stem cell

Hundreds of clinics around the country are offering to treat a long list of health problems with stem cells.

The clinics claim that stem cells found in fat tissue, blood, bone marrow and even placentas can help people suffering from arthritic joints and torn tendons to more serious medical problems, including spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and strokes. Some even claim the cells can help children with autism.

But leading stem cell researchers say there's not enough evidence to support the clinics' claims.

U.S. Department of Energy

More than 170 clinics across the country are selling experimental stem cell procedures for dozens of diseases and conditions — a mushrooming industry that has flourished despite little evidence of its safety or effectiveness.

The rise of the U.S. stem cell industry illustrates how quickly fringe medicine can outpace government oversight. Over the last five years, academic stem cell researchers have watched in dismay as doctors treat patients with experimental techniques that they say could take years, if not decades, to become sound medicine.

Stem cell treatments offered by The Lung Institute in Tampa are pricey, not approved in the United States and not covered by insurance.   But as the Tampa Bay Times reports, patients desperate for treatment are taking the advice of Dr. Burton Feinerman to travelto Peru for lung disease therapy -- and pay between $7,500 and $12,000 in cash for a three-day treatment.  

Fort Myers News-Press

An administrative law judge says Dr. Zannos Grekos, who is accused of improperly using stem cell treatments and is blamed for the death of a 69-year-old patient, should lose his medical license, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.