Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stemming Medical Tourism (part 1)

The July 17 issue of Nature reports that a patient participating in a Vienna-based cell transfer study for urinary incontinence won a lawsuit against the University Hospital in Innsbruck for not being "told... the procedure was experimental."

The case was described in an earlier post in my blog (May 27, 2008: Bladder Trouble at the Frontier).  There are a number of cell transfer strategies that are being applied in clinics, despite absence of reliable data showing efficacy. This should worry conscientious investigators who are trying to shepherd this promising technology platform to clinical application.

Here's one example: Bankok based company TheraVitae offers cell transfer to advanced heart patients. In future posts, I will explore concerns about an emerging overseas industry in non-validated therapeutics that 1- involve cutting edge therapies, and 2-involve investors, and scientists, whose countries of origin have not yet licensed such therapies for clinical application. (photo credit: Olivander 2006)

2 comments:

Global MD said...

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Jonathan Kimmelman said...

Yes. This comment would make Frankfurt school theorists proud: use the opposition to market your product. Only in this case, the deed is probably an automated process. Global MD: I salute your server's guilelessness.