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Philippine centre approved for stem cell treatments


The Lung Center of the Philippines, which is a state-run facility, has been accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) for the provision of human stem cell and cell-based therapies. The Lung Center will be the country’s fourth health institution to be granted permission to perform such procedures.

All four medical institutions received accreditation following a careful review of submitted applications and processes, including inspection for observance of current good tissue practice and manufacturing procedures.

The three other hospitals that have been engaging in stem cell therapy since last year are the Makati Medical Center’s Cellular Therapeutics Center, Asian Stem Cell Institute and the Medical City Institute of Personalized Medicine.

Only those facilities approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the DOH’s Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau (HFSRB) are permitted to undertake hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, corneal resurfacing with limbal stem cells and skin regeneration with epidermal stem cells.

A DOH-commissioned study to learn equipment and services that are available in hospitals around the country discovered that there are five hospitals and a number of ambulatory surgical clinics offering stem cell services to patients for a range of indications.

In a 2013 administrative directive, the DOH stated that the development of a regulatory framework within this field was essential for safe and quality health facilities offering human stem cell and cell-based therapies were made available to all patients.

Using a perfect match for stem cell therapy is important because it means the patient will not have to take anti-rejection medication. Using the patients’ own stem cells will guarantee a perfect match and these can be harvested and stored from a young age from their own naturally shed baby teeth. The added benefit of using these stem cells is that they would not have been exposed to pollutants or deteriorated from ageing.