This "60 Minutes" segment tells the heart-breaking story of one family's experience at a Mexican clinic, where they sought treatment for their three-year-old son's cerebral palsy. The piece cautions others about the dangers than can arise when international clinics offer unverified stem cell therapies. In a post today on the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine's blog, Amy Adams discusses the segment and further describes why such treatments are unsafe and ineffective. Adams offers the following advice for anyone thinking about visiting another country to receive a stem cell treatment:
If people are considering clinics outside the U.S., please do read the ISSCR web page. They have a good list of qualifications to look for in identifying clinics that are being truthful about what they offer rather than simply peddling hope. Included in what they suggest people look for is oversight of investigational treatments to be sure the physicians are qualified, the investigational treatment is prepared appropriately, and that the risks and potential benefits are accurately and clearly explained. People should also look for published records showing results from clinical trials. CIRM also has a page about stem cell tourism and what we are doing to try to speed the timeline to new therapies.
Previously: Stem cell researchers challenge clinics' questionable practices, Beware: Stem cell clinics offering "miracle" cures, International Cellular Medicine Society evaluates overseas stem cell clinics and The cruelty of fraudulent stem cell therapies