Rogue stem cell therapy operators charging thousands for ineffective treatments, researchers say

Posted: August 26, 2014 at 7:41 am

ABC Kellie van Meurs (3rd from R) died of a heart attack last month while receiving stem cell treatment in Moscow.

Rogue operators in Australia and overseas are charging thousands of dollars for ineffectual stem cell treatments, a leading stem cell research group has warned.

And Stem Cells Australia says there is a growing number of patients going overseas for stem cell treatments which are limited in Australia.

A loophole in the therapeutic goods legislation means that doctors are legally allowed to treat patients, both here and overseas, with their own stem cells even if that treatment is unsafe or has not been proven effective through clinical trials.

Stem Cells Australia believes that dozens of doctors in Australia offer the questionable treatments.

"They're selling treatment without any proof of benefit, and without any proof of safety," Associate Professor Megan Munsie, a stem cell biologist at the University of Melbourne, told 7.30.

Annie Leverington was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007.

She was once a talented flamenco dancer and worked as a court stenographer.

But in 2002 she noticed something was wrong when her fingers started to "drop" during long trials.

Then her feet started to go.

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Rogue stem cell therapy operators charging thousands for ineffective treatments, researchers say

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