Italian Stem-Cell law will be “substantially changed”

Up to date, about 100 people in Italy have been injected with unapproved stem-cells derived from the secret protocol of Daniele Vannoni, a psychologist self-elected as the medical doctor that will provide free cure to terminally-ill patients, defeating the bad pharmacological industry.

Vannoni is the director of the no-profit Stamina Foundation, the center of international stem-cell expert concern.

These days, the Low Chamber of the Italian Parliament is reevaluating the Balduzzi’s law (DDL), a controversial and not-yet-approved draft that will allow more patients to access easily Vannoni cures. This law is the result of a disastrous combination of italian long-lasting diffidence in official medicine and aggressive media coverage on few “miraculous” cases with Stamina. More about the law in this previous post.

The Chamber heard representative from the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA – of which the webpage seems crashed today. Well done!), the National Institute of Health (ISS) and the National Transplant Center (CNT). Additionally, stem-cell researchers were sitting next to representative of Stamina Foundation and families of patients.

As summarized by OggiScienza, all groups expressed a compact and negative opinion for law. All, excluding Prof. Vannoni.

In summary, this is what came out:

  • There are no evidence that the treatment works. (I appreciate that the expert omitted the term “scientific evidence”, as this word seems to terrify many in Italy at the moment);
  • The treatment cannot be considered as an experimental organ transplants, as the DDL is proposing: any stem-cell based treatment have all the characteristic of drugs, and as such should be regulated with no exception;
  • The clinical trials that the DDL wanna introduce (which seems virtually impossible to stop at the moment) have to be reviewed. First, as the patients currently in Brescia (site of the cell transfusion) have totally different diseases, it will be impossible to draw any conclusion out of it; second, everything have to be moved from Vannoni’s to the ISS’s hands (National Inst of Health)

“If the results given from Stamina trials will be done outside the rules, then no scientific conclusions can be inferred” N. Costa (National Transplant Center)

Vannoni, on the other side, has one number: “18.000 people asked me to have access to the treatment”, and “so many will die just because you keep comparing Stamina cures to ‘magic potions'”.

Brilliantly, E. Cattaneo and M. De Luca (stem cell researchers) replied that Vannoni seems to want the Italian government to “instigate to euthanasia”.

Result of the discussion? It seems that the Low Chamber will substantially change the draft of the law, introducing the centralized experimentation directed by ISS (now VERY similar to Di Bella case 15 years ago – italians don’t learn), and erase the part where the treatment would be equalized to organ transplant.

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