Are Amniotic Stem Cell Injection Websites Scams?

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amniotic stem cell injection

This morning I did a search of the term “Amniotic Stem Cell Injection”, just to see what would come up. Given that the manufacturers of amniotic tissues make absolutely no claims that they contain stem cells, the web is now chock full of web-sites that claim to be using these same tissues and delivering stem cells to patients. Is this fraud?

As you may recall, our research team looked at amniotic tissues awhile back that providers claim have stem cells. We found no living tissue, let alone a stem cell. To update readers, we have now tested another lot of commercially available amniotic fluid in our lab, this time at higher concentrations, and have still found not a single living thing and certainly no viable stem cells. Despite this and the fact that none of these manufacturers of amniotic tissue claim to have any living stem cells in what’s being sold to physicians, the amount of providers who are advertising amniotic stem cells injections has exploded.

Knowing that the stuff that these physicians are injecting contains not a living cell, let alone a stem cell, read the top 4 web hits below and you be the judge:

1. “Stem Cell Injections for Knee Pain, Arthritis, Tendonitis, & More…”

“How does amniotic stem cell therapy work?

“Stem cell treatment takes advantage of the body’s ability to repair itself. With amniotic stem cell therapy, the sports medicine physician injects stem cells from amniotic tissues into your body. These stem cells have anti-inflammatory properties, similar to cortisone and steroid shots. However, stem cell therapy goes far beyond the benefits of standard “injection therapy.”

2. Amnion Derived Stem Cell Rich Injections – From Birth Comes Life

“Amniotic derived stem cell rich injections are relatively new in the field of regenerative medicine, but their role is becoming more prominent as their potential becomes apparent for musculoskeletal condition repair. These types of stem cells are not new in medicine, having been used for decades in wound care and other specialties. But in the fields of orthopedics, pain management and rheumatology, amnion is turning out to have the potential for a holy grail type of treatment.”

3. FlōGraft Therapy

“How is amniotic fluid useful?

“Additionally, amniotic fluid contains stem cells – cells that are capable of differentiating into many different types of body cells (e.g., skin, muscle, cartilage).”

4. “Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy for Sports Injuries”

“What are amniotic stem cells?

A stem cell is a type of cell the body uses to create new tissues and structures. Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into any kind of cell that the body might need: skin, bone, blood, nerve-transmitting, etc.  

Amniotic stem cells are derived from the amniotic sac that a mother carries during pregnancy. Harvesting these cells, which come directly from healthy, prescreened and tested donors, cause no harm or side effects to the mother or baby. In addition to being free of the potential ethical complications that surround the use of embryonic stem cells, amniotic stem cells have a few other benefits (compared to embryonic stem cells): 

  • They divide faster.
  • They show no signs of age.
  • They remain stable for years with no tumors.

Select providers at .. Medical Center are proud to offer amniotic stem cell therapy.”

The upshot? Yikes! Generally buying something from someone (like a physician purchasing amniotic tissue from a manufacturer) that states it doesn’t contain X and then advertising that it contains X is a problem. You be the judge…

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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