International Cellular Medicine Society Seeks to Educate Patients on Off-Shore Stem Cells Clinics

Stem cell clinics in nearly 20 countries have been actively advertising new stem cell therapies for a myriad of diseases ranging from congestive heart failure to ALS. To help patients, the ICMS has launched a comprehensive study of promises and downsides of off shore stem cell therapies and clinics.

Denver, CO, July 19, 2009 --( Over the last several years, there has been a growing concern about ill patients traveling to foreign countries to receive stem cell therapies. While it is estimated that upwards of 750,000 people traveled abroad for medical treatments in 2008, exact numbers for stem cell patients are not available. Stem cell clinics in nearly 20 countries have been actively advertising new stem cell therapies for a myriad of diseases ranging from congestive heart failure to ALS. In response to this rise in patient demand, a sharp criticism from vested interests has erupted.

“There are pharma sponsored organizations that believe that it’s better to attack off shore clinics,” Says Christopher J. Centeno, M.D., medical director of the ICMS in response to recent announcements by multiple organizations condemning medical tourism. “While there are very valid concerns,” continues Centeno, “Patients are actively seeking these treatments. As researchers and physicians, we need to educate patients, not just scare them.”

To help patients, the ICMS is launching an educational web campaign on the upside promise and downside realities of currently offered stem cell therapies. The ICMS is performing an independent survey of the procedures of off shore adult stem cell clinics. The results of the study will be presented to the Clinical Best Practices Committee (CBPC) of the ICMS. Consisting of physicians and medical research scientists, the CBPC will present findings and recommendations on the clinics and compare the clinic’s methods against the ICMS Clinical and Lab Guidelines (

Through this intensive surveying of cell type usage, culturing and implantation processes, the ICMS will provide a first ever unbiased comparison and analysis of these promising therapies. “Many of the so called stem cell research organizations,” says Michael Freeman, PhD, President of the ICMS board of directors, “Are funded by big pharma and drug development groups.” Unlike these vested interest groups, the ICMS is an impartial, physician lead nonprofit that advocates for advancement of safe and effective autologous, adult stem cell therapies. “We have no dog in this fight,” says Freeman, “We represent only the best interests of the public.”

Through this open and unbiased approach, the ICMS intends to separate the viable, safe and effective treatments from those clinics whose methods are either unsupported by any basic science or may be harmful for patients. The result will be better educated patients who are better able to determine if stem cell therapy is the right course of treatment.


About the International Cellular Medicine Society
The ICMS is a physician guided non profit organization that provides comprehensive clinical guidelines to medical practitioners, education to increase awareness patient for safe stem cell therapies, advocates for the rights of patients to freely utilize their own stem cells and manages a re-implantation registry to track the efficacy of stem cell based procedures and therapies. The society maintains two websites, focused on physician education and research and that provides information and a forum for the exchange of ideas between patients.
International Cellular Medicine Society
David Audley