FDA weighs crackdown that could shut hundreds of stem cell clinics

Scientists on Monday will urge the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on rogue clinics across the country that market stem cell treatments for a dizzying array of ailments1 from autism to paralysis to erectile dysfunction.

But the move comes at an awkward time  — because research on stem cell treatments is just starting to bear fruit2.

Tantalizing results from a series of small studies suggest injections with certain types of stem cells may be effective treatments for conditions such as stroke and multiple sclerosis. The results have energized patients and doctors, search who are expected to bombard the FDA with pleas to leave commercial stem cell clinics alone, discount in the name of speeding research and giving desperate patients hope.

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