From the Star Tribune:
The clinics offer futuristic-sounding treatments for everything from eye problems to osteoarthritis.
Listed on a government website, they present the opportunity to participate in clinical trials to test the potential of one of the most promising tools in medicine — the body’s own stem cells. It’s an attractive pitch for many patients, even though some of the clinics charge $6,000 and up to participate.
Now, with a national debate raging over the future of one of the hottest frontiers in 21st-century medicine, a University of Minnesota bioethicist has taken center stage in questioning whether many of these services are legitimate.
“You have these businesses that don’t have meaningful clinical research going on,” the U’s Leigh Turner said in an interview. “There is a risk for fraud, in that people may be charged thousands of dollars to get an intervention that has no chance” of working.
Turner has emerged as a major critic of the clinics, some of which he says have flawed procedures that allow bias to distort the results of treatment studies. He also says allowing clinics to list studies can imply government approval, lending false legitimacy to marketing pitches.
“My concern is that you basically take clinicaltrials.gov and transform it into a marketing platform,” Turner said.
The rest is here.