Vetting Stem Cell Therapies

First generation stem cell therapies are offered in many locations around the world, and medical tourism is booming, but what sort of due diligence should you perform before trying to take advantage of a particular therapy? Here are some good suggestions: "The International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS) has promulgated laboratory, practice standards and maintains a non-profit stem cell treatment registry. The easiest way to determine if the cell therapy is credible is to see if the clinic is ICMS certified. ... The development of treatment protocols for stem cells is difficult and disease as well as tissue specific. This means that valid treatment isn't as easy as sprinkling magic stem cells on the patient. For example, the treatment protocol for knee osteoarthritis has a completely different approach than cardiac disease. Some stem cell clinics are operating at a high level focus on a small collection of diseases and perfect their protocols for those diseases. This may take years for each application. So if the clinic advertises that it treats everything from ALS to Parkinson's to knee arthritis, this usually indicates that it's not operating at a high level of credibility.... Where are the stem cells obtained? Are they from the same patient (autologous) or from an allogeneic source? Many experts agree that autologous cells are more likely to have a much more robust safety profile than cells obtained from a donor. In particular, genes of the donor remain active in the host (which could have either a potentially positive or negative impact)."


Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.