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Blog / Stem Cells

Is stem cell therapy regulated?

This post aims to explore the processes behind stem cell regulation.


July 3, 2020

Is stem cell therapy regulated?

David Lyons

Guest contributor

Jul 3, 2020

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director | DVC Stem

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This post aims to explore the processes behind stem cell regulation.

Stem cell therapies have advanced in recent decades and have only begun to enter the mainstream, as many are seeking alternative treatments to major ailments. However, prior notions about stem cells and their still experimental nature have led to tight regulation and restriction concerning their use. Many are still unsure or unaware of what exactly the regulations are concerning stem cell usage. Laws vary from nation to nation and have caused thousands of patients to seek treatment from centres all around the world.

Are stem cells regulated in the United States?

Beginning in the 1970s, the US Government began heavily regulating the use of human embryos for research purposes. As stem cells were largely seen to be derived from fertilized embryos, called embryonic stem cells, the use of stem cells was largely seen as an unethical practice. Since then, advances in medicine have led physicians to sources of stem cells other than human embryos. Stem cells can now be harvested from a patient's fat tissue (adipose), from donated umbilical cords, and even donated from other patients. Despite the more ethical sourcing of stem cells, their usage in the United States has not been allowed to spread. 

Some treatments are available within the US, they are heavily regulated, only allowed for very specific usages, and only in their lowest effective dosages. Moreover, recent reports from the FDA have shown their desire to further restrict what treatments are available for patients in the US, not showing hopeful signs for the future. This is despite hundreds of studies showing the positive effects of stem cell therapy and little to no shown negative reactions.

Is stem cell therapy governed worldwide?

Although restrictions remain tight in the US, other first world nations have allowed treatments to develop. The therapies shown to be most effective from umbilical cords, due to the high number and potency of stem cells, are authorized for use internationally. Laws still vary from country to country; however, many patients have begun traveling abroad to receive the best form of stem cell treatment available. There have been several high profile cases in recent years, with Peyton Manning traveling to Germany to receive treatment on his spine, and Mel Gibson heading down to Panama to treat his shoulders. This drive has created an emerging market for medical tourism. 

With available stem cell treatments, medical centers have begun competing to offer prospective patients a better experience for their money. What was once a trip to receive medical care has become a full-fledged destination experience, complete with paradise locations, luxury fittings, and first-class customer service.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry


Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient


Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!


Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.

Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem


Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

About the author

Louis A. Cona, MD

Louis A. Cona, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

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