Beware of claims about cosmetic stem cells procedures, says review in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

29-Jul-2014

Contact: Connie Hughes Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com 646-674-6348 Wolters Kluwer Health

July 29, 2014 Advertising claims for cosmetic procedures using stem cells are running far ahead of the scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness, according to a review in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

"Stem cells offer tremendous potential, but the marketplace is saturated with unsubstantiated and sometimes fraudulent claims that may place patients at risk," write Dr Michael T. Longaker of Stanford University Medical Center and colleagues.

'Worrying advertisements' for cosmetic stem cell procedures

Dr Longaker and coauthors raise concerns about the unregulated use of stem cells for unproven indicationsincluding cosmetic procedures. While stem cell therapy "remains in its infancy," they write, "there are a growing number of cosmetic practitioners that are advertising minimally invasive, stem cell-based rejuvenation procedures."

The article was prompted by "worrying advertisements" claiming benefits of stem cell procedures for facelifts, breast augmentationeven "stem cell vaginal rejuvenation." These ads claim benefits from procedures that have not undergone rigorous scientific evaluationincluding potential risks related to stem cell and tissue processing and the effects of aging on stem cells.

To gain insight into these claims, Dr Longaker and coauthors performed a Google search for cosmetic stem cell treatments, the most common of which was "stem cell facelifts." Most procedures used "stem cells" isolated from fat. However, the websites provided little information on the quality of the stem cells used.

Without advanced cell-sorting procedures, these products used in these procedures likely contain many other types of cells besides fat-derived stem cells. Many clinics also offered plasma-rich platelet protein treatments, which they inaccurately marketed as stem cell therapy.

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Beware of claims about cosmetic stem cells procedures, says review in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

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