Contributed by Jim Nelson, consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
In my email this morning, I found an invitation to an online presentation by a stem cell clinic about whether I might be a candidate for stem cell therapy.
All of the researchers to whom I have talked agree that successful treatment of lung disease with stem cells is at least 10 to 15 years away.
A quote from the publicity for the stem cell clinic: “There have been major advancements in stem cell therapy over the last few years. It is still an emerging form of treatment for chronic lung disease.”
That is, at best, misleading. Yes, there have indeed been major advancements in stem cell therapy, by the true researchers in the field. Stem cells have been used in the treatment of many parts of the body, BUT NOT LUNGS!!! Saying that it is an “emerging form of treatment for chronic lung disease” is subject to interpretation. It can be called “emerging,” but it simply does not do anything to slow or stop lung damage from lung disease.
The following is a quote from the small print on one of their previous ads:
“All claims made regarding the efficacy of ————– treatments as they pertain to lung conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by ————–. The treatments, claims, and other information contained on this page and —————.com have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Any individual that accesses —————- website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.”
Here are some quotes from organizations that deal with lung disease:
HEALTHLINE: “Because the presence of stem cells in the adult lung was confirmed only very recently, there are no stem cell treatments currently available to patients with COPD.”
FDA WARNINGS ABOUT STEM CELLS: “Consumers need to be aware that at present—other than cord blood for certain specified indications—there are no approved stem cell products.”
“There is a potential safety risk when you put cells in an area where they are not performing the same biological function as they were when in their original location in the body.” Cells in a different environment may multiply, form tumors, or may leave the site you put them in and migrate somewhere else.”
In a 2012 article Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Holland of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), Kansas City Field Office said:
“Scammers like these offer false hope to people with incurable diseases in order to line their own pockets with money.”
COPD FOUNDATION: “Autologous stem cell therapy is not currently recommended for the treatment of COPD. The COPD Foundation does not recommend the use of autologous stem cell therapy in the treatment of COPD or other lung disease until there is more rigorous scientific and medical proof of its effectiveness.”
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION: “However, as yet, there is very little known about the short and long term effects of administering any type of stem cell therapy to patients with lung diseases. Until we know more, we are strongly concerned that the treatment could cause adverse effects and could worsen the patient’s condition.”
THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH: “Many clinics offering stem cell treatments make claims that are not supported by a current understanding of science.”
“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.”
~ Uncle Jim
Jim Nelson is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for COPD patients throughout the U.S. and around the world. He and his wife, Mary, are well known patient advocates and brand ambassadors for those organizations who tirelessly endeavor to help those individuals who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases and the caregivers who support them.
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