Reuters: China "stem cell therapies" offer heartbreak for many
(Reuters) - Chinese hotel manager Hong Chun had trouble using chopsticks after a minor stroke and sought treatment at a large Shanghai hospital where doctors injected what they said were donor stem cells into his spinal cord and buttocks, according to his father and cousin.
Leaving hospital the next day, Hong, 27, fell so ill he had to be taken off the train and rushed to another hospital. But doctors were unable to save him and he was declared brain dead before dying a month later.
Desperate for help, patients with incurable diseases are admitting themselves into hospitals in China for "stem cell therapies" but experts say such treatments are backed by little or no scientific evidence and are at best experimental.
Some of these cases involve large general hospitals where patients pay thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars for treatments that are advertised online. Patients have come away with little or no improvement and a number have died, according to patients, doctors and relatives of patients who spoke to Reuters.