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Thread: can we agree stem cells need way more research

  1. #1

    Exclamation can we agree stem cells need way more research

    I am the first one that wants a cure, but some of the stuff done in China nd other countries is ridiculous. The idea of a stem cell shows promise, but just taking any blood or fetal stem cell and just sticking it into your spinal cord and expecting some hocus Pocus cure is insane. The only reason these overseas doctors are doing it is because it's an easy way to make 30 grand in cash. All of these people feeling a little better or getting something back as well as getting worse is completely arbitrary. There are so many factors that need to be looked that to create a cure and we're not there yet. Until somebody shows me neural cells growing in the spinal cord, there is no use in paying attention. These clinics opening up all around the world are doing so to take your money. Taking your bone marrow and injecting it into your spinal cord is very inexpensive. And for $30,000 and no guarantee of any recovery or medical repercussions sounds like money in the bank. It is a scam. Why do you think there is no follow-up. There is no research being done here. Just pure capitalism at its best. I know you all want to blast me. But even Dr. Young I believe will support me. We need to know how and why neural cells grow and connect with each other. What factors are involved. And how to reproduce that environment in adult humans with acute and chronic traumatic spinal cord injuries. Please understand I want to get better. But all this rhetoric is very frustrating to me. And these overseas charlatans piss me off.
    </IMG>
    Han: "We are all ready to win, just as we are born knowing only life. It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for"

  2. #2
    Someone else can give a better and more detailed answer. But, there
    is a big difference between the U.S. stem cell research and the stem
    cell research abroad.

    Our researchers have proven that they can restore function in animal
    models and are not offereing undifferentiated cell treatments to
    people for 30,000 grand because of it.

    I too am pissed off at all the money that people spend on overseas
    treatments that yield nothing, instead of donating that money to
    legit research.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jhope
    I am the first one that wants a cure, but some of the stuff done in China nd other countries is ridiculous. The idea of a stem cell shows promise, but just taking any blood or fetal stem cell and just sticking it into your spinal cord and expecting some hocus Pocus cure is insane. The only reason these overseas doctors are doing it is because it's an easy way to make 30 grand in cash. All of these people feeling a little better or getting something back as well as getting worse is completely arbitrary. There are so many factors that need to be looked that to create a cure and we're not there yet. Until somebody shows me neural cells growing in the spinal cord, there is no use in paying attention. These clinics opening up all around the world are doing so to take your money. Taking your bone marrow and injecting it into your spinal cord is very inexpensive. And for $30,000 and no guarantee of any recovery or medical repercussions sounds like money in the bank. It is a scam. Why do you think there is no follow-up. There is no research being done here. Just pure capitalism at its best. I know you all want to blast me. But even Dr. Young I believe will support me. We need to know how and why neural cells grow and connect with each other. What factors are involved. And how to reproduce that environment in adult humans with acute and chronic traumatic spinal cord injuries. Please understand I want to get better. But all this rhetoric is very frustrating to me. And these overseas charlatans piss me off.
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    jhope,

    I agree with you. That is one of the reasons why I have been so critical of doctors and clinics who are just charging a lot of money just to transplant cells into the cord. In my opinion, if they are going to do it, they should make sure that they do careful and rigorous followup on the patients so that they can determine whether or not it is risky or beneficial to the patients. If they do not do even that, I have been publicly criticizing and condeming them.

    Please note that many U.S. clinicians have been very critical of Chinese, Indians, and other groups that charge patients for experimental therapy. Traditionally, doctors are not supposed to charge patients for being in clinical trials testing experimental therapies. A therapy is generally considered to be "experimental" until it has been approved by some kind of regulatory agency, based on data indicating efficacy and safety.

    Many therapies belong to the gray zone of therapies being practiced without firm clinical trial evidence of efficacy. For example, few surgical therapies have ever been tested in formal randomized controlled clinical trials. Most surgeries are simply methods that have been developed by surgeons, often named after them, and then taught and used by other surgeons. Many may have no benefit and some are quite risky. Yet many patients get such therapies and are charged by surgeons for the procedures.

    For example, there is little evidence that removing a herniated disc that is not pressing on the spinal cord or a spinal root will stop pain or improve neurological deficits. However, many surgeons will operate on such discs, often at the urging of the patient, who is more than willing to have their insurance company pay for the procedure. So, probably hundreds of thousands of such operations occur every year and are paid for by insurance.

    A lot of people think that China is a place where there is no regulation of medical treatments. This is not true. If anything, regulations in China are tougher and more stringent than in the United States. However, there are numerous loopholes in the regulations, as there are in the United States. In particular, China has the same three big huge loopholes: herbal medicines, transplants of unmanipulated cells, and new surgical procedures.

    Please note that the U.S. FDA has the same loopholes. The FDA never regulated herbal ("natural") medicines (that is why there are all these herbs sold with outrageous claims all over internet), unmanipulated cells (such as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow), and new surgical procedures. For example, neurosurgeons do not need the permission of the FDA to do early decompression of spinal cord injury. Because it is a clinical trial, it has to be approved by the IRB (Institutional Review Board) but it is not regulated by the FDA.

    China's State Food & Drug Administration (SFDA) has similar responsibilities as but more stringent regulations than the U.S. FDA. Over the past decade, the sFDA approved hundreds of generic western drugs and issued books of tough regulations concerning drug approvals. Like many agencies in China, there is some corruption but, last year, all the corruption came to an abrupt halt when a former head of the sFDA was convicted of corruption and executed.

    The sFDA doesn't have much enforcement power or people to do the enforcing. So, doctors in China can get away with breaking some regulations, as long it doesn't become publicized. Basically, enforcement doesn't occur until there are complaints by Chinese patients or families to the authorities. In China, there is no system of lawsuits to take care of malpractice. Families that believe that a member has been injured will go and complain to the authorities. The police go to the hospital and arrest them and then try them in criminal court. So, doctors who do clinical trials take considerable personal risk.

    There is one major difference between China and the US regulatory environment. In China, fetal cell transplants have been approved for some conditions, in the same way as umbilical cord blood cells are considered approved therapies for leukemia and other hematopoeitic disorders. So, these are two types of cellular therapies can be applied by doctors in China without being considered experimental therapies. When Chinese doctors use these treatments on new conditions, they are considered to be "off-label" use of approved therapies. However, when one wants to do legitimate clinical trials of umbilical cord blood cells in China, one has to go jump as many or more hoops and regulations than in the United States. I know this firsthand because we have been struggling to get clinical trials set up in China.

    In the past few years, there has also been a growing industry of "medical tourism" in China. This industry recruits patients from the United States and Europe, to get therapies that are either much more expensive or cannot be obtained in the US or Europe. Thus, for example, thousands of Americans and Europeans go to China for organ transplants, cosmetic plastic surgery, sex change, and of course umbilical cord blood and fetal cell transplants.

    In China, many doctors know that what these places are doing is giving their country a bad reputation. They feel helpless and don't quite know what to do. However, many of them are beginning to udnerstand that the answer is to do rigorous clinical trials, that clinical trials are not onl good for showing that therapies work but that they are essential for showing what therapies do not work.

    Thus, for example, if a well-run clinical trial shows that a treatment is ineffective or unsafe in some way, that information can be used by the medical societies and regulatory authorities to stop the practice. Without such information, the practices cannot be stopped. Few centers in China alone have the credibility to stop a widespread practice. However, a consortium of centers, i.e. a clinical trial network, can do so. The above is one of the reasons why there is such interest many of the leading spinal cord injury centers in China are interested in joining the China Spinal Cord Injury Network. As one of our investigators once pointed out to me, the China Spinal Cord Injury Network has something that money cannot buy. We have credibility.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Even though I'm for experimental procedures from what I've seen so far everything Dr. Wise said seems to be true..

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