More than 5,000 patients have been treated with stem cells in Cuba since the procedure started being used on the island a decade ago, the official Granma newspaper said.

"Cuba occupies an important place" in the use of the regenerative therapy in the region, with the procedure being used in 13 of the island's 15 provinces, the newspaper said.

More than 60 percent of patients receiving the therapy, according to official figures from 2012, suffered from severe ischemia in the lower limbs and other angiological illnesses.

Orthopedics and trauma medicine are two of the other fields with the largest number of patients treated with the regenerative cellular therapy in Cuba, Granma said.

Research into the possible applications of stem cell therapy began in Cuba in 2003, with stem cells first being used to regenerate tissue in 2004. EFE