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Chinese Firms Ignore Licensing Mandate For Stem Cell Therapy

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the dear-leaders dept.

Biotech 27

scibri writes "Three months ago, China started to crack down on unlicensed stem cell treatments in the country. But it doesn't seem to have had much effect. Not one clinic has registered as required, and they continue to operate openly, offering unproven treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's."

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I just learned...... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665885)

my mom did Hoda Kotb

Is that cool?


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39665975)

What the Chinese clinics are doing is fine. If no other country is willing to conduct research and push this technology, then let them fall behind. If they want to let China have an advantage in this area of immense potential... then so be it. I see nothing wrong with what they are doing.

Re:Compared to the ANTI-SCIENTIFIC BS HAPPENING HE (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666145)

It's snake oil. None of the treatments work, or could possibly work. Employing them is about as unscientific as homeopathy; merely more cleverly disguised through the use of a subject that is not well-understood. In most cases, the injected stem cells probably die after a few days.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39666447)

Really. You're certain that genetic therapy does not and could not possibly work. Where would you possibly come up with that!?! Do you also have some a priori reason why "flying machines" could not possibly work? Have you even checked the internet about all the research on gene therapy? The problem with it isn't that it's a placebo like homeopathy. The problem is that can kill people (and has). The licensing and regulations are for the sake of safety, not because the field is hopeless. Google around a bit and you'll see that what you said is hopelessly false.


interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666789)

Gene therapy has nothing to do with stem cell therapy, and was not the topic of conversation.

Re:Compared to the ANTI-SCIENTIFIC BS HAPPENING HE (1, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39667209)

Wow. Jump out a window much?

(a) It's in the fucking article.

(b) Genetic therapy could work for some of these diseases, but the topic of discussion is stem cell therapy. That's used for repairing damaged organs. It can't fix developmental problems within tissue that isn't being removed.

(c) I am a biologist and I have worked in a lab studying autistic spectrum disorders.

Have a nice day.


barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668283)

You commented on "Chinese Firms Ignore Licensing Mandate For Stem Cell Therapy" that stem cell therapy was "smoke and mirrors" (well words to that effect). Could you explain why it seems to work on horses? Or is the whole article fake? []


Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668447)

I said the treatments in question were nonsense, not that stem cell therapy is bad. This is like prescribing a cancer drug for a broken femur: powerful, but irrelevant.


interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39678839)

The major differences are that the horse studies were conducted using scientific process, produced results, and the whole process was peer-reviewed. These "clinics" on the other hand are the complete opposite. The only similarity is that both used stem cells.

Re:Compared to the ANTI-SCIENTIFIC BS HAPPENING HE (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666179)

You're misinformed. This is not embryonic stem cell RESEARCH, this is "therapy." As in "Hey, you've heard of stem cells? Well they're MAGIC! For $7000 us dollars, we'll inject you with ES cells and you'll get much better!"

As in 100% bullshit snake oil. You inject an embryonic stem cell into your blood, and your immune system is going to destroy those cells quickly, since they're not yours. And that's a best case scenario. Worst case scenario, you're immune system is compromised, and they start growing into tumors.

We are not to a point where ES are useful for therapies these "clinics" are hawking. No one credible disputes this. The people who would will also sell you some ground up rhino horn and various homeopathic medicines.

ES cells are useful for research. Stem cell research has not stagnated. We haven't outlawed it. There are burdensome restrictions on some types of ES research, but research is progressing. Induced pluripotent stem cells were just discovered (invented?) a few years ago as a direct result of ES research. That is, they take some of your skin cells, treat them, and they become ES like, but they're your cells so your immune system won't attack them. THAT will probably be useful for therapies if we can get the efficiencies high enough.

Anyway, while we're not spending enough on research and while some of the restrictions put on ES research are political rather than scientific, research on stem cells is progressing here. And these chinese firms are not legit, they're charlatans who should be locked up.


Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666831)

and while those restrictions are a bit.. onerous.. it's those restrictions that allowed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in the first place. it's not like there was money that was suddenly restricted -- there wasn't money, and then there was, with restrictions.


Omniskio (1153619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39671215)

Perhaps "The Law" in China means one thing for businesspeople (which these people are... they're certainly not scientists advancing research in any meaningful way), but another thing for dissidents like Liu Xiaobo?

Scary Stuff (1)

Outlander Engine (827947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666071)

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

Lack of control or will (2)

Stem_Cell_Brad (1847248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39666099)

I dunno. Seems like if China really wanted to "crack down" on something like rogue stem cell injections into dupes, it could do so. Think cultural revolution, Tiananmen square, one child-policy, internets censorship.

Re:Lack of control or will (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669997)

It is like corruption in China. Everyone knows it exists. There are a few high profile executions, but corruption still happens on every level anyway.

I would say it will be lip-service until someone dies. If there is enough outrage, then a witchhunt is launched.

Re:Lack of control or will (2)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39670645)

No, this is the paradox of China. On the one hand, it's a police state with very reduced sets of rights. On the other hand, China is actually an anarchy. Think about it - it's a state massive in area, but with *half the number of police* (per capita) than the US. And the police there are is mostly concentrated unevenly across the country. Thus, you have a police system capable of producing individual 'examples', if the state wishes, but which is in general wholly incapable of enforcing consistently the full set of laws it has on its books across the whole country.

Ironically, the cultural revolution is an example of state failure. It was mostly carried out by popular militias, students, etc, and raged for as long as it did because of the inability of the police force to deal with it. In both that case and Tiananmen Square, the situation had to be eventually resolved by the invocation of martial law and the involvement of the military - hardly a sign of the ability of the police force to maintain stability.

Unproven huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39666133)

Well, that doesn't mean they're disproven. And as we all know, since Creationism hasn't been disproven, that means it's the touchstone for everything, including medical procedures.

So if you trust in God, and your own blessings, you will do whatever you want, because if God wanted you to do something else, God would protect you, perhaps by closing the clinic.

But if God leaves it open, it is the cure you need.

Re:Unproven huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39670379)

God leaves the clinic open to punish unbelieving HEATHENS.

Welcome to Capitalism, China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39666805)

You chose to forgoe totalitarian control in exchange for economic might. You got a more liberal (the classic sense) government. You now have fly-by-night unlicensed operators selling all kinds of useless and/or dangerous crap just like in the USA.

You could ratchet up the jackbootery to your previous levels; but then you'd just drive yourself into bankruptcy like the USSR.

Why so much angst? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39667027)

It seems kind of curious that it would become a major international issue that there are people doing stem cell treatments out there. You can go to Mexico or whatever and get whatever wacky treatment you want but Stem Cells are treated like an international outrage, like nuclear weapons proliferation.

Knowing the slashdot hivemind, you'll think this is complete bullshit, but here's an interesting reddit AMA about a paralyzed guy who went to China and got stem cell treatment and had good results:

as opposed to america (2)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39667063)

where government mandated licenses are routinely applied for, granted, and promptly ignored.
see your local highway at 5:00, or the local megacorp's environmental policy in action.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39667565)

For a big ol' nasty 'communist' dictatorship, their government sure seems to be a real pushover. Well, at least these stem cell snake charmers are not a bunch of anti government subversives.

Re:Wow! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668077)

All they are doing is bringing in money from gullible and desperate foreigners. Nothing that would be a threat to the Chineese government.

Black clinics (2)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39668469)

These are the clinics where you will be getting your unlicensed cybernetic enhancements in the future.

Yet again a Gibson prediction to become reality.

Re:Black clinics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39672205)

They'll only have 2 Praxis kits though.

Chinese people are funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39669357)

They make me laugh.

They wait 'til Patients demand clinic registration (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39671387)

Once again, it's -not- so big a deal that the Gov't requires rego of such clinics...

But wait until Patients demand it, & see how fast it happens... :-)

No patients, no $$$.

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