Canada’s shady stem cell clinics

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Mesenchymal stem cells being injected into knee of patient. Image credit: Alice Pien

Doctors selling dubious stem cell treatments isn’t just a problem in the U.S., suggests a new study published in Regenerative Medicine. Clinics in Canada are also marketing these treatments directly to consumers, the study found, and seemingly misleading them about their benefits and risks.

For his latest study, [bioethicist Leigh] Turner conducted an internet search of Canadian businesses directly marketing and providing stem cell treatments to online consumers within the country.

On the websites of these 30 stem cell businesses, 26 promised to help people with muscular and skeletal problems; 23 promoted stem cells for pain relief, and 14 said they would help with sports-related injuries, according to the study. Turner also found these businesses often claim that their treatments can regenerate people’s damaged tissues, joints and bones, provide years of or even permanent pain relief, and treat otherwise incurable health problems. But few, if any, of these claims, are backed up by clinical data.

Related article:  Biotech industry fears Canada's uncertain CRISPR crop rules will slow farming innovation

Turner found no evidence that counterpart agencies such as Health Canada have taken any disciplinary actions against these businesses or doctors employed at their clinics.

“I do not know why Canadian federal and provincial regulatory bodies have not taken a more aggressive response to businesses marketing unlicensed and unproven stem cell products,” he said. “However, I would like to see them engage in more robust regulatory activity.”

Read full, original post: Canadian Clinics Are Selling Shady Stem Cell Treatments, Study Finds

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