While there are a few legitimate research efforts being conducted today that use stem cell technology to treat ALS/MND, there are by far many more fraudulent ones that take advantage of desperate patients and their loved ones. Today, quack medicine has never been bigger.
That's why ALS Worldwide seeks to empower patients and their families by exposing deceitful organizations that make grandiose statements about their capabilities to treat or cure ALS/MND .
For example, ALS Worldwide partnered with CBS 60 Minutes to help bring to justice two con men, Lawrence Stowe and Frank Morales, who each recently received five years in prison and large monetary fines because they sold phony stem cell procedures.
The CBS 60 Minutes investigation became the foundation for the Emmy Award-winning program which can be linked to at "21st Century Snake Oil". It follows the journey of ALS/MND patients who participated in a "sting operation" to expose and stop Stowe and Morales.
But Stowe and Morales are two among many hundreds of predators out there today. Before considering any stem cell procedure, ALS Worldwide strongly encourages patients and family members to practice due diligence. Appearances can be deceiving. Anyone can launch a beautiful web site, include impressive photographs, write "Doctor" before his or her name or list credentials from well-known institutions. Whether the information presented is true must be ascertained by the patient. Take the time to investigate. Find the physical location utilizing Google street view. Sometimes a great deal can be discovered in a very brief period of time by simply plugging in the address.
That's why your own investigation is of paramount importance in order to make an informed decision. When considering any stem cell protocol and/or treatment, please ask the following eight questions. If any single answer isn't forthcoming, verifiable by outside sources, or is 'no', then we urge you to walk away.
1. Did the physician/scientist receive training from a reputable institution?
2. Is the physician/scientist/researcher affiliated with a reputable institution?
3. Is there proper internal and external oversight for the procedure?
4. Are the claims reasonable and believable and supported by objective data?
5. Does the facility openly explain risks, is candid about reasonable expectations and has a single or limited disease focus?
6. Does the facility provide detailed information about its process and procedures?
7. Do the clinical trials collect data and provide careful examinations before and after treatment?
8. Does the facility have a physical location you can see by utilizing Google street view and/or by in-person inspection by a knowledgeable person?
As always, any medical procedure, stem cell or otherwise, should be discussed with your neurologist, physician, family and friends. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-608-663-0920.