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I have been offered a stem cell treatment / I have read about new treatments on the internet. What are these?

Answer

Currently, the range of diseases for which there are proven treatments using stem cells is quite small and the only established stem cell therapies are those of the blood system involving transplants of blood stem cells (usually from bone marrow but with cord blood also being developed as an alternative).

We recognize that patients and families who are facing severe illness or injury may consider trying untested treatments, especially when there seem to be few other options. People in this situation may be at risk of harm, through lack of information or misinformation provided by less reputable practitioners who are not recognised specialists or experts in the diseases they are proposing to treat.

We recommend that you are very cautious before you agree to try an untested treatment, particularly if it costs a lot of money. Your regular hospital doctors, specialists, and your general practitioner, should be able to offer accurate advice on which treatments have been proven to work, and which are unproven, unlikely to help, and may even cause harm. If it sounds to be too good to be true, it is probably unlikely to help you. The best protection for patients and families in this situation is to be fully informed.


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