Business, Finance & Economics

Chinese stem cell therapy put on hold


An exhibit at the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit, Michigan. European scientists fear the EU's ruling will American and Asian scientists to reap the financial benefits of their work.


Bill Pugliano

China's limited offerings as a medical tourism destination might be at an end for now.

In recent years, the country has drawn thousands of foreign citizens with experimental hospitals and doctors willing to treat seriously ill patients with unproven stem-cell therapies.

This week, the Ministry of Health announced that the country has stopped all unproven and experimental stem-cell treatment programs and put a lid on new applications approval of stem-cell treatments.

The official Xinhua news agency and Reuters reported that the ban, similar to one issued in the United States last week, will last through July.

China's experimental stem-cell treatments have been used on patients with severe neurological diseases, other chronic illnesses and injuries. While some patients have sung the praises of unproven stem-cell therapy programs in China, many of the treatments and hospitals have produced horror stories, including death, disease and infection.