New guide helps patients spot stem-cell scams

If you or a loved one is desperately ill and considering treatment with stem cells, here's a document you definitely should read: a newly released guide (pdf) from the International Society for Stem Cell Research to help patients negotiate the minefield of clinics claiming to be able to cure all manner of ills.

The ISSCR is alarmed about a proliferation of websites advertising unproven and potentially risky stem-cell therapies, and the handbook gives some good tips to identify the snake-oil merchants.

Beware, it warns, of clinics claiming to treat multiple diseases with the same cells, boasting that there is no risk, and offering patient testimonials - rather than results from clinical research - as evidence that their treatment works. "Patients want to believe so much that a treatment is helping them that they can convince themselves that is has," the handbook cautions.

For those considering volunteering in clinical research, the handbook also provides a guide to what to look for in a legitimate trial, including all of the information that should be included in the "informed consent" forms - and other wording that, if present, should set the alarm bells ringing.
Don't know if it belongs in this forum Wise, but I got it from NewScientist.