China regulates stem cell collection, transplantation

China's Ministry of Health on Monday outlined new requirements concerning stem cell collection and transplants, banning profits from illegal stem cell transplantation.

Two sets of the regulations issued by the ministry said that the sources of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), or stem cells, must be legal, registered sources that can be traced.

The regulations aim to strengthen the management of stem cell collection and medical security, the ministry said.

The regulations also forbid disclosing stem cell donor data.

Stem cells, which are the body's master cells, circulate in the blood and in tissues. Stem cell transplants have proved effective in treating blood diseases like sickle-cell anemia, leukemia and other blood disorders.

The ministry will review the capabilities of stem cell collecting and transplant in medical institutions. The roster of the approved institutions to carry out stem cell collection and transplants will be sent to the Chinese Marrow Donor Program, which serves as a databank.

Under the regulations, medical institutions must obtain letters of consent from donors before collecting stem cells and must test for diseases transmitted by blood transmission, including AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis and malignant tumors. Stem cells of donors with positive test results must not be used for stem cell transplants.

Source: Xinhua

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