July 7, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Reporters & sci-writers guide to interviewing stem cell clinics: key questions

More and more often I find myself chatting with reporters and science writers about stem cells. They want to know more for background on articles on topics ranging from core stem cell scientific issues to stem cell clinics.

Over time I’ve realized I’ve been telling reporters and science writers some consistent things that amount to a guide for how to interface with stem cell clinics. At the heart of this is a list of questions I would recommend that reporters and science writers ask anyone who is the focus of a story about clinical use of stem cells.

  • 1. Will you be offering stem cell treatments in the U.S.? If so, have you developed a plan for this with the FDA? Do you have the required licensing?
  • 2. What kind of stem cells will you be offering? In either case, are the cells grown prior to treating patients?
  • 3. What kind of training do you have in stem cells?
  • 4. In terms of transplants, what kind: Autlogous? Allogeneic?
  • 5. Are American physicians involved in your business? Can we talk to them?
  • 6. What kinds of medical conditions do you treat? Why?
  • 7. Have you done clinical trials?
  • 8. What is the evidence for the safety or efficacy of the treatments you offer for each of these conditions?
  • 9. Have you published your work? If not, why not?
  • 10. Do you have an IRB? BLA? IND?
  • 11. What do you charge?
As always I’m happy to chat with you about stem cells if you are working on a story and have questions.