Latest Stories

Stem cell therapy in 5-star hotels? Group sees scam


This stem cell therapy could be hazardous to your health.

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) on Sunday warned Filipinos against availing themselves of the so-called “xenogenic” stem cell therapy from foreign doctors who fly into the country and perform the procedure in five-star hotels in Metro Manila.

The doctors’ organization also announced that it had already tapped the help of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to look into the scam, which it said tainted the legitimate practice of stem cell or regenerative medicine in the country.

Dr. Leo Olarte, PMA president and spokesperson of the Philippine Society for Stem Cell Medicine (PSSCM), disclosed that the two medical groups had received complaints from patients and their relatives who had undergone such stem cell procedures allegedly performed in the country by German doctors.

Based on the complaints, Olarte said the patients were asked to check in at a five-star hotel in the capital, where they were injected with animal-based stem cells at around P1 million per shot.

“These foreigners are not even licensed to practice medicine in the country and are in violation of the Medical Act of 1959,” Olarte stressed. “We are then asking government regulators and enforcers, especially the NBI and the PNP, to investigate these criminal acts.”

He warned Filipino doctors to stop collaborating with unscrupulous foreign counterparts or the organization would file criminal cases against them.

“If you will continue doing this, we will file criminal cases against you,” said Olarte, an orthopedic surgeon and practicing lawyer.

The doctor also stressed that the autologous adult stem cell treatment—derived from the patient’s own blood, bone marrow or fat—was the only approved stem cell therapy by the Department of Health (DOH) because it had already been proven as the safest procedure available worldwide.

He discouraged Filipinos from considering xenogenic stem cell sources or those derived from animals and plants, as well as allogeneic sources or from other human beings, due to the many instances of deadly complications from these procedures.

“Any other source outside the patient’s own body can result in death due to severe complications, specifically graft versus host reaction, immediate or delayed hypersensitivity reaction and severe infections,” Olarte said.

He added that the PMA had been silently looking into the deaths of some Filipino politicians due to complications of stem cell therapy sourced from sheep. But he did not identify them.

“We are appealing to our people who fell victim to this modus operandi to go to our PMA office in Quezon City and file the necessary complaint so that together we can correct these injustices to you or your relatives,” Olarte said.

He said the PMA and the PSSCM had been working closely with the DOH and the Professional Regulation Commission’s Board of Medicine so that the practice of stem cell therapy in the country would be regulated to protect Filipino patients from unscrupulous practices.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Health , Leo Olarte , medicine , Philippine Medical Association , Philippines , Scam , stem cell therapy , xenogenic

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace