One type of stem cell fake news consists of promotional press releases that seek to recruit paying customers for unproven stem cell “treatments” based on made up or exaggerated claims about safety and efficacy or about the stem cell clinic’s credentials.
Another kind of fake stem cell news is more ideologically based and is mainly practiced by anti-embryonic stem cell (ESC) websites that have news-like items stating that ESCs have been proven not to work at all or to always cause tumors, while adult stem cells will save the world.
For whatever reason Google sometimes even includes both these types of bogus items in its news feed and I’m sure the same thing happens on Facebook. I’m going to be posting about instances of fake stem cell news over the course of this year.
Seen what you think might be stem cell fake news? Let me know.
Each year I make a list of predictions for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field for the coming new year. Later in this post I list my top 20 stem cell predictions for 2017. In looking at my past predictions I realized this will now be my 7th year doing stem cell/regenerative medicine yearly predictions.
You can see below links to these predictions for past years, which sometimes seems rather far removed from today and in other cases strike me as strangely apropos of our times.
There has been relatively limited response from clinics themselves to the Cell Stem Cell paper that Leigh Turner and I published recently on the scope of the stem cell clinic industry in the U.S.
We found 570 stem cell clinics and there could easily be 50-100 more that escaped our search methods or that have popped up since we finished our search at the end of February. While not all the clinics necessarily require FDA approval depending on the type of stem cells and the uses, it seems almost certain that many should have gotten approval from the FDA for what they are doing before they started selling the unproven “treatments”.
One thing I was curious about before our paper even came out was what kind of response, if any, it would get from the stem cell clinics. It’s been pretty quiet from that quarter.
A few clinics talked to reporters who covered the paper and basically used some version of the same mantra, “not me, them”. This reminds me of the Family Circus “not me” cartoons (part of one is shown above).