Embryonic stem cells should be used to treat life-threatening diseases not to cure wrinkles and turn back the hands of time, says the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, world’s largest medical body, representing 300,000 doctors and other professionals.
In a position statement following recent negative publicity on the use of stem cells in aesthetics it comments:
“Science now stands on the threshold of a new age in cellular therapy and tissue regeneration which will directly and beneficially impact how long, and how well, we will live in the coming decades.
Stem cell therapeutics is the leading biomedical technology in the rapidly emerging field of regenerative medicine, a medical field in which science assists the human capacity to heal various tissues and organs. All of the most impressive demonstrations of regenerative medicine, since its inception in 2002, have used stem cells to trigger healing and rejuvenation in the patient.
In the anti-aging setting, the most important potential application of human stem cells is the generation of cells and tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies. Today, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace ailing or destroyed tissue, but the need for transplantable tissues and organs far outweighs the available supply.
Stem cells, directed to differentiate into specific cell types, offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, if scientists can harness the ability of stem cells to become specialized into any type of cell, they may be able to use them to treat any number of diseases and conditions.
The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net) and its 18,500 members from 86 countries worldwide support innovative research into new therapies to treat aging-related disorders and infirmities associated with aging metabolism. The A4M, however, does not support the use of embryonic stem cells that are derived from aborted fetuses. This is clearly an ethical dilemma with which we take exception, except under extreme life-and-death medical situations supported by IRB oversight. Instead, the A4M is particularly hopeful for the expansion of the utility of adult and non-embryonic (placental- and umbilical cord- derived) stem cells (which are harvested from healthy, full-term, live births). These types of stem cells hold much promise as safe, simple, and easily acquired sources of pluriopotent cells for the restoration, reseeding, and regeneration of multiple organ and tissue failure. They also clearly obviate the problems and ethical concerns regarding therapeutics utilizing embryonic stem cells.
Stem cell treatment has now become one of the newest trends in aesthetic medicine. Due to their vast healing and rejuvenating potential, stem cells have become big business for beauty doctors. Some are claiming that stem cells can diminish wrinkles or otherwise reverse the outward signs of aging. The A4M submits that this is a highly experimental application of stem cell therapeutics. A4M does not support the use of stem cells for anything other than life-saving procedures, conducted in strict adherence to IRB protocols.
With a solid history of more than 30 years of research and clinical application, stem cell therapeutics have been successfully utilized around the world to treat a wide range of aging-related disorders and other infirmities associated with aging metabolism. It is the position of the A4M that knowledge as to the life-saving potential of stem cell therapeutics in diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, obesity, arthritis, and Parkinson’s Disease should be embraced and expanded. The A4M considers adult and other non-embryonic stem cell sources as a safe and promising new therapeutic approach that is associated with less risk than blood transfusions, and is not associated with ethical issues because no live-births or fetuses are put at-risk.”
About the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine
The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Inc. (“A4M”) is a non-profit medical society dedicated to the advancement of technology to detect, prevent, and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. A4M is also dedicated to educating physicians, scientists, and members of the public on biomedical sciences, breaking technologies, and anti-aging issues. A4M believes that the disabilities associated with normal aging are caused by physiological dysfunction which in many cases are ameliorable to medical treatment, such that the human lifespan can be increased, and the quality of one’s life enhanced as one grows chronologically older. A4M seeks to disseminate information concerning innovative science and research as well as treatment modalities designed to prolong the human lifespan. Anti-Aging Medicine is based on the scientific principles of responsible medical care consistent with those of other healthcare specialties. Although A4M seeks to disseminate information on many types of medical treatments, it does not promote or endorse any specific treatment nor does it sell or endorse any commercial product.