Peyton Manning’s Stem Cell Treatment Highlights Problem of Medical Tourism
Football star Peyton Manning recentlyِ ventured toِ Europe toِ undergo anِ experimental stem cell treatment forِ his neck injury, according toِ news reports.
The treatment involved injecting Manning’s ownِ fat cells intoِ hisِ neck, withِ theِ idea thatِ the therapy wouldِ repair damaged tissue, according toِ Fox Sports.
Going abroad forِ such a therapy isِ a practice beingِ called medical tourism.
Traveling far and wide
In theِ United States, newِ therapies areِ subject toِ very rigorous testing toِ try toِ ensure theyِ work andِ will notِ causeِ harm, Hare said.
It justِ speaks toِ theِ sense thatِ patients believeِ that stem cell treatment canِ do somethingِ forِ them thatِ regular medicine can’t, Hare said.
This mayِ beِ because patients intuitively thinkِ cells fromِ their ownِ body areِ effective treatments, orِ becauseِ they haveِ exhausted moreِ conventional treatments, heِ said.
A bad example
Others areِ concerned Manning’s useِ ofِ stem cell therapy mayِ set a bad exampleِ andِ lead othersِ to seek outِ the same, unproven treatment.
Larry Goldstein, director ofِ the University ofِ California, San Diego, Stem Cell Program, saidِ inِ anِ email: When a highly visible celebrity athlete chooses toِ undergo anِ untested/unproven therapy, andِ if theyِ happen toِ getِ betterِ without knowing whetherِ theِ therapy isِ what caused theِ improvement, theyِ encourage manyِ other people toِ ignore scientific evidence andِ to substitute hope andِ blind trust forِ proof.
The downside isِ that manyِ people mightِ beِ hurt byِ subjecting themselvesِ to a risky procedure, orِ procedure withِ unknown risks, whenِ thereِ isِ no evidence ofِ benefit toِ beِ gained.