Weekly reads: HIV from vampire facials, CAR-T, FDA warns Regenative Labs

Imagine regularly having someone rub your face all over with the equivalent of a small roller covered with spikes and doused with either your blood or someone else’s and you have what’s called vampire facials.

There’s more news that this is a very bad idea.

vampire facials
Kim Kardashian used to get vampire facials.

Vampire facials linked to more HIV cases

“Vampire facials” promoted by celebs are linked to new HIV cases, Ars Technica. This is a piece from the wonderful Beth Mole. I’ve written before about vampire facials and also more recently stem cell facials, which is also called stem cell microneedling. These are risky procedures typically using needle rollers with hundreds of spikes.

Even if you are just using your own blood or blood products in vampire facials, the rollers are difficult to clean and sterilize for reuse. As a result, you can get exposed to previous customers’ biologics and any pathogens therein. With the newer approach of stem cell microneedling we’ve also been seeing the use of allogeneic products, which raise risks of getting someone else’s pathogens and other issues.

This practice also raises the broader issue of the widespread use of allogeneic birth-related tissues and cells at unproven clinics. The conundrum here is that if the products are properly sterilized then the potentially useful stuff inside like cells and growth factors may be destroyed. If not properly sterilized then the disease transmission risk is high. It takes expertise and care to have sterile, but useful products in this space. The sterility is crucial though since these products are injected into the bloodstream or tissues.

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3 thoughts on “Weekly reads: HIV from vampire facials, CAR-T, FDA warns Regenative Labs”

  1. The same CRISPR gene edits that prevent host rejection can and are being made to peripheral blood T cells to create universal donor cells which are not limiting in number at all. Fascinating experiments but I don’t see the advantage of using the iPSC approach and difficult to imagine this will be any cheaper. Also it doesn’t cost $475,000 for the cost and labor to produce the T cells for one infusion as stated in the article, not even close. If that cost is true, therein lies the real problem. For $475,000 I can calculate how many redirected CD8+ T cells I can produce and it would be orders of magnitude > 1 infusion.

  2. I did think when they take away skin for plastic surgery they should extract the skin stem cells and put them back in the remaining skin….you want to start a business with me paul and we not only GMP sort but use a one time needling roller 😄

  3. What a fantastic paper on the use of Tregs to enhance regenerative therapy of parkinsons!

    Thank you so much for sharing….this reminds me of the concept that immune cells can do other things than protect the body from disease.

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