From Russia with love or…stem cells?

From russia with love and stem cellsWriting this blog I hear a lot of stuff about stem cells all across the globe. Some of this is noise, but some is signal (i.e. real).

What seems to be a very real and worrisome trend is that unlicensed for-profit treatments in the Philippines have exploded in the last two years. I would characterize the industry there as huge and from what I hear largely unregulated at the present time.

Just one example is cited in a recent article on stem cells used for beauty. As it begins there is a big red warning flag up within a few sentences:

Is the elusive search for the fountain of youth over? Vicki Belo, one of the country’s leading beauty doctors, thinks so, as she recently unveiled her latest weapons in the fight against aging: intradermal (ID) and intravenous (IV) stem cell treatments.

Developed by Russian doctors in Moscow after more than a decade of research, ID treatment, much like Botox, is injected directly on specific points of the face and neck to supposedly facilitate faster skin regeneration, tighten sagging muscles and promote the production of collagen and elastin, two of the skin’s most important building blocks.

In my opinion this is highly risky stuff in the name of cosmetic beauty.

The article points out that the stem cells in question are not from sheep, which is actually a popular treatment in many countries including the Philippines. Instead the stem cells are from Russia.



The article says rather than using sheep or embryos…..

Instead, Belo now uses stem cells cultured from bone marrow harvested from young and healthy Russian donors using the so-called Mesenchymal procedure.

Patients can, if they chose, opt instead for autologous (self) transplants, but these require weeks to produce as the bone marrow cells are shipped to Russia for processing.

What they are pushing instead in the article are allogeneic bone marrow transplants from Russia with love.

The treatments described could cause all kinds of biological havoc in transplant recipients. Too risky in my opinion.

2 thoughts on “From Russia with love or…stem cells?”

  1. FYI:
    Safety Study of Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells on Patients With Cutaneous Photoaging

    This study is not yet open for participant recruitment.

    Verified January 2013 by Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.
    Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. Identifier:


    First received: January 16, 2013
    Last updated: January 18, 2013
    Last verified: January 2013

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