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

stem cell ad 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.


  1. Escalon Physical Medicine has offered free dinner just to listen to their stem cell seminar. If one signs up that day and pays $100 it will go to the cost of the injection, $5500. This cost also includes post physical therapy

  2. The regenerative medicine clinic that I’ve gone to and received Platelet Rich Plasma Injections has been written about in the New York Magazine…a very fair progressive publication. They really had nothing but good to say about the clinic I go to on occasion. (About 2-3 times a year) According to MRI’s, I had Torn meniscus in both knees as well as some arthritis which began in June of 2012. However, since having been treated, though the knees are still particularly stiff in the morning, they no longer lock up on me at night while sleeping. I’m still fairly active in terms of my walking and stretching routine. In short the knees feel better. Difficult to quantify what “feeling better” means. But it means something to me. I’ve not had any stem cell injections nor have they been recommended to me by the lead doctor at the regenerative clinic or his staff. Given the opportunity, I would not hesitate for a second. My case in the strictest of scientific terms is anecdotal regarding the positive outcome of my PRP treatments. But anecdotal is still evidence though not as strong as the type generated by double blind placebo controlled multi center clinical trials. (Provided they are conducted fairly and accurately) Still, I like the idea that the choice is mine; the patient’s. Doing nothing would, in my opinion, eventually have led to bilateral knee replacement operations. I believe that patients, not bureaucrat$, should have the final decision about which treatment options to pursue. Mainstream science and medical practice may be fine for some to rely upon. But, I’m not always convinced that my government or some scientists engaged in what appears to be perpetual research have the patient’s best interest at heart.

Leave a Reply