Amniotic stem cell treatments are increasingly visible, both online and in the media.
What Is Amniotic Fluid?
Amniotic fluid is a clear fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus. It consists of water and the baby’s urine. It serves as a cushion for the growing baby.
What Is Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy?
Amniotic stem cell therapy consists of either the amniotic fluid or membrane that is collected at the time of birth. Once collected, it is chopped up, freeze-dried, stored in a warehouse, and then shock-thawed at the doctor’s office.
Are There Problems with Amniotic Stem Cell Treatments?
Yes, and these have been discussed in many other blogs, including the following:
A very troubling issue with amniotic stem cell treatments is the deceptive advertisements.
Lessons from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
In October of 2018, the FTC stepped in and stopped Dr. Bryn Henderson and his two stem cells clinics in California from engaging in deceptive claims.
Below are the key points.
Dr. Henderson’s letter to prospective patients claimed the ability to treat serious health conditions, such as follows:
- “Amniotic stem cell therapy” can treat serious diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, autism, macular degeneration, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and heart attacks.
- “Lives are being saved, the blind see, the cripple walk and patients with heart, lung, kidney and nerve diseases can alter the course of their suffering with a simple therapeutic the (sic) lasts for years and impacts their lives NOW!”
Prospective patients are informed that amniotic treatments are FDA approved:
- “The most advanced stem cells—Amniotic stem cells—derived from a process approved by the FDA in a FDA licensed facility in Scottsdale, AZ.”
The FDA has not approved any amniotic fluid treatments. Most products only undergo a 15-minute 361 tissue registration with the FDA, which is far different from an FDA approval.
Treatment has no side effects:
- “There has never been any side effects reported from administering amniotic stem cells.”
Not possible. In September 2018, the FDA recalled a Liveyon product due to a bacterial contamination.
The Truth About Amniotic Stem Cell Treatments
They contain no living stem cells!
Lisa Fortier, DVM, PhD, at Cornell has tested 11 amnion products and found no evidence of living stem cells.
Centeno et al has tested amnio products and found no living cells in any samples.
Providers in many of the amniotic stem cell clinics may be nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or physicians who are not interventional orthopedic specialists and some of whom have restricted licenses.
Don’t become the next victim of the amniotic stem cell craze. Please do not waste thousands of dollars on a treatment that promises dramatic relief. The FTC has already stopped one physician, and others, too, will be stopped or sanctioned. Amniotic treatments do not have living stem cells or any other living cells.
If you are considering stem cell treatments for your ongoing orthopedic injury, please consider scheduling an appointment at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, where you will undergo a one-hour evaluation by a board-certified, fellowship-trained physician who will review your history and imaging and determine your candidacy for stem cell or platelet therapy. Unlike other clinics, your credit card will not determine your candidacy.