What really happened at XCell-Center in Germany, formerly the largest stem cell clinic in Europe?
A baby died after receiving treatment there. Why? Was the death in any way connected to stem cells? (update: note that since post originally went up, quite a few more patient deaths both a clinics and in clinical trials have been reported.)
A commenter on a recent post of mine on reports of the possible deaths from stem cell interventions in Germany of three politicians from the Philippines, provided some fresh details on the now closed German clinic called XCell-Center. Whether the details are factual remains unclear at this time, but they might be.
The commenter even defended XCell and said it had gotten a “bad rap”.
The commenter, named XCell-Info, had this to say about XCell, showing some apparent very detailed, in depth knowledge of the place and their practices:
The XCell-Center primarily used autologous CD34+ stem cells from bone marrow. The cells were spun out (not expanded) in a certified GMP lab. Very few MSCs are found in the bone marrow.
To set the record straight, that particular patient died neither from stem cells nor from their injection. The death resulted from bleeding that was caused by the neurosurgeon while attempting to surgically open a brain ventricle blockage. Stem cells were never injected into that patient. Even though brain injections represented a tiny fraction of procedures performed at XCell, I strongly disagreed with their use and my opinion on that remains unchanged today.
The vast majority of patients were treated systemically and/or intrathecally depending on their particular disease or disorder. Some were treated via cardiac catheter by a licensed, experienced cardiologist in a cath lab, the standards of which, along with the rest of XCell’s treatment facilities, met or surpassed those found at US facilities. Many orthopedic conditions were treated by injecting the cells into the affected joint(s), a procedure not unlike that XXXX US orthopedists routinely use in the US today.
Despite the bad rap the XCell gets from reporters, bloggers and certain patient forums with axes to grind, for the most part, XCell did nothing more than treat patients with their own bone-marrow derived stem cells under pristine lab conditions in world-class treatment facilities.
It goes without saying that their upper management left a lot to be desired, to say the least. However, at least in my somewhat more informed opinion than almost anyone else, XCell does not deserve the categorical bad rap it routinely gets unless one believes that no patient should be treated with their own bone marrow-derived stem cells for things like arthritis, MS, heart conditions, knee problems, COPD, etc.
The “XXXX” is an edit by me to maintain consistency with our blog policy. I thought readers would find many aspects of this comment interesting. Reactions?
I for one am not convinced that XCell got a bad rap, but it is important to get as much detail as to the facts of the case as possible.
Is the comment above factual? Frankly, I’m not entirely sure at this point and am looking for more information. What do you think?