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Web Sites Offering Stem Cell Therapies are Dangerous, Study Warns

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Consumers Should be Wary of Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

According to researchers in Alberta, Canada, web sites developed by clinics to promote their stem cell treatments are doing so without firm medical evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the treatments. The public, and patients desperate for cures for blindness, spinal cord injuries or Parkinson's disease, are being misled and it could be dangerous, because the websites overpromise the results and underestimate the risks, experts say.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, evaluated various stem cell treatments promoted on 19 web sites found through Google. The researchers used published medical studies in human patients to find evidence of benefit. While they reported finding some encouraging hints, they did not find any clear results to indicate safety or effectiveness. Many of web sites offered treatments in foreign countries including China, Mexico and Russia, and one site didn't provide a location.

The past president of the International Society of Stem Cell Research Dr. George Daley, said the study is "a very important wake-up call."

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Published on Dec-3-08


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