News & AnalysisSTEM CELLS

Italian Parliament Orders €3 Million Trial of Disputed Therapy

Science  31 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6136, pp. 1028
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6136.1028

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Summary

The Italian Parliament has decided that the administration of a controversial stem cell treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, provided by the Stamina Foundation in Turin, can continue—although on only a small scale. Lawmakers also ordered a formal clinical trial of the therapy and allocated €3 million to pay for it. The law, opposed by many stem cell scientists, became official after it was approved by Italy's Chamber of Deputies on 20 May and by the Senate 2 days later. Although some patients say that they have benefited from the treatment, researchers contend that the Stamina Foundation's therapy hasn't been properly described, let alone shown to be effective.

  • * Laura Margottini is a writer in Rome.