Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of them ("pay-to-play"). These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running “pay-to-play” clinical trials that bear an uncomfortable resemblance to those run by for-profit clinics.
A recent case report of a spinal mass in a patient with spinal cord injury who received an olfactory mucosa implant shows that stem cells are not risk-free, even when done at a reputable hospital rather than at a for-profit quack stem cell clinics.
A fairly frequent topic on Science-Based Medicine is the issue of for-profit stem cell clinics selling unsupported stem cell-based treatments with little or no evidence to support them for huge amounts of money. I make no bones about it. In my estimation, every for-profit stem cell clinic is a quack clinic bilking patients with promises of the magical things they claim stem cells can do. Every. Single. One I’ve searched and searched, and I have yet to find a for-profit stem cell clinic that provides only science- and evidence-based treatments for a reasonable cost. I hope that one day I …
Naturopathy is a form of pseudomedicine rooted in vitalism. However, naturopaths delude themselves into thinking they're science-based. Hilarity always ensues when they make that argument.
Suzanne Somers is back in the news, claiming that she "grew a new breast" with stem cells and fat transfer. But did she? Did she really? A careful look at what's public about her story suggests nothing other than a bit of self-promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I warned you. I've been warning you for four years. Now that a federal right-to-try law has passed, the profiteering has begun. Let patients beware!
In the 1970s, young polish expat and cancer researcher Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski thought he had found a cure for many incurable cancers. He dubbed it antineoplastons (ANPs_. Unfortunately, he left the path of science and started treating patients before he had evidence that ANPs work. Four decades later, without ever having published compelling evidence for anticancer efficacy of ANPs, he's still luring desperate patients to his clinic. Now he's set to branch out to quack clinics in Mexico. Why can't the law stop him?
It's finally happened. A "right-to-try" bill is coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. It's been slightly modified from the version that passed the Senate last year to make it less patient-hostile, but it's still the same cruel sham that right-to-try has always been.
The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health is a group dedicated to promoting "integrative medicine" in medical academia that has, unfortunately, been very successful over the last two decades. Recently, it published a report that promotes acupuncture as a tool to combat the opioid epidemic Let's just put it this way. The ACIMH exaggerates the evidence rather obviously.
Last week, the FDA released final regulatory guidance regarding freestanding stem cell clinics. The new regulatory framework appears custom-made to allow the FDA to crack down on quack stem cell clinics. But will it?