Stem cells center coming to Santo Domingo – More Caribbean Medical Tourism?

The president of the board of the Plaza de la Salud General Hospital (HGPS), in Santo Domingo, Dr. Julio Amado Castanos Guzman has announced that the center plans to install the service of cryopreservation of stem cells from umbilical cord in a not-for-profit operation.

In an interview with Listin Diario, Dr. Castanos, a hematologist, said that several companies in the country are offering the service for profit. But in his opinion, the trend is for medical advances to be made so that any cell of the body could have the characteristics of an embryonic stem cell.

Dr. Castanos believes that more research is needed in advanced cellular biology before using the stem cells for curing many illnesses to ensure effectiveness of the still-controversial treatment.

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{FILE IMAGE VIA:} The doctor said that in 1994, together with doctors Nancy Alan and Maria Benzo, he was involved in pioneering work, extracting embryonic cells that were successfully used in a cancer patient. He said that some 25 patients have been cured of malignant illnesses with the treatment.

He said the program is already in place at the HGPS and is the only one authorized by the National Council for Bioethics in Health (Conabios).

The HGPS is government-subsidized but privately run hospital center that caters to affluent and poor, offering the most advanced medical care in the country.

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