Counselling for Stem Cell Tourism—Buyer Beware

Bowman M, Racke M, Kissel J, Imitola J. Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals in Counseling and Educating Patients With Incurable Neurological Diseases Regarding “Stem Cell Tourism”: Caveat Emptor.JAMA Neurol. 2015. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.1891. [Epub ahead of print]

“Stem cell tourism” is a rising Internet-based industry that aims to offer unproven procedures to patients with incurable diseases. This unregulated activity is reaching the neurologist’s office as well as across the world, as patients request information or clearance for such procedures. Herein, we posit the need for medical societies and licensing boards to bring this issue to the forefront of neurology because it has the potential to affect patient care with risk of morbidity and mortality, as well as to undermine public confidence in legitimate stem cell research for incurable neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Simply put don’t do it. 

Yes it is your money and yes you can do what you want with it, but if it sounds too good to be true…it usually is. 

So buyer beware…these treatments tend to alleviate you of your money rather than your disease

It is amazing that quacks can spin you a yarn to make money, and get away with it over and over again. Surely they should be drummed out of business.

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  • I know people who have gotten the apidose procedure done (adult fat stemcells) and it helped them. I don't think it should be frowned upon at all.

  • Stem cells in Costa Rica……it may cost a lot and not work but at least you get to visit a beautiful country. Now if the stem cell treatments were in say Cleveland or Detroit, especially in the winter, then not so much:-).

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