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Biotech News Science

Stem Cell Firm May Have Administered Unproven Treatments 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the snake-oil dept.
ananyo writes "With Texas pouring millions of dollars into developing adult stem-cell treatments, doctors there are already injecting paying customers with unproven preparations, supplied by an ambitious new company. Celltex Therapeutics 'multiplies and banks' stem cells derived from people's abdominal fat and its facility in Sugar Land opened in December 2011 and houses the largest stem-cell bank in the United States. But Nature has uncovered evidence that the company is involved in the clinical use of the cells on US soil, which the FDA has viewed as illegal in other cases."
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Stem Cell Firm May Have Administered Unproven Treatments

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  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:40PM (#39205103)

    OK, so forget the wider internet. Why doesn't the FDA maintain a website containing the approved and known-safe drugs, the experimental drugs, the known-dangerous drugs, etc. The doctor recommends the treatment, the patient goes to the FDA website (which the doctor is required to tell them about) and gets all the information, now the patient can make an informed decision.

    You can make all the arguments you want about young children or patients with mental disabilities, but that doesn't justify depriving normal adults of a decision about their own medical treatment.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:42PM (#39205113) Homepage Journal

    In order to form an opinion on the matter, it would be useful to know if the treatments have any effect.

    You know... evidence based science?

    Model-based science is all the rage nowadays, and that we can't allow anything to happen unless we have a clear understanding of why it should happen before we try.

    The debate as to whether these people should be labelled snake-oil salesmen or experimentalists would seem to rest on this. Is this government intrusion into people's right to choose, or a regulatory agency stepping in to keep people safe?

    We need to know the risks and potential benefits in addition to the opinions of an insular, jargonized profession.

    It's not always about trusting the experts.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:46PM (#39205135)

    Nope I dont, but I have sure been in enough research labs. But if you have colon cancer how long are you going to wait to 'educate' yourself? How long do your doctors want you too? What type and how aggressive. Care to be Steve jobs?

    And no they don't. They fall for snake oil all the time. ALL THE TIME.

    One of the saddest things I ever heard was about the AIDS precautions taken by haemophiliacs in the late 80's when AIDS was on the rise. People who knew *everything* about blood had the same rate of protected sex as the rest of the population. Nothing like seeing a CDC researcher report that.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by msauve (701917) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @11:07PM (#39205247)
    "it's a big assumption that people will (a) make informed decisions and (b) not get totally taken advantage of."

    It's an even bigger assumption that the government can (a) make informed decisions on specific individual cases and (b) not be subject to biased, politically motivated influence.
  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @11:22PM (#39205315)

    Because desperate people don't think rationally, and will throw away huge amounts of money on drugs that don't do shit sold by heartless scammers. That already happens, there's no need to make it more common.

    Hardcore libertarians always have this view of themselves as gods-made-flesh, always rational, always informed, always able to make the best decision for themselves, and HOW DARE anyone tell them otherwise. It's all feel-good bunk. Normal adults should be deprived of these decisions because normal adults will get ripped off and end up hurting themselves and their loved ones. It's in everyone's best interests to have impartial experts examine the facts and say "No, this drug is just going to make you worse" without having the consumer get competing "information" from "HowTheGovernmentIsKeepingYouSick.com".

  • Re:Consent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @11:24PM (#39205321)

    You need protection and hand-holding just as much of the rest of us. Moreso, since you don't seem to realize it. If you're diagnosed with some terrible disease, you're not going to be thinking rationally. No one ever does.

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