November 27, 2022

Dominican authorities warn stem cell treatments are illegal

In 2010, current Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon suffered pain in his right shoulder as well as damage to his rotator cuff, ligaments and tendons. His career was revived, however, when he received a stem cell transplant in his native Dominican Republic.
Bartolo ColonIn
2010, current Yankees starting pitcher Bartolo Colon suffered pain in his right
shoulder as well as damage to his rotator cuff, ligaments and tendons. His
career was revived, however, when he received a stem cell transplant in his
native Dominican Republic. Major League Baseball has been investigating the
treatment which might also involve the use of banned substances.

Colon
is just one of many patients who go to the Dominican Republic for stem cell treatments.
One of the doctors who treated him, Leonel Liriano, told Dominican television
that 10 other pitchers are interested in the controversial therapy. His
company, Regenocyte, claims
that it can treat congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease,
cardiomyopathy, angina pectoris, peripheral artery disease, hearing loss
related to tinnitus, macular degeneration, pulmonary hypertension, emphysema,
chronic bronchitis, and gangrene, amongst other ailments. It claims that it is
“safe, highly effective, and presents minimal risk”.

However,
last month the head of Regenocyte, cardiologist Dr Zannos Grekos, had his licence
restricted in Florida
after one of his patients died.

Now
the Dominican Republic has moved to close several less-than-reputable stem cell
clinics and ban untested stem cell procedures. Health Minister Bautista Rojas
warned two weeks ago that he will direct regional health officials to directly
notify the centres that the procedures are banned. Rojas told Dominican Today
that he will seek to stop the stem cell treatments until they are authorised by
the Bioethics Health Council, whose members said two weeks ago that they were
concerned about the treatments. They noted that the methods were not
scientifically proven and that their effectiveness in humans is unknown. ~ Dominican Today,
May 24
; New York Daily
News, May 22

Dominican authorities warn stem cell treatments are illegal
Jared Yee
sports
stem cells