For Profit Stem Cell “Clinics” Now On Regulators’ Radar

Madison Avenue’s Vision of Magic Stem Cells

I have written before about dubious stem cell clinics that are for profit, and push more doubtful stem cell fat cell “extractions” that claim to cure everything that laudanum-alcohol based patent medicines of the Old West covered in the vague disease domains of pain, arthritis, “lumbago,” (one of my favorite English words). Now finally the regulators are finally starting to crack down on these greedy, nefarious and dishonest “suck mills,” (my new name for these centers for suckers, who suck gobs of fat cells out of your belly and then inject aliquots back into wherever you hurt and hope it will relieve your pain.

I had earlier noted one of the characteristics of the bogus (at least in my biased humble, scientifically trained view/mindset) “stem cell therapy” clinics. And that is they claim to treat all kinds of vague entities and at times real live disease processes too that simply astound me with the sweeping unproven claims of success. But when you read the claims on many of these clinics and sites on the Internet, the claims are often qualified. They will state that the therapy being hawked and sold “may improve” and other such get off the hook phrases. Another characteristic is that most of these clinics do not deal with insurers right from the start; everything is as we say in the United States still: “cash and carry.” Anyway here is one list I have typed out, re-edited for insertion, etc., of entities that are claimed to be treated with your own belly fat, harvested on the spot, “stem cell” infusions:

Conditions: Knee Pain, COPD, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Anti-aging, Autism, Autoimmune, Arthritis, Back, Pain, ED(erectile dysfunction), Foot/Ankle Pain, Hair Loss, Hand/Wrist Pain, Heart Failure, Hip Pain, Osteoarthritis, Kidney (what: cysts, infections, tumors, stones???), Liver Disease, Lupus, Lyme Disease, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Neurological (notice how vague this category is), Neuropathy, Parkinson’s, Spinal Cord, Stroke, TBI.

I want to just wholesale quote from the June 12, 2109 edition of MEDPAGE TODAY article written by Greg Portz. This has other investigative news about the new Esketamine drug Spravoto’s alleged corner cutting approval, leptospirosis infections in Puerto Rico, the abortion controversy in the state of Missouri as well as the pertinent part about the “stem cell” clinics operating on the fringes of American medicine.

Stem Cell Ruling: Not Enough?

To quote: “Earlier this month, a federal judge said the FDA could shut down U.S. Stem Cell, a private clinic in Florida. While many hope it will serve as a warning to others, the New York Times points out that hundreds of stem-cell clinics still operate, promoting unproven treatments for myriad maladies.

U.S. Stem Cell generated autologous body-fat extracts for injections that the company claimed would treat a wide range of disorders. There was little science to support the claims, however, and some patients had horrific outcomes — three individuals with macular degeneration went blind after extracts were injected into their eyes.

Former FDA head Scott Gottlieb, MD, gets credit for starting the crackdown on stem-cell clinics, the Times noted. Still, many clinics continue to offer similar procedures, and some have gone offshore to avoid FDA oversight

The reader familiar with my own personal history, will recall my past declaration of personal bias. I am and have been a multiple myeloma patient since 2011, and a recipient of a conventional autologous stem cell transplant/infusion at a reputable university medical center (Emory medical center of Dekalb/Atlanta GA).

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