Stem Cell Therapy in India

The 17 March, 2005, issue of Nature has a story titled, "Indian regulations fail to monitor grown stem-cell use in clinics", by K.S. Jayaraman.  The article explains that guidelines for research will be discussed soon, though stem cell are already being used in clinics.  It is yet another indication of how readily new biological technologies will be adopted as soon as they become available.  Like the clinical use of stem cells in Russia, the article notes there appears to be little central awareness of which studies are being performed where.  The "nation's premier medical institute" is pursuing clinical applications of stem cells for treating a variety of conditions without governmental knowledge or approval.  The article notes that, "The quality of cells being used in therapy is of major concern, as is the failure of clinicians to understand basic stem-cell biology."

If these treatments do show promise, I wonder how quickly US and European regulators will move to get clinical trials underway, or if they will insist that treatments on this side of the world be derived from a more basic understanding of mechanisms.  That will definitely slow things down.