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AIIMS set to prove controversial therapy

March 23, 2005 11:48 IST

All-India Institute of Medical Sciences is all set to prove the efficiency of its stem cell therapy, research for which was conducted over the last 18 months on heart patients.

The therapy was conducted with the help of Positron Emission Tomography technique.

"PET is being installed at AIIMS next month, through which we will get the final proof of our work on heart patients. We will screen all the patients and find how viable our work was. We will also study various heart tissues of the patients metabolically," said Dr P Venugopal, director AIIMS.

"In our study, we used this therapy on 33 patients and all of them are showing positive results," he added.

Venugopal's research had earlier raised the issue of medical ethics. Doctors said he was using human beings as guinea pigs. 

Venugopal, however, said he used the patient's own cells and there was no issue of ethics.

"And, for our study, we did take the permission of the AIIMS ethics committee two years ago," he said.

Researchers at AIIMS have also conducted some pilot studies for use of stem cells in diabetics. They now plan to inject these cells directly into pancreatic arteries of diabetics.

"For future research, we are looking at all areas - diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, other neurological disorders and Parkinson's disease. The residual damage after stroke too can be minimised," Dr Venugopal said.

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