X-Cell, Europe's largest stem cell clinic shut down after death of baby


Pioneer Founding member
Europe's largest stem cell clinic shut down after death of baby


Europe's largest stem cell clinic, which is at the centre of a scandal over the death of a baby given an injection into the brain, has been shut down.

Robert Mendick and Allan Hall in Berlin
8:10AM BST 08 May 2011
The closure of the XCell-Center in Dusseldorf follows an undercover investigation by The Sunday Telegraph into its controversial practices, which attracted hundreds of patients from the UK. The clinic charged patients up to £20,000 for stem cell injections into the back and brain despite a lack of scientific proof that the treatments actually worked.

Experts in stem cell research had accused the clinic of preying on vulnerable patients, desperately seeking a cure for such illnesses and diseases as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

While most other European countries - as well as the US, Canada and Australia - have banned stem cell treatments unless shown to be safe and effective, XCell had exploited a loophole in German law allowing it to charge for the experimental procedures.

But last week, the clinic suddenly announced it had ceased carrying out operations due to what it described as legal changes in Germany. In a posting on its website, XCell said last week: "Due to a new development in German law, stem cell therapy is currently not possible to perform at the XCell-Center. Regretfully for this reason, we must cancel your appointment until further notice. We will notify you for further updates about the matter."

The clinic had come under increasing scrutiny following the death of an 18-month-old boy in August last year, in a case first revealed by The Sunday Telegraph. The child, who was from Romania, was injected in the brain with stem cells but suffered internal bleeding. Three months earlier, a boy aged 10 from Azerbaijan had almost died when the same procedure went wrong. The doctor who carried out the operation remains under criminal investigation.
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Pioneer Founding member
Hats off to the German government

I posted several months ago giving the warning about this hit and miss clinic and how I felt it was only a matter of time until it was shut down. Several members of this forum chose not to pay any attention to the information I gave even though I had received it from reliable sources in the scientific community. The comments made to me were very rude actually and I was accused of having some personal vendetta or agenda against X-Cell. I do hope that my postings did save some people the heartbreak of losing their money to this bogus operation. I applaud the German government for shutting this clinic down. Innocent lives were lost because of their lack of responsibility to their patients.
As co-founder of this forum, one of the missions of this forum has always been to warn members of dubious operations such as X-Cell. It hurt that some members chose to attack me personally as I was only the messenger. The information was out there for anyone to find that wanted to, but many chose not to look and accused me of not being fair to this clinic. X-Cell had a way of selling desperate people hope however, and there was no way I could fight that with members who had already been seduced by their promises.
My fervent hope is that this does not taint the good clinics and doctors in the stem cell community. I have to tell you that the members who were involved in the personal attacks on me left me feeling like I should just quit the work I do for this forum. Then I thought about how desperately ill so many are and that it really isn't their fault that a super slick sales team was able to win them over. They weren't alone as thousands signed up for treatment at X-Cell. I do hope that my posts persuaded some not to go to X-Cell. That would be of some comfort.
This news is the best I have had in a long time. I do hope that this company will be refunding all the patients that have already sent money. If they don't, I would hope that the German government would proceed with criminal charges. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON X-CELL FOR WHAT IT HAS DONE.