German scientists and clinicians are locked in a dispute over whether adult stem cells should be used to treat patients before the safety and effectiveness of the method has been fully proven.

The debate has hit the local media in recent days after scientists and clinicians presented new and apparently contradictory results on stem cells at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Vienna.

Cardiologist Bodo Eckehard Strauer from the University of Düsseldorf reported the results of a study of 34 heart attack patients who had been injected with adult stem cells drawn from their own bone marrow.

"Even patients with the most seriously damaged hearts can be treated with their own stem cells instead of waiting and hoping for a transplant," he said in Die Zeit newspaper.

Strauer said his study had shown that adult stem cell treatment could help those suffering from presently untreatable conditions and that more...

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