The Texas Medical Board has approved guidelines for the use of adult stem cells.
The new rules say that the procedure must be part of a clinical trial and have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration or an institutional review board. Leigh Hopper, a spokesperson for the Texas Medical Board says these institutions will make sure the use of adult stem cells is safe, ethical and that patients give informed consent.
Hopper says board members felt that since patients already have access to adult stem cells, the procedure needs to be regulated.
“Since this is occurring right now, the majority of the board felt that it was important to put some sort of framework in place to protect patients,” said Hopper.
Hopper also says these rules will probably be modified in the near future.
“There was a lot of input about how the rules had weak spots so the board is going to work on refining them right away,” said Hopper.
Hopper says the guidelines will also prevent doctors from claiming that an adult stem cell procedure is a cure for something when there is not data to prove it.
The new rules should go into effect in a couple of weeks.
Governor Rick Perry’s personal experience with adult stem cells has played a role in the Texas Medical Board’s interest.
The board heard a presentation on stem cells by Dr. Stanley Jones back in June of 2011. Jones was the doctor who performed an adult stem cell infusion on Governor Perry during back surgery. Perry appoints the members of the Texas Medical Board.