Emory launches clinical trial on stem cell therapy

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Emory is starting a new clinical study on stem cell therapy. Dr. Ken Mautner says Emory will conduct a study with 500 patients to determine what type of stem cell therapy would be most effective for patients.

CDC Doctor Krista Powell indicated that umbilical cord blood products are not approved for injections related to knees, joints, and back pain. 

“What we’re talking about are products that are illegally marketed so products that are not, they don’t have FDA approval. They are unapproved and unproven,” says Dr. Powell.

In addition, three individual patients filed a lawsuit in Texas against a manufacturer, a distributor, a clinic as well as two physicians. These patients claim their treatment was contaminated and made them violently ill. Furthermore, they also said that the product “contained no living cells” and therefore no “stem cells.” The defendants deny any wrongdoing in this case.

Emory’s medical ethicist, Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, fears regulators cannot handle an industry that is developing so quickly.  “People have been harmed, significantly harmed by bogus stem cell treatments,” says Root Wolpe.

Indeed, he wants federal regulators to increase their protection and oversight on behalf of patients from what the FDA has already called bad actors. “It’s very disturbing when any profession plays on its public trust to mislead people. I think it is the worst kind of betrayal,” says Root Wolpe.

Finally, Dr. Mautner expressed his perspective on these stories and the study: “We’re trying to do the right thing. We are trying to move the field forward as well as help patients feel better, versus these companies who are most likely trying to make large profits and are making completely false claims without any evidence behind them”.