stem cell tourism

Patient gets cancer growing on spine from dubious stem cell treatment

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A brief report in the NEJM today highlights the risks facing patients who get stem cell treatment from dubious clinics as one such patient recently developed a large spinal tumor. Dr. Aaron L. Berkowitz and colleagues describe how this patient who received a mixture of several stem cell types from an overseas clinic was later diagnosed …

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Stem Cell Tourism and Patient Education

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What is the role of public education and stem cell tourism? What type of education is available to patients, caregivers and the public? Can public education actually change people’s minds such that they won’t undergo an unproven stem cell-based intervention (SCBI)? These are the questions I will discuss here. But first, let’s just give a …

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Joanne Kurtzberg interview, Part 2: clinics & stem cell field future

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I recently conducted an interview with Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg of Duke. You can see Part 1 of the interview here. Today in Part 2, I asked Dr. Kurtzberg some broader questions about the stem cell field. 1. How concerned are you about non-compliant stem cell interventions here in the US as well as stem cell …

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Philippines Investigating 3 Politician Deaths Allegedly From Stem Cells in Germany

The Philippines Medical Association (PMA) is reportedly (article from ABS-CBN News) investigating the recent deaths of 3 prominent politicians due to stem cell therapies via stem cell tourism in Germany at an as yet unidentified clinic. The names of the politicians are unknown, but strangely enough today there’s another separate article on stem cells from the Philippine …

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Interview with Arnold Caplan, Part 3: challenges & opportunities for clinical use of MSCs

I recently had a phone interview with Dr. Arnold Caplan, the founder of the MSC field. You can read parts 1 and 2 of the interview here and here. Today’s post, part 3, is focused on clinical use of MSCs. I want to start off today’s post with a wonderful quote from Caplan: “All MSCs …

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The ultimate antidote to stem cell tourism in the U.S.

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For a long time many of us in the stem cell field have been worried about dubious stem cell treatments, so-called ‘stem cell tourism’.  How do we stop it or at least fight back to keep people safe and help them avoid losing what is often their life savings? Many activities related to stem cell …

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Stem cell tourism disaster coming: my case for caution

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Stem Cell Tourism is a blanket term now used to refer to patients receiving non-FDA approved stem cell treatments either by traveling here within the U.S. or more often outside the U.S. Clinics are sprouting up all over the world offering treatments based on stem cells. The science behind these is often non-existent. Most stem …

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Stem cell tourism: from bad to worse from 2010-2011

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At last year’s ISSCR 2010 Meeting in San Francisco, President Irv Weissman talked about the dangers of unvalidated stem cell treatments. He talked about the responsibility of stem cell scientists to stand against these and the importance for scientists not to endorse or serve on advisory committees of companies peddling such products and “therapies”. As …

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