Prajakta Narvekar hopes that stem cell therapy can be used as an option in treating her two-year-old son who was diagnosed with blood cancer in April.
“He is undergoing treatment, yet doctors say the cancer may relapse in five years,” said Narvekar, who attended the stem cell conclave on Saturday.
The two-day conclave and exhibition is being held to discuss and debate over stem cells, which have the potential to serve as an internal repair system and could be used in the treatment of muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and other serious illnesses.
Doctors and researchers spoke on various aspects of stem cell therapy such as its role in curing cancer and blindness and clinical trials being conducted in the field.
Doctors said creating awareness of stem cell therapy being an option to help treat diseases is one of the biggest challenges.
“The benefits of stem cell therapy are not well known yet. But with the research and successful trials being made in the field, it could be used for treatment,” said Dr Alok Sharma, neurosurgeon at Neurogen, a clinic in Chembur.
“Guidelines are put in place for the treatment, but regulations need to be put in place to call it a medical practice,” said Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy, retired senior deputy director general, ICMR.