An Overview of the Journey of Stem Cell Based Interventions from Bench to Bedside and the Growing Challenge of Unproven Interventions

Fareeha Faizan Ghori, Mohsin Wahid


Background: Current researches on Stem Cell Interventions (SCI) are mostly at various stages of clinical translation, and not ripe for immediate marketing. However, there is a global rise in patients opting for unproven SCI from dubious stem cell clinics.

Objectives: To describes the usual stages of SCI’s clinical translation, factors fuelling the increase in unproven SCI and possible strategies for tackling the situation that have been mentioned in research articles and patient information sources.

Conclusion: Stem cell tourism is on the rise. Direct to customer marketing of SCI through websites and social media using emotional narratives, patient testimonials and false claims of benefits, and unrealistically positive portrayal on social media are contributing factors. The situation may be addressed by treating stem cells as medical innovation and speeding up their clinical translation using modifications like expedited, conditional marketing approval. Medical societies can generate meta-analyses and updates for keeping clinicians informed about the latest therapies so they can guide patients. These along with organisations like ALSuntangled, can generate patient information booklets to help patients make informed decisions. Also, Patient Information Campaigns on social media and media’s coverage of increasing SCI related lawsuits can possibly help raise public awareness about unproven SCI.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Fareeha Faizan Ghori, Mohsin Wahid

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