Growing numbers of clinics abroad are marketing unproven, costly stem cell therapies to medical tourists and “exploiting patients’ hopes,” according to a report from the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based group convened a task force of researchers, ethicists, doctors and regulatory officials from 13 countries to devise guidelines that target clinics offering experimental therapy to patients without appropriate transparency, oversight or patient protections.
“There is this tension between the slow progress of medical science and the desperation of patients and the swiftness with which disease overtakes them,” said Laurie Zoloth, PhD, on the task force that issued the report in December 2008. “Combine that with a flat world and the Internet, and it’s a recipe for stem cell fakery.”
The whole shebang.