Category: misleading claims

The stem cell scammers – reblogged from Mindhacks

“Ukraine has become a world centre for untested stem cell treatments where patients can fly in and have embryonic stem cells implanted in their brain to supposedly treat everything from Alzheimer’s disease to autism.

These treatments are entirely unproven and are illegal in most of the world but are available for anyone wanting to pay the price.”

Source: via @EdYong209

It’s the same for diabetes.

When I worked at Diabetes UK I spoke to / emailed a number of people who wanted to know more about stem cell ‘cures’ for diabetes. Sadly there aren’t any, despite whizzy websites of companies based abroad where regulation might be… more relaxed than it is in the UK.

If you have a stem cell ‘treatment’ abroad where will you go for follow-up treatment, and what happens if things go wrong? Is your GP sent a copy of any records?

It’s a scam. Avoid.

Further reading

Cost Rica shuts stem cell clinic Reuters (2 June 2010)

“This isn’t allowed in any serious country in the world,” Health Minister Maria Luisa Avila said in a telephone interview.

Europe’s largest stem cell clinic shut down after death of baby The Telegraph (8 May 2011)

“The closure of the XCell-Center in Dusseldorf follows an undercover investigation by The Sunday Telegraph into its controversial practices, which attracted hundreds of patients from the UK. The clinic charged patients up to £20,000 for stem cell injections into the back and brain despite a lack of scientific proof that the treatments actually worked.”

I don’t know the particulars relating to the baby, beyond the news reports – to be honest I think it would have been sufficient to shut this clinic down for offering (and charging for) unevidenced treatments.

Founder of XCell stem cell clinic accused of stealing to fund lavish lifestyle The Telegraph (30 June 2012)
“I did not spend any money from XCell for private means, including a yacht.”

See also:

In the Flesh: The Embedded Dangers of Untested Stem Cell Cosmetics Scientific American (17 December 2012)
Unapproved procedures and skin care products endanger consumers and clinical research
A woman who’d had her own stem cells (from stomach fat) injected into the area around her eyes for cosmetic purposes was rather surprised to discover bony growths appearing in her eyelids, causing her pain.