2013
In an article in The Weekend Australian, Stem Cells Australia's Martin Pera raises concerns about lack of evidence to support the use of stem cell therapy in sports medicine.

"The history of sports medicine is riddled with abuses of various drug therapies," says the Chair of Stem Cell Science at the University of Melbourne, Professor Martin Pera. "Stem cells may well be the next horizon."

"Unfortunately we have a number of clinics [in Australia], and it is not limited to sports medicine by any means, offering stem cell treatments that really haven't been subjected to rigorous analysis," says the University of Melbourne's Professor Martin Pera. "We are not sure about safety and we are not sure about the benefits. I think this whole area is a big concern for the field." Pera says people assume that because cells are taken from the patients themselves there is no possibility of harm. "Well, we know there is a possibility of harm and there have been instances in which stem cells have been injected into a patient and tumours have formed and there has been inappropriate growth of the wrong cell type."

Click here to read Greg Bearup's full article - Boots, Guts & Biochemistry [The Weekend Australian Magazine, 4 May 2013]