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Thread: Unfettered by regulation, India pulls ahead on stem cell treatments

  1. #1

    Unfettered by regulation, India pulls ahead on stem cell treatments

    A controversial New Delhi clinic deploys advanced therapies that are unavailable in the U.S. to cure Americans suffering from MS, diabetes, paralysis, Alzheimer's, Lyme disease and cerebral palsy.

    NEW DELHI, India — In December 2007, Californian Amy Scher got on a plane to India, wheeled herself into the Nu Tech Mediworld hospital in New Delhi, and started the first phase of an experimental embryonic stem-cell treatment.

    Her American doctor had warned her against this untested procedure. But 27-year-old Scher was making no progress with conventional medicine, and she was fed up with the constant visits to hospital emergency rooms.

    Scher suffered from chronic Lyme disease, which had gone undiagnosed initially, causing serious damage her nervous system. After researching her options for months, talking to several people who had benefitted from these treatments in India, and reading up about therapies available stateside, Scher decided the American medical system couldn't help her. She chose to travel to India.

    For eight weeks, she was injected with stem cells and underwent extensive physical therapy. The treatments cost an average of $20,000 to $30,000 for a first round of injections. They were not covered by insurance.

    Today, Scher's U.S. physician, Dr. Steven Harris considers her "asymptomatic." He is uncertain whether the disease has been eradicated, or if it’s just dormant, but he says the treatments appear to have helped.

    From India, Scher brought back a SPECT scan, which measures blood flow in the brain. Before India, Harris says, the blood flow in her brain was impaired. "At the end of her stay, a repeat scan showed normalization of her blood flow — in effect, an improvement in brain function." Scher no longer takes nerve stabilizers or cardiac medication. The chronic pain, a constant companion since 2001, is gone.

    The growth of private hospitals providing stem cell therapies, however, is breeding a rift of a different kind. Given that most of these treatments have not been proven safe or effective, medical professionals dispute whether these clinics should be allowed to exist at all.

    At the heart of the controversy is Dr. Geeta Shroff, the doctor who treated Scher.

    Being both fiercely independent and intelligent has earned Dr. Shroff the criticism and scorn of many. A pioneer in many ways, she developed a technology through which, by the use of a single donated embryo, she has been able to treat 600 patients for conditions such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, renal failure, cerebral palsy, and diabetes. What's also unique about Dr. Shroff's technique is that's she's been able to grow embryonic stem cells without the use of any animal products.

    In a static injury, such as a stroke or a spinal cord injury, the stem cells have to bypass the thick scar tissue and form connections around it. Patients who come seeking a "miracle cure," are often disappointed, she says. The stem cells need time to regenerate the body, and often take months or years depending on the injury.

    In the nine years that she's been treating patients using this technology, she says that not one has reported any side effects. For GlobalPost Passport, several of her patients were happy to lay out their medical reports, wiggle their toes where they once had no feeling, and share details of their stay in the hospital — including complaints about the food. The scientific community, however, remains unconvinced.
    SOURCE

    How much do we really know about her research? I've heard a lot
    of negative things about Shroff, but here's an example of someone
    who recovered after being treated by her.

  2. #2
    Buck, I hope that most people would think that I am relatively open-minded and will consider therapies that most doctors would simply dismiss. I tried hard to remain open-minded about Geeta Shroff. To me, the question is not whether there is one or two patients who have shown some recovery from the treatment. There will always be some patient who will show miraculous therapies, if you treat enough people. This is well known from the laying on of hands and other "miracles" that have been perpetrated on people. The placebo effect is very strong.

    Neurological symptoms from Lyme's disease often recover after a period of time. Until recently, I was not a believer of placebo effects in spinal cord injury until we saw it in the clinical trials of fampridine. The control group showed significant placebo effects. So, lest anybody claim that there is no such thing as placebo in spinal cord injury, I think that it is not true, particularly for people who are incomplete.

    To me, Geeta Shroff lost all credibility with me when it became clear that she does not follow up on the patients, does not document their recovery over the long term, and does not do tests on the patients to show that the treatments work as she claims. She is injecting the cells intramuscularly (something that would guarantee the death of the cells that are being injected, by the way), charging people $500 a shot.

    Wise.

  3. #3
    I have treated numerous individuals who have undergone various experimental procedures outside the US. Anecdotally, I believe I have seen the placebo effect, natural recovery (due to hard work, correct/updated diagnosis, hope….), and recovery by chance encounter (right injury underwent the more efficacious experimental treatment). More than one of the experimental procedures gave intramuscular injection of various cell types. I always thought to myself, “Aren’t intramuscular injections for SCI in general analogous to charging a car battery and filling its tank with gas in hopes it will help a bad alternator”?
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005

  4. #4
    i wish i could had improvement...i got improvement but that was bcos of effective physiotherapy..do stem cells effect after years? or takes time to show improvement?

  5. #5

    Unfettered by regulation, India pulls ahead on stem cell treatments

    Unfettered by regulation, India pulls ahead on stem cell treatments




    quote:

    Initially, Dr. Shroff explains that she did think about publishing her results. "You do try and get out there and at the end of the day, I am a doctor," she says. She tried to present at some conferences, but was rejected and told that there were already too many people presenting on embryonic stem cells. That's when she decided to patent her work instead. "With the patent, I could protect the technology. I could make sure that somebody who doesn't understand the business can't stop it." Once the patent is granted, Dr. Shroff will be able to move forward with the next step.

    The dream, she says, is to make stem cell injections available in pharmacies across the world, so that the process of stabilization and treatment can be started right at the onset of disease. She likens it to the discovery of penicillin. "That was the beginning of the antibiotic era, and it changed the entire face of infection around the world. This is similar to that."

    read:

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/i...ell-treatments

  6. #6
    Manouli, this was already posted earlier. I moved the earlier post from the Stem Cell Research forum here and merged the two.

    I want to comment that this article is very misleading. Dr. Shroff's patent does not allow her to give the therapy to people without approval or to charge people for the therapy. It also does not legitimize the therapy. The fact that she would suggest that this is so (and the reporter would report it as such without any comment) is shocking and immediately suggests that the article itself cannot be trusted.

    It is also not true that India does not have regulations. To lure people into paying her many thousands of dollars for unproven therapies, using false and unsubstantiated claims of safety and efficacy is both illegal and unethical, even in India. I hope that somebody in the government of India realize how bad this is making India appear around the world.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 10-12-2009 at 12:44 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Manouli, this was already posted earlier. I moved the earlier post from the Stem Cell Research forum here and merged the two.

    I want to comment that this article is very misleading. Dr. Shroff's patent does not allow her to give the therapy to people without approval or to charge people for the therapy. It also does not legitimize the therapy. The fact that she would suggest that this is so (and the reporter would report it as such without any comment) is shocking and immediately suggests that the article itself cannot be trusted.

    It is also not true that India does not have regulations. To lure people into paying her many thousands of dollars for unproven therapies, using false and unsubstantiated claims of safety and efficacy is both illegal and unethical, even in India. I hope that somebody in the government of India realize how bad this is making India appear around the world.

    Wise.
    Thank you very much Dr. Young.

  8. #8

    Lightbulb Adult Stem Cell in U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck_Nastier View Post
    SOURCE

    How much do we really know about her research? I've heard a lot
    of negative things about Shroff, but here's an example of someone
    who recovered after being treated by her.
    Buck:

    Checkout this site for possible adult stem cell trials in Covington, LA.. They are awaiting FDA human clinical trials approval http://www.tcacellulartherapy.com/.
    Aggie Mom 2007

  9. #9
    My father gave one reference of Mr.Pravin, quadraplegic from 13 years chronic injury. he recently took Dr. Sunil waghmare stem cell therapy. Doctor is situated in bombay itself.

    I had talk with Mr.Pravin and he told that he got improvement in bowel and bladder with just 10 days stemcell therapy.

    I got the number of the doctor and i m going to visit him soon and also get in touch with patients treated.

    Dr. Wise Young, Do u know the doctor in any case? i googled and found some articles and post of doctor. He is practising interventional radiologist and stem cell therapist. link

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jhorn4012 View Post
    Buck:

    Checkout this site for possible adult stem cell trials in Covington, LA.. They are awaiting FDA human clinical trials approval http://www.tcacellulartherapy.com/.
    Thanks, Jhorn.

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