Allegations that false claims regarding treatment were made to potential patients, as well as one of its proponents having at least one fake degree, are being leveled against a stem cell clinic that was operating in India two years ago.
The clinic was not offering HSCT, but rather a form of combination therapy involving the use of stem cells and “liberation therapy” associated with CCSVI. This is the controversial condition that was unknown until an Italian doctor, Paolo Zamboni, coined the term ‘chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency’ when he reported in 2009 that virtually all MS patients have this vein narrowing disorder.
As early as 2013, a study led by the University of British Columbia, in Canada, came to the conclusion that MS patients are no more liable to have CCSVI than anyone else. Zamboni still maintains that MS patients can benefit from having their neck veins dilated through an angioplasty procedure called liberation therapy. This is meant to improve blood flow between the brain and the heart, and clear out iron deposits.
However, even using Dr. Zamboni’s own methods, equipment, and his direct instruction to technologists who went to Italy to learn from him, Canadian researchers were unable to replicate the Italian doctor’s stunning results.
MS not caused by neck veins, study shows
Instead, the researchers found that MS patients and healthy controls shared the same prevalence of vein constriction, suggesting it has nothing to do with MS.
Lead researcher Dr. Anthony Traboulsee (pictured, right) said that the study proves the cause of MS cannot be attributed to the shape of cervical (neck) veins, but added that, in medicine, even wrong theories have led to important discoveries.
So, the question remains as to why a company, incidentally also Canadian, was behind the Indian clinic promoting just such a treatment, allegedly making false claims about it, to people with MS —even as long as a year after Dr. Traboulsee’s peer-reviewed study found that MS patients were unlikely to benefit.
I am aware that an investigation is underway in Canada, and there is no way that this writer is going to prejudice its outcome and so will not include the name of the company or those of its then senior operatives at this time. What I can say is that there is evidence that one or more representatives of this company were selling a questionable stem cell therapy protocol in India to people with MS and ALS all over the world, including in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. (Details are easily found online, however. Those curious about them, or wanting to confirm statements in this blog, can follow this link to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press and this link to an article by CBC News.)
One MS patient, whose identity I have been asked to withhold, has told me: “I signed up for the stem cell therapy (called Combination Therapy Protocol or CTP) and was treated in India in May 2014. We were told it was a one-time treatment that halted the disease and that all former patients had symptom improvement. It has since been discovered that most patients had short-term improvement, followed by decline, and in some cases are in worse condition now. These patients feel they have been conned.”
The woman told me she experienced no sustained benefit from the treatment.
In his social media profile, a Canadian man involved with the Indian clinic claimed to be a PhD, with degrees from the University of Manitoba. However, the Winnipeg Free Press confirmed with the university that this particular man did not graduate from there with even a bachelor’s degree. The man later told the Free Press that he actually received his doctorate from “Brightland University” in 2012, a claim the paper was unable to verify.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this blog article are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Multiple Sclerosis.
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