For untreatable diseases, should you consider unapproved stem cell therapy?

gettyimages custom e d b f eade e d d b f d d s c
Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Washington Post/Getty Images

Regenerative medicine is a controversial field, still in its infancy. There are academic researchers and major biotech companies testing key treatments in high-profile, vetted clinical trials — but there are also fringe clinics promising stem cell injections that can cure everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cerebral palsy, though they have no evidence to back up those claims.

Sketchy clinics pull people in with big promises and slick advertising — anecdotal testimonials posted in online videos on blogs or social media. But some also mimic more reputable scientific endeavors by posting their work on ClinicalTrials.gov — a federal repository that doesn’t always vet postings to ensure their protocols meet federal standards.

“It’s completely impossible for individual patients, even individual physicians, to evaluate the evidence underlying every therapy that’s out there and to make an informed decision,” said [UT Southwestern’s] Sean Morrison.

Related article:  Knocking out cholesterol genes could offer 'one-and-done' CRISPR cure for heart disease
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The Wild West of information has spawned a side project for many in the space: trying, desperately, to correct the record and help patients make good decisions. Some are simply volunteering their time and expertise to help sort out the science. Others are institutions that offer more legitimate treatments, like the Mayo Clinic, or that fund clinical trials in the area, like the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Experts warn, however, that far more work is needed to help patients sort through the science — particularly since sketchy stem cell clinics can be dangerous.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend