Aug 19, 2017 | Updated: 10:39 AM EDT

Stem Cell Clinics Offer Medical Treatment Seem Legitimate Until A Procedure Went Wrong Blinding Three Women.

Jul 27, 2017 11:43 AM EDT

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Stem Cell Treatments as recommended by the NIH
(Photo : Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Stem cells are viewed on a computer screen at the University of Connecticut`s (UConn) Stem Cell Institute at the UConn Health Center Farmington, Connecticut.


The image of stem cell clinics are as welcoming as any other professional medical service provider. They would even have web promotions of supported procedures in the clinicaltrials.gov sponsored by The National Institute of Health. The dubious scheme seems legit that many are lured to the promise of stem cell treatments have to offer.

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But behind the luring facade are clinical treatments that did not undergo stem cell clinical trials. The procedures went awry resulting in the blindness of three women in one clinical facility. The poor patients were hoping that their visual problems would be answered by a stem cell procedure. They gladly paid for a potential cure but lost their sights in the process.

Stem Cells From Body Fats

The tragical treatment involved the injection of stem cells derived from the patient's' own fats into the eyeballs. The procedure cost the women $5,000 which they said enticed them from a trial listing posted in clinicaltrials.gov. There were no records of enrollment of the women in such clinical trial and it seemed that the procedure never took place and had since been withdrawn.

According to the new analysis in the Journal of Regenerative Medicine, it is not the only suspicious stem cell treatment on the NIH listings. There are at least 18 such clinical treatment trials posted on the respected website. But this trials should have paid volunteers for engaging in these procedures, instead the patients pay instead of receiving compensation, reports ARS Technica.

Clinical Trials Offering without Research and Previous Applications

Some outrageous listings found on the clinicaltrials.gov site that claims to be sponsored by seven companies are erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, vision problems, premature ovarian failure, Parkinson's Disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among others. These treatments were found out of having no research to back them up and without FDA approval.

In short, these stem cell clinics are free riding on the respected government funded platform for their marketing strategies so that it would look like a decent offer for the treatment. Bioethicist Leigh Turner of the University of Minnesota tells ARS that being connected with the listing posted on the site is a clever marketing ploy and is very dangerous.

Taking advantage of patients hoping for a miracle cure

Some stem cell clinics are preying on the innocent and promise the miracle cure for ailments that had given up on traditional medicine. Without confirmed medical trials and FDA approval, these procedures are bogus. These marketing experts that sell the cure take advantage of the helpless victims that hope on these procedures with the risk it exposes the individuals to farce applications, reports WebMD.

Professor Aaron Levine of the Georgia Institute of Technology says that several companies claim to be the answer for a cure that present medicine can not accommodate. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) recommends that patients seeking help by stem cell procedure should only avail of the services duly approved by the Food and Drug Administration or a national regulatory agency.

For Leigh Turner, they have the identification of 570 so called stem cell clinics offering treatments that the FDA had overlooked. He sites that he is also receiving threats and has difficulty publishing his articles as he exposed these clinics by name.

The problem of these dubious facilities giving service of stem cell therapy is not going away, it had gotten worse. Turner and his colleague Paul Knoepfler from the University of California have hope to shed light why the dubious peddling of these stem treatment clinics is proliferating.


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