SCAM WARNING – STEM CELLS Treatment for Autism – Beware of Fraudulent, Deceptive and Manipulative Marketing and Sales Tactics

Stem Cell Fraud 60 Minutes

There are many Stem Cell Institutes and Centers popping up in Panama City, Panama and Costa Rica with claims to be the “world’s leading stem cell therapy and research center”. The future seems bright for potential usage of Stem Cells for various afflictions and diseases, but we are VERY early in the stages. Many of these “Institutes” are using Stem Cells for “off-label” treatments including Autism, which caught my immediate attention as a life-long supporter of the Autism community and Alternative treatments.

Stem Cell Fraud 60 Minutes
Stem Cell Fraud 60 Minutes

We are TRUTH Seekers, but the World of Autism is filled with heart broken parents willing to do ANYTHING to help their child, especially non-verbal children. I wanted to dig deep before I wrote about Stem Cell therapy or treatment because I had a very little understanding of the procedures or any successful case studies with supporting medical journal articles.

As a person who studied and practiced marketing for nearly twenty years, I’ve witnessed the power of various sales and marketing strategies, NLP, and subliminal messaging. Unfortunately, I’ve seen tons of usage of these “mind control” techniques be used to manipulate the public at large, sometimes, just one desperate family at a time.

I started a thorough investigation by calling on nearly ALL of the “Stem Cell Institutes” in Panama and Costa Rica to see how they were “marketing” to their “leads”, mostly desperate parents of non-verbal Autistic children.

Many of these “Stem Cell” factories from the Carribean are using stateside call agencies to field calls and build a Fraudulent, Deceptive and Manipulative Sales and Marketing Tactics to lure desperate parents into their unproven and potentially dangerous trap for children as young as five years old.

Here’s an example of one of my conversations with one of the “Stem Cell Institutes” I called upon…

angry-man-on-phoneTranscript of “Stem Cell Institutes” Sales Call:
Stem Cells Sales Agent: “How old is your nephew?”
Me: “He turns ten years old in a few weeks.”
Stem Cells Sales Agent: “Wow, it’s really amazing timing that you called, because the Blood Brain Barrier closes at 10 years old. The sooner you get him in here, the better for maximum effectiveness of the therapy, the younger the better.”
Me: What does that mean?
Stem Cells Sales Agent: The Stem Cells cannot enter the brain after the Blood Brain Barrier closes and any treatment after ten years old would be ineffective.
Me: Who told you the Blood Brain Barrier closes?
Stem Cells Sales Agent: Our Doctor
Me: What’s the Doctor’s name?
Stem Cells Sales Agent:…Um
Me: That’s a pretty bold claim that doesn’t make scientific sense. Which Stem Cell research firm does this Doctor work for? Is he employed by your company?
Stem Cells Sales Agent:(((Click…hangs up)))

I and two other Autism Investigative reporters also called back several times and the “Blood Brain Barrier” scam marketing and manipulative sales strategy was proved when I told them my son was nearly 6 years old and again, “Wow, it’s really amazing timing that you called, because the Blood Brain Barrier closes at 6 years old.”

I couldn’t believe my ears and quickly recognized that even if Stem Cells work, the high pressure sales scam pitch was unethical and illegal. These Stem Cell snake oil salesmen are pitching unproven science with fake, scripted and or paid testimonials from actors who pose as parents.

102973799_shame_on_you_answer_4_xlargeI want to believe, like YOU want to believe – but there’s just no solid proof yet and in the meantime, desperate families are dumping their life savings to Panama and Costa Rica on the hope and a prayer, but mostly on LIES and deception preying on parents willing to try “anything” for their child.

They claim to work in close collaboration with universities and physicians world-wide, and that their comprehensive stem cell treatment protocols employ well-targeted combinations of autologous bone marrow stem cells, autologous adipose stem cells, and allogeneic human umbilical cord blood stem cells to treat: multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cerebral palsy and autism. To-date, one of the Stem Cell Centers has supposedly treated over 1,500 patients charging any where from $16,000-$48,000. At first look, it sounds great right? Any desperate parent of a child with Autism (or another “treatable condition”) would jump at this opportunity?

The only problem is that the ONLY U.S. Based FDA approved clinical trial for Cord Blood or Stem Cell treatment with Autism started in December 2012 and won’t be completed until January 2014 by the Cord Blood Registry with Dr. Chez.

Autism and Cord Blood Stem Cells: FDA Gives Green Light for Groundbreaking Clinical Trial

22_B_HRES_IMAGE-mdSACRAMENTO, August, 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Sutter Neuroscience Institute, a recognized Center of Excellence, and CBR (Cord Blood Registry), the world’s largest stem cell bank, are launching the first FDA- approved clinical trial to assess the use of a child’s own cord blood stem cells to treat select patients with autism. This first-of-its-kind placebo controlled study will evaluate the ability of an infusion of cord blood stem cells to help improve language and behavior. The study is in conjunction with the Sutter Institute for Medical Research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism spectrum disorders impact one in 88 children in the U.S., and one in 54 boys.1 The condition is thought to have multiple risk factors including genetic, environmental and immunological components.

“This is the start of a new age of research in stem cell therapies for chronic diseases such as autism, and a natural step to determine whether patients receive some benefit from an infusion of their own cord blood stem cells,” said Michael Chez, M.D., director of Pediatric Neurology with the Sutter Neuroscience and principal study investigator. “I will focus on a select portion of children diagnosed with autism who have no obvious cause for the condition, such as known genetic syndromes or brain injury.”

The study will enroll 30 children between the ages of two and seven, with a diagnosis of autism who meet the inclusion criteria for the study. Enrolled participants will receive two infusions—one of the child’s own cord blood stem cells and one of a placebo—over the course of 13 months. Both the participants and the lead investigators will be blinded from knowing the content of each infusion. To ensure the highest quality and consistency in cord blood stem cell processing, storage and release for infusion, CBR is the only family stem cell bank providing units from clients for the study.

For information on study, visit http://www.cordblood.com/autism.

Study Rationale
A newborn’s umbilical cord blood contains a unique population of stem cells that have been used for more than 20 years in medical practice to treat certain cancers, blood diseases and immune disorders. When patients undergo a stem cell transplant for these conditions, the stem cells effectively rebuild the blood and immune systems.

“A focus of my research has been the complex relationship between a child’s immune system and central nervous system. We have evidence to suggest that certain children with autism have dysfunctional immune systems that may be damaging or delaying the development of the nervous system,” continued Dr. Chez. “Cord blood stem cells may offer ways to modulate or repair the immune systems of these patients which would also improve language and some behavior in children who have no obvious reason to have become autistic. The study is similar to other FDA-approved clinical trials looking at cord blood stem cells as a therapy for cerebral palsy.”

“It’s exciting to partner with thought-leading medical researchers and clinicians, like Dr. Chez, who are pursuing a scientifically-sound approach in evaluating new therapeutic uses for cord blood stem cells for conditions that currently have no cures,” said Heather Brown, vice president of scientific & medical affairs at CBR. “Families who made the decision to bank their stem cells to cover the unknowns and what ifs in life are gaining access to this and other important clinical trials while playing an important role in the advancement of science.”

The co-investigator of the study is Michael Carroll, M.D., medical director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Hematological Malignancies Program at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.

“There is a vast amount of unchartered territory when it comes to how stem cell therapies may help patients living with these conditions,” said Dr. Carroll. “I’ve seen how stem cell therapy has changed my field of medicine and how I care for my blood cancer patients. I am eager to see how our work can open new doors for patients and families dealing with autism.”

About CBR
CBR® (Cord Blood Registry®) is the world’s largest and most experienced cord blood bank. The company has consistently led the industry in technical innovations and safeguards more than 400,000 children’s cord blood and tissue collections. CBR was the first family bank accredited by AABB and the company’s quality standards have been recognized through ISO 9001:2008 certification—the global business standard for quality. CBR has also released more client cord blood units for specific therapeutic use than any other family cord blood bank. Our research and development efforts are focused on helping the world’s leading clinical researchers advance regenerative medical therapies. For more information, visit http://www.cordblood.com.

About Sutter Neuroscience Institute: Leading-Edge Diagnosis and Treatment

Sutter Neuroscience Institute (SNI) has multidisciplinary teams of nationally recognized specialists and highly trained nurses and technicians provide skilled diagnosis and advanced treatment of complex conditions of the brain, spine and central nervous system. Infants through adults also receive the benefit of today’s most advanced technology and access to clinical trials of tomorrow’s most promising developments. The Institute, which is headquartered at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, is part of the Sutter Medical Network, which includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit: http://www.SutterHealth.org.

# # #

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Data and Statistics, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html, accessed May 2012

For breaking news reports and investigative research on alternative treatments for Autism visit:
http://AutismRadio.org

References – please read “PEDDLING HOPE” UNPROVEN STEM CELL TREATMENTS FOR SALE IN A COUNTRY NEAR YOU, read here:
http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2011spring/article3.html

FDA Approved Study for Stem Cell Treatments for Autism Started in December 2012:
http://www.cordblood.com/about-cbr/stem-cell-research-news/press/2012/autism-and-cord-blood-stem-cells-FDA-gives-green-light-for-groundbreaking-clinical-trial

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3 Comments

  1. I would love to ask if your son was non-verbal and which clinic did you go to as we are thinking about taking our 5 years old son.
    Many thanks
    Tally

    Like

    1. My nephew had about 50-60 vocabulary words at 21 months old. His Vaccination booster shot series caused an adverse reaction which sent him to the hospital with a 106 temperature. He speech vanished within 3 days. Jonathan has recovered nearly 10 words and sticks to a strict Gluten and Casein Free Diet known as Cooking for Hope along with supplements.

      Like

  2. Hey Sarah,

    The world is generally out to scam you, and someone who is emotionally distraught is more likely to be targeted. Many people love to target people in emotional pain (look at funeral homes! They push for you to buy an over-expensive coffin and cover, with implications of guilt for not buying the best for your loved one!) and being skeptical of this is important.
    You may choose to feel offended that there are some people who question everything, but they are just looking out for the consumer and saying that you have not witnessed this doesn’t mean it’s not happening to the financially disadvantaged.

    Like

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