January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: April 2018

3 min read

Three recent media pieces on unproven, for-profit stem cell clinics paint an unflattering picture of this industry. At the intersection of these pieces is the clinic “treatment” consisting of fat stem cells (being manufactured as in a screenshot at right from a clinic YouTube video), a product the FDA has indicated is most often going to be a biological drug requiring pre-market approval, which the clinics generally do not have. The newest newspaper article comes from The Washington Post. Laura McGinley and William Wan take …Read More

2 min read

What are your typical weekend reads? If you are a scientist, they might often include a great deal of science. I always hope I can find time for reading for pleasure too, but about as close as I get to that is the New York Times on Sunday. Here are some recommended science reads for this weekend including approachable media articles on interesting developments. Blood test shows promise for spotting early cancers. In addition to being a cancer researcher, as a cancer survivor myself and …Read More

2 min read

If the FDA can “go big” to issue 40 warning letters to the e-cig industry as it just yesterday, why has it recently only issued 1 or fewer warning letters per year to the unproven, for-profit stem cell clinic industry in the U.S., which includes hundreds of businesses blatantly operating in what seems to be a clearly non-compliant fashion? FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has used very strong language to describe stem cell clinics including the phrase “bad actors”, but so far we haven’t seen much …Read More

3 min read

About once each year or two, I try to schedule what I call a “big picture” lab meeting where my lab and I discuss major issues related to being a scientist. Also, I try to answer their questions about just about anything. In my lab we rotate between various lab meeting formats and also have a journal club, but it’s worth taking up one slot for this big picture meeting where we just talk. At the big picture lab meeting, we some times end …Read More

2 min read

The last few years for the publicly-traded stem cell clinic biz, US Stem Cell, Inc., which goes by the ticker $USRM, have seemed like a rollercoaster to me as an observer. I can see four main areas of news that to me make the future seem uncertain for this firm. First, the US Stem was linked to the alleged blinding of some of its customers in 2016, faced two lawsuits (now settled) on that front, and now has to deal with a third lawsuit. Second, probably in part …Read More

6 min read

Does a new lawsuit including Cell Surgical Network and its leadership as defendants pose a broad test to this entire chain of stem cell clinics, which may be the largest such affiliated clinic group in the U.S. and potentially even in the world? Will lawsuits substantially impact stem cell clinics? Lawsuits against unproven, for-profit stem cell clinics seem to be growing in numbers the last few years. Some of us have been speculating on the potential impact of such lawsuits as I’ve written here and …Read More

4 min read

Early in 2016, we started hearing about patient allegations of having been blinded in Florida by at least one stem cell business and several allegations seemed linked to a publicly-traded company called U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. (USRM). In turn, there have been a number of lawsuits involving USRM, including one filed just a few months ago. Some of the cases of lost vision reportedly were documented by independent physicians including Dr. Thomas Albini. In 2017, the FDA issued a warning letter to USRM’s business U.S. Stem …Read More

3 min read

I get asked many questions about stem cell therapies, but one of the most common over the years has been about the stem cell treatment cost. For instance, a reporter might ask, “How much does a stem cell treatment for MS cost?” and a patient might ask me, “How much is a fair cost for a stem cell therapy for arthritis?” Or, patients will voluntarily tell me what they paid or mention it in the comments. We hear various numbers thrown around about costs …Read More

2 min read

One of the most famous living biological scientists, Sir Ian Wilmut, just announced that he has Parkinson’s Disease. I wish him the best in dealing with this illness. Wilmut is very well-known for having cloned the first mammal, Dolly the Sheep. This work followed on the earlier breakthrough by Sir John Gurdon of cloning the first vertebrate with his work in frogs. it just occurred to me: I’m not sure if the first cloned frog had a name! Over the years there has been …Read More

3 min read

Can we humans grow healthy new brain cells as adults and during later aging? The answer to this question is a big deal because it could have major impact on aging. Those hoped-for new brain cells could keep our brains functionally younger. Who doesn’t want to slow down the aging of their brain, right? Slowing down aging of the brain via new cell growth more broadly would have major impacts on society. Researchers have gone back and forth on this over years. Fairly long …Read More