The Quest for Stem Cell Treatment Abroad
“Stem cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson's and motor neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway.”
- Stephen Hawking
Advances in stem cell research have raised hopes of patients suffering from severe disabilities and conditions which lack cure. Stem cell tourism continues to rise worldwide as an alternative treatment for difficult conditions with immense online access to patients for becomes available.
Stem and regenerative therapy pledges and assures new and exciting developments in addressing multiple challenging diseases. Scientific discoveries in the field unlock new biological understanding regarding the treatment and many scientists and doctors swear by the therapy. This hope naturally leads patients and/or their loved ones to find solutions or treatments for their conditions through stem cell therapy.
So how does one get to prepare for this kind of medical travel?
Seeing Stem Cell Tourism
Today most of us are internet consumers of health information. We see claims on the web regarding the potential and functionality of stem cells through many anecdotal tales of patients somewhere in Mexico, Canada or in the U.S. and we get captivated. Are you also compelled doing the same?
Don't fall victim to “Scienceploitation" (this is a term coined by Timothy Caulfield, professor and research director at the University of Alberta and also a lawyer specialized in medical ethics) by getting influenced through internet campaigns, social media, patient “testimonials” published on sleek stem-cell websites promising stem cell therapies to treat everything from Diabetes and Cancer to aging and Autism. Instead, know the actual potential of stem cell therapy and prepare yourself as you choose to travel for stem cell treatment.
Below are things you can do to help yourself to prepare for stem cell treatment abroad.
While considering a stem cell treatment, seek for certain information including:
In seeking treatment with stem cell clinics, you will be provided with a patient information sheet along with a set of informed consent documents that will contain answers to many of your questions. Do not hesitate to ask for further explanation on the points that are dicey to you, this way, could be sure that the medical team understands your disease or condition and is able to offer a safe and comprehensive treatment for you that will work.
Talk everything about:
Do not hesitate to ask for information such as:
All these collective information will help you in your decision making process that will be in your best interest.
Stem Cell Treatment and the Truth Behind it
At the moment there are very few stem cell treatments actually proven to be safe and effective. Stem cell treatment have shown to be beneficial for a small number of diseases as of yet.
For example, a popularly used stem cell treatment is hematopoietic (or blood) stem cell transplantation with good results for several types of blood and immune system disorders. Some diseases related to the bone, corneal (eye) injuries or skin can be treated by implanting tissues or grafting. These can be healed by the stem cells within this implanted tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in the bone marrow and are said to be beneficial for bone and cartilage repair. And then we have fresh living stem cells which some claim to be effective in anti-aging.
Scientists are still trying to explore the different roles that each stem cell type plays as it is unlikely that a single cell type can be used to treat a multitude of unrelated diseases involving different tissues or organs. It is best to be wary and do ample research on this area.
Unproven Stem Cell Treatments May Lead You To:
Medical Risks For Patients Include:
Beware of the Legal Remedy
You have to be conscious of the legal remedy in case of a violation of a recognized standard of care that you may receive.
Legal remedies for stem cell tourism patients can become complex as they sign the Informed Consent and Strategic Contracting of the treating physicians. These are mitigation strategies of the stem cell clinics to limit liability and risks.
Legal remedies may be limited depending on the particular jurisdiction which you may not be aware of until you seek a remedy.
Additionally, the hosting country may lack government regulations overseeing such treatments. Hence, you have to be aware of the legal aspects while booking a stem cell treatment at through an agency
Choose the Right Clinic
Thousands of patients suffering from a variety of diseases, which are unresponsive to conventional treatment, have travelled abroad for stem-cell therapies in the past decade. Popularly known as ‘stem-cell tourism', it raises significant ethical concerns as patients often receive unproven and unregulated treatments, which are even sometimes potentially dangerous or fraudulent.
Zubin Master, an associate professor of biomedical ethics with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn and a stem cell researcher once said, "About half of the companies we examined offer unproven stem cell treatments for conditions where they do not have a physician with the appropriate residency and fellowship training to treat those conditions." Chances are high that the doctor treating you at a stem cell clinic doesn't have the required professional training related to your illness. If the doctor-in-charge is not qualified to treat the diseases, it can just make it worse. So research well to find the best clinic for stem cell treatment with proven results.
Instead of choosing random stem-cell clinics that mostly spring up to take advantage of desperate patients, patients could opt to seek help from medical tourism agencies to help them select the best stem cell clinic for them based on their needs. Most of the time, the experience of such parties could provide you the security and comfort of not ending up with an unqualified facility.
For more than 35 years, Dr. Gerard Siebenhuener, Director of the German International Clinic has used proven holistic methods of orthodox and alternative medicine for his patients. The holistic outpatient day clinic is the center of the advanced medicine immune system activation, detoxification, regeneration and regulation for the treatment of diseases and disorders.
It is a medical center with a history which goes back to 1994. For over 17 years, the founder of the clinic, Professor Alexander Smikodub Sr. was the head of the clinic developing and introducing unique methods of stem cell treatment. Now his son Alexander Smikodub Jr. continues this unique treatment commenced by his father. The clinic has performed more than 6 500 transplantations of fetal stem cells which has helped prolong life, improve its quality and in many cases completely cure thousands of patients from all over the world (the USA, Italy, Germany, China, the Russian Federation, Poland, etc.).
Supported by the Austrian Society for Regenerative Medicine, The Institute for Regenerative Medicine has at a team of experts who are also professors in internationally renowned universities that contribute to the scientific knowledge in different specialized and highly complex diseases.
Moving to Latin America, MexStemCells Clinic in Mexico City has researched and refined their Cell Regeneration and Regenerative medicine treatments for therapeutic purposes. It offers treatments for Articular diseases, Heart Conditions, COPD, Neurodegenerative conditions, Chronic degenerative diseases, Immunological conditions, Rejuvenation and Aesthetic Facial, Pervasive developmental disorders in children and Autism, Strokes, Facial rejuvenation and Improving the overall functioning of the body.
In the same part of the world, Progencell - Stem Cell Therapies in Tijuana has succeeded where other treatments have failed by using cells derived from Bone Marrow or Adipose (fat) tissue or a combination of both. With protocols for numerous diseases, best results reported by patients are in Stem Cell for Diabetes, Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Liver Disease, Various Neurological Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Arthritis / Joint Diseases and Vision Problems.
Global Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (GARM Clinic) is recognized as a leading name in the world of Regenerative Medicine. Top-class surgeons, experts, and reputed physicians ensure that people can get a chance to improve their lives. GARM is pleased to offer integrated medical treatments like bio-cellular medicine treatments, adult autologous stem cell, general medical care, immunomodulating bio-enzyme systems, advanced ultrasonic diagnostic imaging, basic diagnostic tests, integrative medicine services, non-invasive regenerative procedures, nutrition counseling along with customized plans and wellness services to the patients.
PRMEDICA Inc. is specialized in Bio-cellular Regenerative Medicine. The team of medical professionals and other caregivers are dedicated to developing resources and clinical practice protocols for the medical center. They are the only regenerative medicine clinic in Cabo, Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with more than 10 years of experience in successfully treating people. The clinic offers non-surgical treatments using donor Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Exosomes to repair damaged tissue and restore neurological and metabolic function.
Beijing Puhua International Hospital (BPIH), located in the heart of Beijing's cultural center, has been delivering international-standard healthcare since 1995. With over 50% of their patients coming from other countries such as Americas, Europe, Russia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East, more patients are able to experience their high quality Neurological/Neurosurgical diagnostics and care, Traditional Chinese Medicine and for the most advanced Biotechnology available. They have a comprehensive, international standard medical facility with 62 beds, 2 operating theaters, and a full 24/7 intensive care unit and was the first Western-standard, full-service hospital in Beijing.
In Asia, StemCells21 situated in Bangkok, Thailand is a state-of-the-art medical center licensed by the Thai Medical Authorities. Key features of StemCells21 treatments include Passage 1 Umbilical Cord-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Growth Factors, RNA and Peptides, Tissue and Intravenous Laser Stimulation, Ozone and Oxygenation Therapy, Intravenous and Oral Nutrition and Physiotherapy.
The United States of America
Stem Cell Therapy of Las Vegas and Med Spa is another well known stem cell therapy clinic in the USA which strives to use the latest available technologies in stem cell treatment to provide the best possible care for its patients. Led by Dr. Lambert R. Abeyatunge, MD, FACS who has been in practice for 20 solid years, the clinic specializes and has been offering autologous and homologous therapy for almost 5 years now. Stem cell therapy at the clinic is offered for Aesthetic, Cosmetic, Neurological, Cardiologic, Pulmonary, Autoimmune and Chronic Degenerative Conditions.
Cost Comparison before Traveling
Thousands of patients suffering from a variety of diseases, which are unresponsive to conventional treatment, have travelled abroad for stem-cell therapies in the past decade.
Search and collect approximate cost of particular stem cell therapy that you are looking for at your preferred medical tourism destination. Treatment prices at various destinations may vary due to various factors like:
Don't fall prey to clinics offering unproven stem cell therapies and pay large sums of money. Don't be desperate as because conventional medicine has failed to provide you a solution to a particular condition. Advertisements at clinics outside the country can be misleading with their success claims.
Stem cell treatment is beneficial to treat a wide variety of medical conditions that were not even possible before and though it brings hope, it pays to be take your time to understand the treatment by gathering information and comparing your options. There is still much to learn and the future can tell us to be diligent about our decision to opt for a medical travel by educating ourselves and making sure we are equipped with the best information we can possibly have.
PlacidWay strives to build bridges for patients and stem cell clinics to connect and work together to understand and determine the right treatment. We continue to collect data to establish a comprehensive and quantitative map of stem cell clinics that are able to offer safe and high quality treatment. Share with us your questions regarding Stem Cell Therapy and we’d be glad to guide you through it.