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ALS Worldwide
September 04, 2015

Questionable Stem Cell Treatments for Athletes

Companies Offer Athletes Hope With Questionable Stem Cell Treatments by Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today

With stem cell clinic numbers quadrupling in the United States over the last five years, it can be difficult to discern between a legitimate clinic and a fraudulent one. The newness of the field makes it especially complicated – nobody knows what works and what doesn’t or what’s right and what’s wrong. These wavering guidelines of stem cell research are what make it so challenging to properly evaluate a clinic.

In this article at USA Today, Brent Schrotenboer discusses stem cell procedures and phony clinics in the context of sports medicine. While the article does not focus on stem cell research specifically in ALS, it is still valuable information to be aware of. A large number of the clinics discussed are ones that use fat cells from the patient’s own body, an experimental method that has not been approved by the FDA. These same clinics are charging absurd amounts of money for their unproven practices.

The FDA recently issued new guidelines that appear to target these clinics, saying that using cells from fat in this way exceed regulations and raise safety concerns.  Unfortunately, even an FDA-registered clinic can use unapproved procedures, making the entire system even tougher to navigate. If you would like to view ALS Worldwide's recommended guidelines for finding a legitimate stem cell clinic, please visit our article How to Avoid Fraudulent Stem Cell Practitioners.

Additionally, the publication available on our website, A Patient’s Path Through The Maze Of Stem Cell Transplantation, was first published in 2010. ALS Worldwide is committed to an extensive update that will be available by mid-2016. Until then, you may wish to read this still-relevant overview of stem cell practices and clinics. We further invite the ALS/MND community to inquire of us by email or telephone 1-608-663-0920.