PRAXIS Resource Repository

Search our extensive library of COPD care and readmissions reduction resources, including best practices, research articles, educational materials and toolkits.

The Global Emergence of Unregulated Stem Cell Treatments for Respiratory Diseases: Professional Societies Need to Act

Resource Type: Opinion/Editorials

This editorial is written as a call to action for the respiratory and critical care communities to speak out against the international boom in unproven respiratory stem cell treatments. The authors cite the absence of an evidence base for these therapies, ones increasingly being promoted in the United States. They also stress that given the current absence of a cure for some respiratory conditions, companies offering these unproven remedies are taking advantage of an understandably hopeful patient group through regulatory loopholes and strategic advertising. The authors request organizations use available avenues, including social media, to engage patients on the issue, replacing the unproven with factual information and highlights of valid research projects -- and continue to press for regulatory, research and messaging change.

The COPD Foundation's position statement on stem cell therapies can be accessed here.

View Resource

Ikonomou L, Freishtat RJ, Wagner DE, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Weiss DJ. The Global Emergence of Unregulated Stem Cell Treatments for Respiratory Diseases. Professional Societies Need to Act. Ann. Am. Thorac. Soc. 2016; 13(8): 1205-1207. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201604-277ED. Accessed March 12, 2020.



You need to login to comment.
  • I'm very glad to read this editorial - I do my best to discourage other patients from being taken in by these clinics and their claims to cure COPD, but I'm afraid that until regulatory agencies step up and start shutting them down, there will always be patients who are so desperate that they spend thousands of dollars, are no better, and the only "benefit" is to the "doctor's" bank accounts.

  • I'd just like to say thanks for providing this resource as a counterpoint to all the aggressive marketing popping up all over the internet about these stem cell centers. This is something I can give my pulmonary rehab patients who are asking.

  • I also am glad to see this also as in the support groups we have many folks coming asking about stem cell. Sometimes they wont even listen to you they want that all mighty cure.
  • Yes, my pulmo asked me to speak with a patient recently. Neither he nor I could convince the patient not to spend their very limited funds on stem cells. They don't have much money and to see them determined to pursue this course that we felt could harm and further impoverish them was very frustrating.

    I wish FDA would do something.