June 3, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

stem cell myths

2 min read

At least four cases of spinal tumors have now been reported following experimental nasal stem cell transplants for paralysis. There’s some risk of tumor development with just about any stem cell transplant, but risks are higher with experimental injections of unproven stem cells. Whill risks of tumor formation come along even with standard bone marrow and whole organ transplants (both extremely low), there’s a lot more data in those contexts to understand these tiny risks. With unproven stem cell transplants things are often much …Read More

3 min read

Did you hear the one about the deep state FDA, big pharma stem cell conspiracy theory? This is the phony idea that the FDA, big pharma, and, heck, sometimes even certain academics (who could that be?) are plotting together as some kind of biomedical secret society or “deep state” to block promising stem cell therapies from reaching patients. It is one of the more persistent stem cell myths out there. Unfortunately, the stem cell arena is more prone these days to this kind of fake news. …Read More

4 min read

The money behind a piece of legislation can provide unique insights into the back story and this is definitely true for the REGROW Act that would reduce FDA oversight of the investigational use of stem cells in patients. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, who is facing probable defeat next week in his reelection bid according to polls, has been the leading backer of the REGROW Act. Kirk has been more in the news of late due to extremely controversial Trump-like comments he made about his …Read More

4 min read

In my series eight simple reasons to pause before getting an unlicensed treatment from a non-compliant clinic I have covered the first five: (1) potential loss of insurance coverage for negative outcomes that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, (2)  failure of patient follow up by the doctors and clinics, (3) exclusion from future clinical trial participation, (4) undesired tissue growth, and (5) untrained doctors. Today, reason #6 is covered: jeopardizing ownership of your own stem cells. I was having a talk with a patient the other day …Read More