“Many challenges surround stem cell research, but the number one issue as perceived by stem cell community is the marketing and selling of unproven stem cell therapies,” says Prof. Timothy Caulfied.
A Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta, Prof. Caulfield addressed the problem at a recent workshop on Stem Cell Therapies: Opportunities for Assuring the Quality and Safety of Unregulated Clinical Offerings, organized by U.S. Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Science.
Many clinics that look perfectly legitimate on the Web, offer stem cell treatments for everything, without any clinical-based evidence.
“Any time there is an exciting scientific development, people use it to profit,” says Prof. Caulfield in the video. “I call it Scienceploitation,” he adds.
The increase in unproven stem cell treatments is a global phenomenon.”The numbers of desperate patients using these clinics worldwide are big,” says Prof. Caulfield, who is a member of Canadian Stem Cell Foundation’s Science Leadership Council. “And the harm is big, too. Health risks for patients, high costs of procedures and undermined public trust challenge the whole field of stem cell research.”