Stem Cell Therapy—Avoid the Scam

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Stem Cell Therapy—Avoid the Scam

scam alert

It has been some time since I last wrote about avoiding Stem Cell Therapy.  Recently several of my patients have been suckered into this trap.

Stem cells are bone marrow derived cells that have the potential to divide and become cells of any part of our body.  There is great promise in trying to understand how to develop effective treatments that use these cells.  Unfortunately, the promise of these cells has been hard to unlock.  There are some high quality studies that are looking at stem cells in the treatment of heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and even advanced lung disease.  Certain blood cancers such as leukemia and myeloma are already treated with stem cell therapy.

In contrast to doctors that are using stem cells for clinical research or treating blood cancers there are a large number of “Stem Cell Treatment Centers” that have popped up across the country.  These centers offer to treat any disease that you might have with adipose (fat tissue) or bone marrow derived stem cells.  You will see slick professional advertisements and they offer impressive presentations with testimonials about how great the treatment works.

Walk Away!

Any treatment that can cure every disease with the same intervention is clearly bogus.  If a therapy were truly effective then Medicare and commercial insurance would surely pay for it.  Don’t be fooled by the sales pitch.  These centers are preying on patients who are desperate to feel better.  Don’t waste your money and time.

Some “Stem Cell Treatment Centers” make claims about research studies.  A true research study will never ask you to pay money to participate.  This is strictly forbidden by national and international guidelines.  If you are interested in participating in a research study speak with your doctor and find an FDA-approved real research study.

Last year the FDA announced that they would soon be cracking down on “Stem Cell Treatment Centers”. We eagerly await the federal government intervening to protect the public from these high tech scammers.

At the end of the day, always ask yourself if the promises are too good to be true.  If they are, then surely you are about to be scammed.

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