September 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

FIX IT! SF Chronicle runs striking stem cell clinic ad with coupon

stem cell ad couponI’ve seen stem cell clinic ad after ad pop up in the mainstream media in my own hometown in The Sacramento Bee paper, but others are sprouting as well and a friend sent me a particularly striking stem cell advertisement from a recent copy of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Not only does this stem cell clinic say you can come to a free stem cell seminar, but also you get a free lunch and $1,000 off a stem cell “treatment” of some kind if you go to the seminar.

The clinic in question seems to be called Advanced Health Center. The providers mentioned are Dr. Max Wirjo, M.D. as well as Drs. Brian and Jeff Coyle, D.C., F.A.S.B.E. I’m not familiar with these folks, but looked them up on the web. Wirjo seems to be an anesthesiologist. The Coyles, perhaps brothers, are chiropractors. On a quick search I couldn’t find any other links between these three providers and stem cells on the web at least. What kind of stem cell experience do they have?

The ad makes a number of potential medical claims including that the marketed offerings can “fix” a number of medical problems (see the big “FIX IT!” in the ad). The offering is described as effective, which is a medical claim, and in fact is called “most effective”. There are also claims of “long lasting” results. It is at least indirectly implied that the stem cell therapy being marketed can grow new cartilage, ligaments, and muscle, which is a very big claim. On their website on the stem cell therapy specific page, claims are again made in videos from R3 Stem Cell.

Does this seminar being promoted fit into the category of what I call “stem cell clinic infomercials”, which I wrote about recently in a Stem Cells and Translational Medicine article here?

When I see an ad like this, other questions come to mind. What data if any is behind it? How many patients will be experimented upon? How much patients pay? What are the risks and potential negative outcomes? Have they talked to the FDA?

Have you all seen ads like these? If so please send my way. Thanks.

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