Clinics that offer stem cell treatments on their Web sites can't always back up their claims.
A study finds that they're not backed up by firm medical evidence.
Scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada found that the Web sites generally describe the therapies as safe, effective and ready for routine use. But they found that the published research doesn't support what they call the "overoptimistic" picture.
Still, they say their overall findings can't be applied to the claims of any individual clinic. And the study didn't check on how well patients actually fared at the clinics.
A Boston stem cell researcher says the "overhyped" marketing can put patients at risk of being financially exploited -- or even physically harmed.
The analysis is presented in the December issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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