Stem cell treatment seen as likely cause of three politicians’ deaths

Three politicians from Mindanao had reportedly died after receiving stem cell treatment in Germany, although it was not established yet if the deaths were directly connected to the treatment, the head of the biggest association of doctors in the country said Monday.

According to Leo Olarte of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), the politicians may have died due to "anaphylactic shock" following a hypersensitivity reaction to the stem cells from animals, especially sheep.

Anaphylaxis is a deadly allergic reaction that causes difficulty in breathing and sudden drop in blood pressure.

"Kapag ikaw ay nabigyan ng stem cell galing sa tupa, aatakihin ng katawan 'yan kasi ito ay hindi inherent sa katawan... Magkakaroon ng hypersensitivity reaction na magdudulot ng anaphylactic shock sa pasyente," Olarte said in a phone interview with GMA News Online.

He also cited possible death due to delayed graft function, which is a complication after an organ transplantation.

The politicians, who were not identified as requested by their families, had illnesses in the lungs, heart and liver before the treatment, Olarte said.

However, he was quick to add that it has yet to be proven if the stem cell treatment was the real cause of the three politicians' deaths.

"Ito ay mga hearsay pa lang, he said. Baka naman namatay dahil sa kanilang orihinal na sakit."

He said the families of the deceased are coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police for further investigation.

Treatments in hotels

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Stem cell treatment seen as likely cause of three politicians' deaths

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