Stem cell harvesting methods used by Sydney doctor Ralph …

Updated September 16, 2014 22:58:04

Serious questions have been raised about a stem cell doctor working in Western Sydney who charges $9,000 per procedure and uses methods that are untested by clinical trials.

An investigation by the ABC's 7.30 program has revealed that Dr Ralph Bright bought his liposuction-based technology from an American company.

The US company is now the subject of a multi-million dollar fraud action, which has revealed the cells being marketed as live were in fact dead.

Dr Bright, of Macquarie Stem Cells, is a former GP and self-taught cosmetic surgeon.

He has been working with stem cells for four years, treating more than 400 patients, including the late model Charlotte Dawson, cricketer Geoff Lawson and Olympic volleyballer Kerri Pottharst.

Dr Bright has licensed his methods to other practitioners around the country and because they use the patients' own cells he is not regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

When I say [stem cell therapy is] experimental, I mean we don't understand whether it is safe or effective in humans.

Stem cell science professor Martin Pera

Stem cells are often hailed as a miracle cure, but the nation's top stem cell scientists are warning that buyers should beware of these sorts of procedures, which are yet to be subjected to clinical trials.

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