Scammers offering phoney stem cell therapies to ‘treat’ incurable diseases

Published September 11, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Stem cell therapies have proven to be extremely valuable options for medical treatment, with the potential to treat everything from cancer and diabetes to Parkinson’s disease and cardiac illness.

But now, scammers are capitalizing on these scientific discoveries by offering phoney stem cell treatments to patients, claiming they can provide miracle cures for untreatable conditions, the Irish Times reported.  

Many vulnerable people with incurable degenerative diseases are paying upwards of $150,000 for treatments that use what are known as mesenchymal stem cells.  

While researchers have been experimenting with these types of stem cells to potentially treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and other bone diseases, they have yet to be proven effective.  Additionally, the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat disease is currently against the law, and clinics that offer these treatments operate under the radar or by word of mouth.  

Not only are these therapies illegal, but they are potentially dangerous as well.  While mesenchymal stem cells have shown promise in regards to bone and tissue health, they haven’t been successful when it comes to nerve and brain tissues – yet some scammers are using them to “treat” neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia, according to the Irish Times. One company claimed that they could cure more than 100 diseases with these transplantable cells.

Experts estimated that approximately 100,000 people in the United States have utilized these untested therapies.

Click for more from the Irish Times.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/09/11/scammers-offering-phoney-stem-cell-therapies-to-treat-incurable-diseases/