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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TMA WARNS TMB: STEM CELL RULE MIGHT GO TOO FAR

A proposed Texas Medical Board (TMB) rule regulating the use of investigational agents including stem cells in patient treatment might unintentionally restrict some currently accepted clinical practices, Dr. Malone wrote in a letter to the board. “We need to make sure current, well-established stem cell therapies, such as ordinary bone marrow transplants, do not require physicians to undertake a review and approval process by an institutional review board,” Dr. Malone wrote in a formal TMA comment to TMB. “Bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, and cord blood are all used in transplants for hematopoietic reconstitution (usually referred to generically as bone marrow transplants).” Special thanks to Houston pathologists Susan Rossman, MD, PhD, a member of TMA’s Council on Science and Public Health, and Arthur Bracey, MD, chair of the Committee on Blood and Tissue Usage, for their guidance on this complex issue.

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