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Is Adult Stem Cell Therapy a Practical Option for Organ Transplant?

Every year, hundreds Americans head overseas to get stem-cell therapies unavailable in the U.S. Many of these treatments use stem cells harvested from the patient’s own blood or bone marrow.

The FDA requires all stem-cell procedures to undergo clinical trials for safety and efficacy before companies offer them. But some argue that the FDA is unfairly limiting patients’ treatment options and ignoring overseas data.

Popular Science describes some of the results of stem cell use, which replace organ transplant surgery in some cases:

“In one trial ... 21 of 24 patients performing a six-minute walking test were able to stroll 270 feet farther ... In another trial, involving 40 patients, the therapy improved the heart’s capacity to pump blood by more than 20 percent on average.”

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