Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Christian Drehsen of St. Petersburg, is encouraging the FDA to move forward on approval of stem-cell based therapies. In a letter to FDA comissioner Margaret A. Hamburg dated April 14th, Dr. Drehsen cites his extensive past experience working with stem cells, and calls on the FDA to provide more rapid approval for the procedures, which he says are safe and effective.
Before the current regulatory embargo in 2009 and 2010, Drehsen performed over 20 reconstructive and cosmetic stem-cell procedures using technology from the pioneering stem cell therapy research firm Cytori. In his letter, Drehsen writes that the results of his procedures were excellent, and he's frustrated with the limitations now in place. "Japan has approved these procedures. Much of Europe has approved them. They're changing people's lives every day - but not in the United States," the letter reads in part.
Stem cell therapies have myriad potential uses. Drehsen says that in his own cosmetic surgery practice, their promise includes greatly improved outcomes for burn victims, patients with extensive sun exposure damage, and post-operative breast reconstruction procedures. Those therapies have been pioneered with good results in Europe and Australia, respectively.