National / Crime & Legal

Saitama clinic ordered to halt unauthorized stem cell 'anti-aging' therapy using umbilical cord blood

Kyodo

The health ministry on Monday ordered a Saitama clinic to stop injecting stem cells of human umbilical cord blood into patients as an “anti-aging treatment.”

Saitama Medical Clinic in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, was found to have been engaged in such therapy without getting permission from the ministry. The regenerative medicine safety law mandates that all hospitals and clinics submit plans for stem cell therapy and get permission from the ministry beforehand.

The ministry conducted an on-site inspection of the clinic on Friday, based on tips from an outsider, and confirmed the clinic offered the unauthorized therapy, boasting that umbilical cord cell shots would boost health and help with anti-aging.

Several men and women are believed to have undergone treatment there. The ministry has asked the clinic to report the number of cases, any health damage and the kind of stem cells used and how they were obtained.

For clinics to receive approval for medical procedures using cells of others, they need to submit a detailed plan and have it screened by a panel of experts under the health ministry. The clinic had not submitted such a plan.

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