Responsible Translation of Stem Cell Research: An Assessment of Clinical Trial Registration and Publications

Moses Fung, Yan Yuan, Harold Atkins, Qian Shi, Tania Bubela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed the extent to which the publication of clinical trial results of innovative cell-based interventions reflects International Society for Stem Cell Research best practice guidelines. We assessed: (1) characteristics and time to publication of completed trials; (2) quality of reported trials; and (3) results of published trials. We identified and analyzed publications from 1,052 novel stem cell clinical trials: 179 (45.4%) of 393 completed trials had published results; 48 trials were registered by known stem cell tourism clinics, none of which reported results. Completed non-industry-sponsored trials initially published more rapidly, but differences with industry-sponsored trials decreased over time. Most publications reported safety, and 67.3% (mainly early-stage trials) reported positive outcomes. A higher proportion of industry trials reported positive efficacy. Heightened patient expectations for stem cell therapies give rise to ethical obligations for the transparent conduct of clinical trials. Reporting guidelines need to be developed that are specific to early-phase clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1201
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical translation
  • clinical trial
  • clinical trial publication
  • clinical trial registry
  • stem cell
  • stem cell tourism


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