More on stem cell therapies

In continuing our discussion on stem cell therapies, as outlined in previous posts, the theory behind the use of stem cells is intriguing.  By guiding a cell’s development from unbroken immaturity toward regenerated maturity in the diseased body part of choice, worn broken and diseased tissue can drink from the fountain of rebuilt youth.  However the FDA continues to warn of exaggerated claims of effectiveness at certain stem cell clinics.  In an article from Jama 1/17/2017 p.330 the authors state, “In recent years, there have been many “stem cell clinics”, both in the United States and around the world, that offer various “stem cell treatments” that are not scientifically proven”.  Additionally the cells used can be from a number of dubious external sources or harvested from one’s own cellular milieu without clear evidence they actually are stem cells.  Furthermore the article states, [stem cells] “can travel to the wrong parts of the body and cause problems, and they have the ability to become tumors”.  All this to say once again that while the science is intriguing and bears further study and while there are established uses for stem cells in the hematology world, most of the other claims are just not ready for prime time.

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