October 20, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

US stem cell clinic sued for injection into eyes

U.S. Stem Cell, Inc.For the first time to my knowledge, a patient has sued an American stem cell clinic, US Stem Cell, alleging damage to her eyes from fat stem cell injections. Just a few months ago, there was a report of a Japanese patient who sued a fat stem cell clinic and won, but I’m not aware of a similar case in the US until now.

Elizabeth Noble, who reportedly received a stem cell injection into her eyes for macular degeneration by U.S. Stem, has filed suit against the company (note that the court website makes it hard to link to specific detailed pages so I recommend going to this general page where you can enter search terms if you are interested in the documents). This is  CACE15021101. You can read the full complaint of the plaintiff in the suit here as a PDF.

Two specific individuals are named as defendants in the case: nurse practitioner Alejandro Perez, ARNP, and Dr. Shareen Greenbaum, M.D.

Dr. Greenbaum was mentioned and quoted in a PR about a stem cell trial with Bioheart from about two years ago related to macular degeneration. She is currently working at the Hollywood Eye Institute in Florida. Mr. Perez is listed on the U.S. Stem “about us” webpage as being part of the team.

Importantly, neither U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. (USSC) and U.S. Stem Cell Clinic (USCC; owned by USSC) nor the individuals mentioned in the lawsuit have been found guilty of anything and this case is still pending so it is impossible to know for certain what did or did not happen. On the USCC website it indicates that this clinic uses both fat and bone marrow stem cells depending on the condition.

I could only find one possible clinical trial, which has been cancelled, which lists Bioheart and macular degeneration on a quick search of clinicaltrials.gov. There could be others.

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