The field of regenerative medicine is widely viewed as having the potential to improve treatment options for a broad range of conditions. Stem cell research in particular has been celebrated for its considerable clinical promise. Although measured enthusiasm surrounding this area of research is warranted, it must be balanced by patience and set in the context of a long-term perspective that is cognizant of the many steps required to bring safe and efficacious therapies to market. Creating therapeutic applications of stem cell technologies is an intricate process involving complex biology. It will require careful scientific investigation and evaluation under responsible ethical frameworks and regulatory standards in order to safely maximize their potential. Alongside the many promising avenues of responsible research currently underway in countries throughout the world, a global market has emerged where a wide range of putative stem cell-based interventions are sold on a direct-to-consumer basis and marketed over the internet.1,2,3,4
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- Patient and public engagement
- Stem cell research
- Unproven stem cell interventions