Mexico’s Federal Commission against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) has issued a black list of illegal “stem cell” products that are being marketed as helping with many degenerative conditions, as well as for anti-ageing.
The list includes the treatments commonly known as VH30s, VH60s, Diabetin, Complex, Rehumatin, T-adipocell, V-Celuplacell, V-PLACROD, VH260S, V-Humacell and Multiorganic complex.
None of the above products has obtained registration from Mexican pharmaceutical regulators.
Some of the products have been advertised on the internet for prices in excess of 40,000 pesos.
Stem cell therapy is a set of techniques that aim to replace cells damaged or destroyed by disease with healthy functioning ones.
Researchers have already found the treatments promising for many diseases. Bone marrow stem cells, for example, are used to replace blood cells in people suffering from leukemia and other cancers. Burn victims are also benefiting from stem cell therapy, which allows for new skin cells to be grafted as a replacement for damaged ones.
While some stem cell products offered on the black market in Mexico are clearly fraudulent, a new wave of therapies are set to become everyday treatments for many conditions. Most of them, however, are still in the research stage.
Their potential uses may include treatments for strokes, blindness, cancers and arthritic hips and knees, as well as a way to grow artificial blood for emergency transfusions.