The Gates Center receives frequent inquiries from individuals seeking guidance as to whether treatments offered at stem cell clinics around the country and abroad are effective, safe and worth the thousands of dollars they cost.
Clinics across the country advertise fat-derived stem cell therapy treatments for ailments ranging from sports injuries and Alzheimer’s to paralysis and neurodegenerative conditions. While there is anecdotal evidence that some of these treatments may be effective, there is no data to show their efficacy based upon carefully conducted clinical trials, and there are growing reports of treatments causing blindness, infection, kidney failure, paraplegia and more. Clinic operators generally insist that fat-derived stem cells generated from their patients should not be subject to the same kind of regulations as other treatments, but the FDA is increasingly alarmed. Currently, the only stem cell therapies approved by the FDA use cells from bone marrow or cord blood to treat cancers of the blood and bone marrow.
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