[COLUMN] Stem cell Rx deaths

AT the last day of our medical mission in Munoz (The Science City), Nueva Ecija, Philippines, January 17, 2024, there were news reports of the death of a 39-year-old female in Quezon City following intravenous stem cell therapy. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa has ordered an investigation of the case. A few years back, two Filipino congressmen died from complication of stem cell treatments. And these are not isolated cases, deaths have been reported in the past in other countries as well.

The tragedy is in the fact that in many cases, stem cell therapy has been used with wrong medical indication (improper use).

Stem therapy is extensively advertised by some “medical” enterprises in various countries around the world for various illnesses and for cosmetic purposes (as a fountain for beauty and youth), but these are actually fraudulent claims, with no scientific basis behind them.

As we have stated in the past, there is only one group of illnesses where stem cell therapy has been proven to be effective for, approved by the FDA, and that is for blood diseases, like leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma and multiple myeloma. Among these patients, stem cell therapy is a lifesaver. Other than these, its use for other diseases is a scam, ineffective and risky, all for financial gain of greedy entrepreneurs.

Current on-going research around the globe is studying the ability of stem to mature into cells of various organs, like the nerves, bones, heart muscles, and other organs and tissues (dental and periodontal), in order to heal diseases of those organs, almost like organ replacement, transplantation, regenerative medicine. A great new frontier in medicine!

If these studies become successful, stem cell therapy could help those with spinal cord injuries, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, Diabetes T1, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), burns, osteoarthritis, cancer and others.

But the use of stem cells for all these other common illnesses are still in their experimental stages. The final medical uses of stem cell therapy, quality, dosages, side-effects, toxicity, limitations, contra-indications, and potential complications are still “officially uncertain.”

After the animal laboratory studies are satisfactorily completed, clinical evaluation among human subjects will follow. The next stage is a multi-country independent clinical confirmation, with thousands, if not millions, of human volunteers, before final approval is granted for general use by the “FDAs” of all nations. The wrong application today of this treatment is not only expensive but could be deadly.

Children killer

Warning: There is an infectious disease more infectious than any other known entities that would kill 2.6 million young children every year and leave millions with deafness and brain injury! This is real and not from a pandemic sci-fi horror movie. The disease is well-known to you: measles. After the successful eradication measures in the 1970s, and another massive global vaccination campaign in the 1980s, measles death rate fell from 2.6 million down to 73,000 by 2014.

But measles appears to be surfacing once more. We have to make sure, both children and adults have their vaccination updated. Discuss this with your physician.

Deadly disease ‘X’

The World Health Organization, at its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is warning countries to be ready for pandemic “20 times” deadlier than COVID-19. Hopefully, all nations around the world would reach an agreement by May 2024 on how to fight this “common killer enemy.”

While such a viral nemesis does not exist currently, experts would like to be proactive and preemptive in developing a plan of action and preparing the global health system for a potential deadlier pandemic. We had more than 7.2 million COVID-19 cases worldwide and lost almost 7 million lives from COVID-19.

The United States had more than 110 million cases and almost 1.2 million deaths, and the Philippines, more than 4.1 million cases, and almost 67,000 deaths, from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I have stated in my new book, “Where is My America?” (Amazon.com), these deaths were greatly preventable had the management been left to physicians and science, instead of to politicians and civil right protestors.

Here, we saw a vast conflict between civil rights and medical science. Those who invoked their freedom to refuse the vaccines and mitigating measures (like masking and distancing) were prone to get infected, became viral carriers and spreaders of the infections, while they exercised for their civil rights.

According to the CDC, only 81.4 percent of Americans have been vaccinated, leaving 18.6 percent (270+million) unvaccinated. One carrier of the virus is enough to cause a pandemic, as shown by COVID-19, where one woman in Wuhan, China, started the global disaster. So, the 270 million+ carriers of the virus explain why COVID-19 is still with us today. Their bodies are acting like reservoirs of viruses where they replicate and mutate to various new strains. Currently, the predominant strain is JN.1 (61.6 percent), followed by HV.1, 14.8 percent, and JD.1.1, 4.4 percent. The original omicron is gone but its subvariants (EG.5, XBB.1.16.6, and FL 1.5.1) are still circulating.

The scientific way (the only proper method) of managing a viral pandemic is to vaccinate everyone (except those with medical contraindication), via a federal (national) mandate for vaccination and mitigating measures, like masking and isolation (where needed) with compassionate people temporarily waving their civil rights for the sake of their fellowmen, the entire nation, and its economy.

No matter what plan all the nations in the WHO agree to deploy, if the people of each nation do not accept a national mandate for vaccination and refuse on the basis of their First Amendment right, they will continue to be carriers and spreaders of the virus, resulting in more deaths, which are preventable: (COVID-19) history repeating itself. In this scenario, the plan will never achieve its maximal effectiveness and life-saving objective.

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The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. He was a recipient of the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 1995, conferred by then Indiana Governor, later Senator, and then presidential candidate, Evan Bayh. Other Sagamore past awardees include President Harry Truman, President George HW Bush, Muhammad Ali, Astronaut Gus Grissom and other personalities (Wikipedia). Websites: FUN8888.com, Today.SPSAtoday.com, and philipSchua.com; Email: [email protected].


Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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