Page URL:

Fears over bogus stem cell clinics

10 January 2010
Appeared in BioNews 540
Scientist and patient groups want more safeguards to prevent clinics in the UK from offering unproven stem cell treatments, according to the Guardian newspaper. The calls come as a Harley Street doctor - Robert Trossel - comes before the General Medical Council (GMC) accused of misconduct, the newspaper reports. According to the Guardian, the upcoming GMC hearing will consider allegations that he offered, and made false claims about, stem cell therapy. Dr Trossel is accused of sending UK patients to Rotterdam where they paid up to £12,000 to receive stem cell treatments for degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis.

BioNews reported on Robert Trossel in 2006. The story covered plans by Advanced Cell Therapeutics (ACT), the Swiss company that provided stem cells to Dr Trossel, to offer its controversial stem cell therapy to UK patients on overnight ferries sailing in international waters. This would allow it to bypass EU regulation after it was ordered to stop operating in Ireland by the Irish Medical Board.

The BioNews stories followed reports in the BBC and Guardian about ACT, which the Guardian found had taken over the business of a US company called Biomark. According to these reports, Biomark closed in 2003 during an investigation by the US's drugs regulatory agency - the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). In 2006, Biomark's founders faced a 51-count indictment in the US alleging they made fraudulent claims about the effectiveness of their treatments.

Stem cell firm uses Swansea ferry to evade Irish block on controversial treatment
The Guardian |  1 May 2006
Stem cell treatment warning
BBC Newsnight |  30 August 2006
Warning over claims of stem cell cures
The Guardian |  10 January 2010
24 February 2014 - by Patricia Cassidy 
Research published in Nature that described a simple way to generate stem cells is now under investigation after blog posts called its findings into question...
30 July 2012 - by Ruth Retassie 
A US federal court has ruled that a stem cell product is classified as a 'drug', falling under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ruling allows the FDA to regulate stem cell therapy in the USA and could open clinics that offer stem cell treatments open to federal liability...
9 January 2012 - by Oliver Timmis 
A professor of pathology and a midwife have been arrested in the US, charged with illegally supplying stem cells for unauthorised use. They are suspected of belonging to a team of at least four people who sold untested stem cell 'cures' to cancer patients and people with neurodegenerative diseases...
17 October 2011 - by Jessica Ware 
A US doctor accused of implanting stem cells into chronically ill patients pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on Thursday 13 October. Dr Ralph Conti, of Henderson, Nevada, has been accused of transplanting stem cells harvested from placental tissue into patients, at the direction of Alfred Sapse, who was falsely claiming to be a doctor....
4 October 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
A doctor has been struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for exploiting vulnerable patients by administering 'pointless' and 'unjustified' stem cell treatments...
2 May 2006 - by BioNews 
Controversial stem cell therapy is to be provided in the UK on overnight ferries sailing in international water in order to bypass EU regulation. Advanced Cell Therapeutics (ACT), a Swiss company which offers treatment to sufferers of neurological disorders at twelve clinics around the world including some in Holland and...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.