So you open your web portal and type ‘stem cell therapy’ into your search option, within the blink of an eye you will get over 18 million results. Strikingly, the vast majority of these top searches, as well as the ads on the side of your page, are from hospitals and companies offering ‘stem cell therapy’ to treat almost any medical condition. The scope of the effective medical potential of stem cells is narrow, however, some stem cell treatment clinics worldwide are making appealing claims that has generated a hype, that go far beyond the understanding of current science. In the United States alone a study published in Cell Stem Cell in 2016 totaled 570 of these clinics. They claim to offer stem cell-based therapies for conditions ranging from sports injuries to cancer. This false practice is a paradox for bona fide companies and scientists.
Michael O. Schroeder in his article, Before You Undergo Stem Cell Treatment, in US News tells that according to experts those overstated claims are putting the most desperate and vulnerable at disadvantage. That includes families and patients impatiently searching for cures that modern medicine has not developed yet – like a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, autism, MS and Parkinson’s disease.
The fact is that there are a few stem cell therapies at the moment with satisfactory successful medical evidence to consider them as acceptable cures. The most extensively used one and the best defined is bone marrow transplantation to treat the immune system or the blood disorders. Also, stem cell rejuvenation therapy has the potential to slow the triggers of aging for a more youthful appearance and improved performance.
A company or a clinic may be a scam if they offer treatments for enormous conditions using the same kind of stem cell, mostly extracted from that part of the body which is different from the part under treatment. Widely studied types of stem cells include embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. It is, therefore, crucial to make sure that the stem cells type being used is appropriate for the treated disease.
Very limited stem cell treatments have made their way to the earliest phase of a clinical trial. Most of the current research is being carried out on animal models or in a petri dish. Therefore, be aware of these stem cell therapies as most are still theoretical than being scientifically evidence-based.
So, these few things you need to keep in mind before you undergo any stem cell treatment;
- Presently, a few stem cell treatments have been proven effective and safe
- You are at risk of losing something when you try an untested treatment
- The same stem cell treatment is highly unlikely to treat unrelated conditions or diseases
- Marketing tactics including patient testimonials provided by clinics may be deceptive
- The science behind the treatment should match the cause and effect behind a disease
- Cells isolated from your own body without significant lab manipulation are not automatically safe when used in treatments
- Do not fall for the experimental treatment offered for sale as these are not the same as a clinical trials