Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Stem cell research triggers new controversy

English
© ANSA

Rome, September 12 - Proponents of controversial
stem-cell research that was questioned one day earlier by
Italy's health minister argued Thursday for continued research.
The president and vice-president of the social affairs
committee of the Lower House, Pierpaolo Vargiu and Eugenia
Roccella, said the Stamina research was too important to
abandon.
And Davide Vannoni, the president of the Stamina
Foundation, defended the work as scientific and valid.
They were reacting to a reportedly negative opinion on the
controversial Stamina stem-cell treatment submitted by a group
of experts commissioned by the health ministry.
Italian researchers in July called on the health ministry
to stop supporting the treatment after international science
Journal Nature slammed it as ineffective.
Sources told ANSA that the opinion submitted to the health
ministry reportedly echoed those findings.
Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin had said that Vannoni,
the promoter of the Stamina therapy, needed to show results of
its clinical trials and a detailed protocol.
"The Nature (magazine) report against the Stamina method is
very serious and, most of all, raises great concern," said
Lorenzin, calling on Vannoni to provide answers.
But Vargiu and Roccella said that families looking for
answers to illness were anxious to see results from the
research.
"We have to give answers to patients and families," said a
statement.
The controversial Stamina therapy questioned by Nature uses
the mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow that differentiate
into bone, fat and connective tissue to treat terminally ill
patients.
Developed by the Brescia-based Stamina Foundation, the
treatment was repeatedly banned until the Italian health
ministry in March said the therapy could continue in 32 terminal
patients, most of them children.

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