18-month old baby's death caused by stem cell clinic


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18-month old baby's death caused by stem cell clinicOctober 25th, 2010 10:18 am ET.

A reporter who has multiple sclerosis (MS) and is confined to a wheelchair was told he could walk again by the XCell-Center whose headquarters are located at the Dominkus hospital in D?sseldorf, Germany. The same clinic that is involved in the death of an 18-month boy who was given stem cell therapy.

XCell claims that is has had success in treating 17 different diseases including MS and that it has treated more than 3500 patients since it?s opening in 2007.

Stem cell treatment involves taking bone marrow from the patient, harvesting the stem cells and then re-injecting those stem cells back into other parts of the patient including the brain, the spine and the neck; the 18-month old had his re-injected into his brain.

In May of this year a 10 year old boy from Azerbaijan almost died when the same procedure was done to him and Dr. Sabel, the chief neurosurgical consultant at the University Hospital D?sseldorf, wrote a warning letter talking of possible deaths should this procedure be repeated.

It was only three months later when the 18-month old boy died.

"What we had was an unjustified surgical procedure with complications which was then not properly dealt with. They had injected the stem cell into the brainstem, which is the most delicate structure in the brain," Sabel stated. He stated that XCell did not react quickly enough when the 10 year old began to suffer internal bleeding in the brain.

XCell no longer employs Dr. Uta-Kristein Tamaschke, the doctor who injected the children and who pioneered the stem cell treatment into the brain, but they are still being sued by the 10 year old boy who almost died and who is now more severely disabled than when he first underwent the treatment. Authorities have been looking further into the clinic.

A public prosecutor of the case has said they are, ?dealing with a mountain of medical paperwork at the moment. Should it come to legal proceedings, they will not take place before the summer of next year at the earliest."

He continues, ?The inquiry as far as I am concerned is directed towards this specific doctor and her actions and not the firm.?

Stem cell therapies are mostly at experimental stages at this point except for the bone marrow transplantation, but it is still dicey and it has been saved for use for only those patients whose life is at risk as it has a 10% or higher risk of death and can cause serious side effects.