January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Arthritis

5 min read

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been around for a long time, but patients are often confused by it. In part the confusion arises from how it is marketed, which sometimes includes it being described as “stem cells”, which it is not. However, at times it can be as a therapy with stem cells or other biologics, which also adds to the complexity. To help clarify where things stand including on the clinical science, I’m going to do a series of new posts on platelet …Read More

5 min read

The FDA has stem cell clinics squarely on its radar screen now and it’s pulling the trigger with many letters going out to this problematic industry. In the past, sometimes years went by with no letters at all or one letter in total to stem cell clinics so this marks a major shift. Background on lead-up to wave of FDA activity I count 7 letters in a less than two-month span from mid-March to now, which may be the most in history in the …Read More

4 min read

What’s on your weekend reads list including stem cell papers? In addition to hard-core research papers, I find some bigger picture publications to be helpful too. Then there are just fun items. Every so often I do a post about things that I’m hoping to find time to read over the weekend or that I’ve recently read. Today’s post is one of those items and here are some interesting science reads related in particular to stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. Stem cell research and …Read More

3 min read

A variety of states have stepped up to address unproven stem cell clinics within their borders and the latest is Vermont. According to the VTDigger and writer Anne Wallace Allen, the Vermont Medical Society is planning a number of steps to address this situation. For example, at their encouragement a Vermont lawmaker will introduce legislation to regulate stem cell clinics in the state: “Vermont lawmakers will be asked in the coming year to consider regulating stem cell clinics like Vitality Healthcare in Williston and …Read More

3 min read

As of October 1, Google was supposed to have banned ads for unproven stem cell clinics and products. This was according to their own new policy. How’s that going? How’s this new Google approach to unproven stem cell marketing working out in the real wild world of the web? To test it, I did over a dozen common searches that in the past would bring up first or second-page results on Google containing several ads for unproven stem cell firms. Overall, for more than …Read More

2 min read

This post includes my updated list of firms/products that have received FDA regenerative medicine advanced therapy designation or RMAT, which are in the public domain. The numbers really jumped in the last month. I’m assuming for the purposes of this resource page that all self-reports are accurate. Note that the links embedded into the firm names are to relevant press releases or other reference material. A special thanks to some folks at ARM for helping me keep the list up to date. You can …Read More

7 min read

Amongst all that is bouncing around within the stem cell clinic maelstrom out there, one thing stands out for me as the most troubling. I’m talking about for-profit experimentation on children, such as injection of kids with unproven stem cells for autism or cerebral palsy by unproven clinics. In my opinion it’s almost always going to be risky and unethical. Doing any clinical research on children requires extra care and planning even within an FDA-approved clinical trial context. Obviously pediatric clinical trials are crucial, …Read More

4 min read

Back in 2013, a half dozen years ago, I went out on a limb and made predictions for the stem cell field for 2020. These are different than my yearly predictions for the coming year (for instance, you can see my predictions made in 2018 for this year of 2019 here). As to my 2013 predictions, of course, it’s only 2019 and not yet 2020, but how are my old predictions looking at this point? I can’t be sure how they’ll look next year …Read More

5 min read

Unproven stem cell clinics are facing a variety of lawsuits these days including two prominent cases filed by the FDA. There are widespread patient suits against clinics as well. In April we saw a new kind of suit in the form of the NY State Attorney General (AG) Letitia James filing against a Manhattan clinic. I’m not going to rehash the allegations (see the above link to my piece with more info), but this one quote from the AG office has some key details: …Read More

3 min read

Stem cell injections at unproven clinics are expensive and unproven so a lot of patients have asked me: does insurance cover stem cell therapy at clinics? Mostly the answer is “no”, but in rare cases there is some kind of coverage. Update: Still in 2020, we just aren’t seeing insurance companies cover stem cell injections by clinics. Does insurance cover stem cell therapy? It’s an important question because the average total stem cell injection price tag for an individual customer can easily end up …Read More