In 2008, the International Society for Stem Cell Research issued a press release (“International committee recommends stringent guidelines for translating stem cell therapies from the lab bench to the bedside”) on their concerns on stem cell tourism. The draft guidelines also urge authorities to “prevent exploitation of vulnerable patients” in countries where practitioners are offering and charging patients for stem cell therapies outside an established clinical trial. The number of patients travelling to China for stem cell treatment has been estimated at 2000 (Regulations Are Needed for Stem Cell Tourism: Insights From China").
Much attention is also drawn to stem cell-based clinical trials and treatments offered predominantly in China. It should be noted that in contrast to registered gene therapy products, experimental adult stem cells do not require approval from the SFDA. Since the safety and efficiency of stem cell-based clinical trials cannot be guaranteed without the monitoring of the SFDA, concerns have been expressed by experts in the stem cell field as indicated by the article “Stem-cell tourism caution".