Treating Patients

Caveat Emptor: Reported Stem Cell ‘Cures’

While an increasing number of clinics around the world claim that they can already provide stem cell “cures” for a variety of diseases such as Parkinson disease, neurological diseases and muscular dystrophy, there is little objective scientific evidence to support these claims.

In this video interview, Dr. George Q. Daley discussed the need to be cautious about clinics that operate outside of the careful regulatory environment of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Europe, and the risks of taking shortcuts when using stem cells as treatment.

Giving

Spotlight

  • Offshore Stem Cell Clinics Sell Hope, Not Science

    Children’s George Daley, MD, PhD, is featured in a story on NPR’s “Morning Edition” that discusses foreign stem cell clinics that sell unproven treatments at a high price and a new consumer watchdog program set up by the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

  • Stem cell treatment: Find out what’s possible, what to ask

    On June 8, 2010,  the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has launched “A Closer Look at Stem Cell Treatments”. Closerlookatstemcells.org, is a website designed to arm patients, their families and doctors with information they need to make decisions about stem cell treatments.

    The website was developed in response to the growing number of aggressive marketing campaigns on the Internet and elsewhere offering stem cell treatments. The ISSCR urges individuals to be cautious and to learn the facts before making any decision.

  • Turning stem cells into treatments
    • Repairing cells
      Once cells are reprogrammed back to a pluripotent state, disease-causing genetic errors in them may be repaired so that eventually, healthy stem cells can be returned to patients to correct their disease.
    • Differentiating cells
      The human body has a multitude of local environments that are ideal for directing stem cells to specialize and sub-specialize appropriately. To propagate vigorous bunches of blood cells rather than bone, brain instead of spleen, scientists must closely tend the cells and recreate their natural growing conditions.
    • Returning healthy cells
      Like sowing seeds, researchers envision implanting specialized stem cells back into the patient who donated the original cells. The hope is that the cells will engraft in the proper location, multiply, and form functioning tissues.