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Experts warn against “tourist trap” stem cell therapies

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4772 (Published 01 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4772
  1. Mark Pownall
  1. 1London

    Hundreds of clinics around the world are offering unproved and potentially dangerous stem cell treatments to desperate patients willing to travel thousands of miles in the hope of successful treatment.

    A group of UK specialists says that patients are mortgaging their houses and raising tens of thousands of pounds from their communities to pay for stem cell treatments. They are attracted by promotional material on the internet for treatments for which there is no evidence of benefit other than patients’ testimonials. The clinics attract patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and degenerative retinal conditions for which conventional treatments have temporary or limited effectiveness.

    Tighter regulation in the European Union will be introduced in …

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