Alberta MS patient says researcher seen as 'some sort of god'

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

By: Mary Agnes Welch

Posted: 01/15/2015 3:00 AM | Comments:

BEFORE flying to India for experimental stem-cell therapy, Alberta businessman Lee Chuckry quit taking Tysabri, a drug many multiple-sclerosis patients use to shrink brain lesions and reduce attacks.

"It was quite effective for me," said Chuckry from his home in Airdrie, Alta. "I didn't have attacks when I was on it."

Doug Broeska, founder of Winnipeg-based Regenetek Research and the clinical trial's principal investigator, told Chuckry that Tysabri would damage the effectiveness of the implanted stem cells.

Tysabri is one of a long list of medications Broeska advised clinical-trial participants to avoid, all mentioned in a blog posted last fall.

"My first attack started just when I was leaving India," said Chuckry. "I'd stopped the drug three months before."

Chuckry knew Broeska was not a physician, but believed Broeska had a PhD and was a bona fide health researcher. Chuckry felt no better after the $24,000 stem-cell therapy. He became increasingly skeptical of Broeska and Regenetek when he returned home from India in May 2013 -- his MS just as bad, if not worse.

Chuckry spent 10 days trying to get in touch with Broeska to find out whether going back on his MS medication, this time a steroid called prednisone, would interfere with the effectiveness of his newly implanted stem cells. He could not get an answer from Broeska for days, and said there was no real followup care typically seen in a proper clinical trial -- no MRIs, no examination by a physician, no tests, no questionnaires.

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Alberta MS patient says researcher seen as 'some sort of god'

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