Doctors and scientists have made some impressive strides in using stem cells to treat some very complicated diseases, but many unproven therapies are being touted as cure-alls for a large range of illnesses. They often rely on consumers' hopes for treatment. Consumer Reports clears up some of the confusion surrounding stem cell therapy to help you stay safe.
Stem cell therapy has been shown to help treat a handful of blood disorders-like leukemia, some forms of anemia, and sometimes to help burn victims. But a cottage industry has emerged promoting unproven stem cell treatments, which are most often not covered by insurance -- Everything from sexual dysfunction to diabetes to COPD.
It's so easy for consumers looking for a cure to be seduced by unproven claims but they need to know there's no magic bullet. The FDA is taking steps to strengthen its oversight.