Florida suspends doctor accused of illegal stem cell therapy

By David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin, Special Investigations Unit

updated 1:34 PM EST, Thu March 8, 2012

Dr. Zannos Grekos, seen here in 2009, could have his license suspended.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

(CNN) -- A Florida cardiologist could have his medical license revoked by state authorities who have accused him of performing illegal stem cell therapy treatment on an elderly patient who died during the procedure.

Florida's Department of Health ordered the emergency suspension of Dr. Zannos Grekos' medical license Wednesday, accusing the Bonita Springs doctor of violating an emergency order against using stem cell treatments in Florida and allegedly causing the death of an unnamed elderly patient. Grekos can appeal the order.

According to the license suspension order, Grekos performed a stem cell treatment earlier this month on the patient, who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis. Both diseases restrict blood flow to the heart.

"During said stem cell treatment, patient R.P. suffered a cardiac arrest and died," the suspension order said.

CNN first investigated Grekos's activities in 2009 and, at that time, he said he was using stem cell therapy for a company he called Regenocyte Therapeutic. His profile, listed on the company's website, describes Grekos as having "extensive experience in the field of stem cell therapy" and says he "was recently appointed to the Science Advisory Board of the United States' Repair Stem Cell Institute."

At the time of CNN's interview, Grekos said he extracted stem cells from patients and then sent the blood to Israel for laboratory processing. That processing, he said, resulted in "regenocytes," which he claimed would help heal crippling diseases, mostly associated with lung problems.

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Florida suspends doctor accused of illegal stem cell therapy

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