Stem Cell Therapy:Do Not be Misled
For patients who’ve run out of options, experimental therapies like stem cell treatments offer hope. But how do you sort the scientifically legitimate from the dangerous? https://t.co/8d0fLgPTTO— STAT (@statnews) August 18, 2020
Health Editor’s Note: Stem cells are special in that they can become any cell in the human body. Stem cells can develop into kidney, heart, muscle, etc. cells. They are cells that are not predetermined to become a specific type of cell. Stem cell therapy offers replacement of human cells in the hopes of a cure.
There are fringe clinics which promise stem cell treatments for curing Alzheimer’s, knee pain, ageing, cerebral palsy, even claiming cures for COVID-19. These clinics have no evidence that their ‘stem cell’ therapies work and often the ‘stem’ cell is fat taken from another area of the body.
The FDA cannot keep up with monitoring all of these bogus clinics. Lack of oversight on Clinicaltrials.gov, the federal repository overseen by the National Institutes of Health makes it easy for a clinic to seem as though they are a well researched and conducting clinical trials and thus a legitimate source of stem cell therapies.
These bogus stem cell clinics use patient testimonials as a powerful marketing tool. YouTube is a popular place for these videos. People are desperate for improved health, to feel better, to be healed and will be tempted to believe these testimonials although these testimonials are really the path to false and sometimes harmful ‘cures’.
There are a few places and individuals who can help you to find legitimate stem cell therapy treatments. Paul Knoepfler, who is a stem cell researcher a the University of California Davis School of Medicine spends his free time checking the Internet for false advertisements and information from false stem cell clinics. He is really good at what he does and runs a blog called “The Niche” aimed at educating patients about stem cell research and therapies and guiding them to potential clinical trials. Knoepfler keeps an updated web page of legitimate clinical trials for patients, does regular Q&A posts where he addresses common questions and misconceptions. where he answers common patient questions and misconceptions, and responds to as many emails and comments as he can…Carol