Stem cell therapy is very exciting and is a very hot topic that never seems to fully explained by health care leaders, doctors or the press. Many US based clinics offering stem cell treatments make claims that are not supported by a current understanding of science. Stem cells have tremendous promise to help us understand and treat a range of diseases, injuries and other health-related conditions.
We are entering a new frontier. Their potential is evident in the use of blood stem cells to treat diseases of the blood, a therapy that has saved the lives of thousands of children with leukemia; and can be seen in the use of stem cells for tissue grafts to treat diseases or injury to the bone, skin and surface of the eye, the cornea. Important clinical trials involving stem cells are underway for many other conditions and researchers continue to explore new avenues using stem cells in medicine!
There is still a lot to learn about stem cells, however, and their current applications as treatments are sometimes exaggerated by the media and other parties who do not fully understand the science and current limitations, and also by “clinics” looking to capitalize on the hype by selling treatments to chronically ill or seriously injured patients. The information provided here is intended to help you understand both the potential and the limitations of stem cells at this point in time, and to help you spot some of the misinformation that is widely circulated by clinics offering unproven treatments. It is important to discuss these points of interest and any research or information you gather with your primary care physician and other trusted members of your healthcare team in deciding what is right for you.
1. Currently, very few stem cell treatments have been proven safe and effective. There are few disease processes that have been cured with stem cell therapy as it is implemented today. That said, there are benefits, just not many that are curative.
2. Stem cell harvesting is important and necessary to grow adequate numbers for use. Labs must take stem cells from blood or bone marrow and grow them to make a treatment. They need to have millions to use in an injection or tissue application.
3. Different types of stem cells serve different purposes in the body. There are over 160 stem cell types. They are quite specific and require much differentiation.
4. The same stem cell treatment is unlikely to work for different diseases or conditions. This is very important and that is why many “stem cell clinics” are promoting pseudo-science.
5. The harvest and maturation of you own stem cell say not exceed 24 hours per US federal law. Doctors may goto to jail if they ignore this slaw.
6. Stem cells from your own body are not automatically safe when used in treatments. They must be harvested and refined to be used.
7. Patient testimonials and other marketing provided by clinics may be misleading and are often associated with dubious clinics in South Florida or Mexico.
8. An experimental treatment offered for sale is not the same as a clinical trial. Please do your due diligence and always question the therapy.
9. The process by which science becomes medicine is designed to minimize harm and maximize effectiveness, some doctors are just looking to make money and will exploit you and your disease. Be aware of greed in this field of medicine.
10. Hall Longevity Clinic does not recommend any stem cell therapies or clinic at present.
Stem cell researchers are making great advances in understanding normal development, and are determine potential treatments to help patients. We till have much to learn, however, about how stem cells work in the body and their capacity for healing. Safe and effective treatments for most diseases, conditions and injuries are in the future. Please stay tuned!