Out of nowhere, over the past two to three years, the clinics have sprung up — 570 in the United States, according to a recent paper — offering untested stem cell treatments for just about every medical use imaginable.
After a flurry of stem cell excitement two decades ago, almost all the research today is still in mice or petri dishes. The very few clinical trials that have begun are still in the earliest phase.
The problem is that stem cell therapies are still mostly theory. So what is going on? How can there be clinics, even chains of clinics run by companies, offering stem cell treatment for almost any disease you can think of
The rapid proliferation of stem cell clinics “looks like it is occurring on a nationwide industrial scale,” said Leigh Turner, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota…“It’s operating brazenly, out in the open. It leaps out of these cultural assumptions about hopes and dreams of stem cell treatment, but there is no science behind it.”
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