There are stories about embryonic stem cells being used by a doctor in India, Dr. Geeta Shroff who works at in vitro fertilization clinic. Dr. Shroff has not published her work at Nu Tech Mediworld, will not allow other researchers to examine her cells, cultures or techniques, and the research was rejected by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). According to this article from the UK’s Guardian, Dr. Shroff is a fertility specialist who became famous for a technique allowing the determination of a baby’s sex without a scan or amniocentesis. (It’s illegal to check on the baby’s sex in India, now, because of the numbers of baby girls who were aborted in that country.)
Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D. is an expert from the W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgersin treatment and research on Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and he is my hero because he runs a bulletin board for people from all over the world who are looking for hope for their SCI. Dr. Wise and I disagree on embryonic stem cell research, but we do agree on this woman’s methods:
1. There is no evidence that Dr. Schroff is injecting embryonic stem cells. The fact that she is so secretive about the cells after having done 150 patients suggests that she in fact is not injecting embryonic stem cells. Why not show the cells and describe them? She does not describe how she pre-differentiates the cells, if at all, before transplantation. The lack of such information is very suspicious.
2. I wonder how much Dr. Shroff knows about spinal cord injury and how rigorous she has been in examining the patients, whether the patients were incomplete or complete before the surgery. She probably assumes that no patients walk after spinal cord injury.
3. The fact that this “works” on every disease that she has tried it on is also very suspicious. There is no such thing as a universal treatment.
There’s this long thread at “Care Cures” concerning young people who have had the doctor’s “shots” over the last two years. Look at the last 5 pages, with stories from people who believe the treatment is a scam.
Dr. Shroff says that she experimented on embryos donated to her by patients at her IVF clinic and that one of those embryos yielded what she calls a very successful line that she has been using in patients. The patients say that they receive shots of the stem cells over months, while they undergo therapy at the clinic.
There’s not much information on the Web, nothing at all at the National Library of Medicine listing of scientific and medical research, the National Biotechnology Information Center, Pub Med, and no listed articles by Dr. Schroff or clinic websites that can be found with a Google search, just a few stories from individuals and a few news articles.
Here’s the website of a woman, Amanda, who received treatment in India in August, 2007. one from the Skye news service about a woman from Australia. This article from the Australian “60 minutes,” has a discussion with another researcher, Hans Keirstead, Ph.D., who is described as a “wiz-kid” associated with the Christopher Reeve Foundation at the University of California-Irving, who has published quite a bit of basic research in animals with embryonic stem cells and who claims that Dr. Shroff is unethical for using humans as her “guinea pigs.”