If You’re Considering Stem Cell Treatment for Your COPD, Be Careful!

You’ve probably seen the ads or the comments on Facebook or blogs: “You should try stem cell therapy for your COPD. It worked for me.”

There are two reasons to be careful about seeking stem cell treatment for your COPD.

Stem Cell Therapy for COPD Is Not A Proven Treatment

First, stem cell therapy has not been proven an effective treatment for COPD. While we’re not saying that it will never be effective, like many therapies under development, it deserves study. But for now, it is unproven.

There Are Bad Actors In the Stem Cell Clinic Field

Second, there are a number of bad actors in the field; unscrupulous outfits that are administering stem cell treatments to patients either without FDA approval or without adhering to standards of procedure that ensure sterility of the product being administered. At best, patients at these clinics are subjecting themselves to procedures that will not work for them; they are spending money on false hope. At worst, patients are being exposed to bacterial infections and other side-effects that could cause them serious risk; they could be made more sick than they already are.

Here are two examples in point:

US Stem Cell Clinic

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced in August that the FDA sent a warning letter to US Stem Cell Clinic of Sunrise, Florida for marketing stem cell products without FDA approval, and for failing to adhere to good manufacturing practice requirements, which could affect the sterility of their products. Needless to say, both of these factors put patients at risk.

US Stem Cell Clinic was manufacturing its own stem cell product from adipose tissue and administering it either intravenously or directly into the spinal cord of patients to treat a range of conditions, including COPD. The FDA has not reviewed or approved any biological products manufactured by US Stem Cell Clinic for any use. In addition, the clinic was found to have failed to establish and follow appropriate written procedures to prevent microbiological contamination in at least 256 lots of stem cell products.

StemImmune Inc

The FDA announced also that it took action to prevent the use of a “potentially dangerous and unproven treatment” at centers in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills belonging to StemImmune Inc of San Diego, California. The US Marshals Service seized five vials of live virus vaccine at their centers, a vaccine that is reserved for people at high risk for smallpox and is not commercially available. The FDA is now investigating how the clinic obtained those vials.

New FDA Oversight of Stem Cell Centers

Dr. Gottlieb noted that these two centers are examples of a larger pool of centers that claim that their unproven and unsafe products will treat a serious disease, but that instead put patients at significant risk. “We will seek to take additional actions in the coming months as we address this field, and target those who are clearly stepping over the line,” he said. At the same time, he noted, the FDA is developing a comprehensive and efficient science-based policy to accelerate the proper development of stem cell therapies.

Details of the new FDA policy will be announced this fall.

Information for this article was obtained from Medscape.

  • Avatar
    Ken Benson
    Posted at 16:07h, 27 September Reply

    Thank you for helping to get out this extremely important information.

    • Avatar
      Posted at 16:56h, 27 September Reply

      You are more than welcome, Ken!

  • Avatar
    Marsha Martin
    Posted at 16:25h, 27 September Reply

    I expressed a desire to learn more about stem cell..I entered my phone # and within 5 minutes they were calling me..even assignong me a representative and continued to call for 2 weeks, with a sales pitch.

    • Avatar
      Posted at 16:57h, 27 September Reply

      Now that’s aggressive. Sorry to hear.

  • Avatar
    Kenny P
    Posted at 18:20h, 27 September Reply

    This is a very serious posting area for the ruthless money mongers taking aim at desperate people trying to live and breath. There are a lot of clinical trials listed for lung stem cell clinics but you must be cautioned of the honesty and reality of the study. A study is just that a study, the study does not make promises or ask you for monies up front or additional monies for additional treatments and follow ups. These false clinics are very deceptive and are not only in the USA but from all over the globe. Just be care full when you respond and ask lots of questions and resource all the information you can gather before you commit to anything. Stem Cell treatment is no longer the 20 years away procedure as we have thought, but in real time it is a hot topic and could be a very life saver for hundreds of thousands of suffers current and to be diagonised globally. There are medical centers that have approached the FDA for approval to start stem cell studies, University of North Carolina being one. They are not accepting as they are not approved for any type of studies at the moment. They will announce when and if approved.
    Kenny P.

  • Avatar
    Karen Deitemeyer
    Posted at 18:50h, 27 September Reply

    Thank you for this article. I had a very close friend who, (even though she knew better, spent thousands of dollars for stem cell treatments at a facility in Florida. She got no better, but the stem cell clinic owner got much richer.

    I’ve told her story many times, and have been encouraged to read the COPD Foundation’s position paper as well as the ATS paper and now your admonition. Thank you!!

    • Avatar
      Posted at 13:35h, 28 September Reply

      You’re very welcome, Karen. Thank you for posting.

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