Current Stem Cell Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 220–227 | Cite as

Regulation of Stem Cell Therapy Travel

  • I. Glenn CohenEmail author
  • Shelly Simana
Ethics in Stem/Progenitor Cell Therapeutics (S Latham, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Ethics in Stem/Progenitor Cell Therapeutics


Purpose of Review

Stem cell therapies (hereinafter: SCT) hold tremendous promise for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Yet, alongside the medical potential, they pose significant risks. This article focuses on the phenomenon of “SCT travel” and the regulatory challenges associated with it.

Recent Findings

Internet websites for clinics all around the world offer SCT for different medical conditions, such as degenerative and immunological conditions, as well as cosmetic indications. The demand for SCT is growing, despite their experimental nature, and an effective regulatory framework is urgently needed at both national and international levels.


A new regulatory framework aimed at reducing the risks associated with SCT travel and the provision of unproven SCT should be implemented. It should include professional guidelines, an accreditation system that would evaluate SCT being offered by clinics, enforcement mechanisms against fraud, reimbursement by insurers for approved SCT, and residency requirements.


Direct-to-consumer Hype Internet Regulation Stem cell therapy Stem cell tourism 



We would like to thank Leigh Turner and Amy Zarzeczny for providing helpful feedback on this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Law SchoolCambridgeUSA

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