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Family travel to China for private stem cell treatment

6-Jun-2007

A Bournemouth family have travelled to China so that their daughter can receive stem cell treatment.

Eight-year-old Shonia Tahiliani has cerebral palsy and her parents hope that the private treatment, which is not available in the UK, will help to improve her mobility.

The treatment, which is costing £18,000, will involve the removal of stem cells from Shonia's bone marrow.

The cells will then be injected into her spine and, although there is insufficient data on the treatment for it to be approved in the UK, doctors in China believe that it has the ability to improve patients' condition.

However, UK medics have warned against travelling overseas for treatments that have not been properly documented.

Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, told the BBC: "As far as I know these treatments offered through this clinic in China have not been subject to those procedures," adding that no treatment would be approved in the UK without evidence that it worked and was not dangerous.

Cerebral palsy is caused by poor oxygen supply to the brain before, during or immediately after birth.

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