This year we learned the story of medical tourist Jim Gass, a corporate executive who hoped to have the results of a stroke healed with stem-cell treatments at a Mexican clinic and instead ended up with a strange, sticky mass in his spine. But you don’t need to go overseas for dodgy treatments never approved by the FDA. At least 351 U.S. businesses operating in a regulatory gray zone are promising that stem cells will treat everything from sports injuries to Alzheimer’s disease. “The clinics are doing an unapproved and for-profit gigantic human experiment,” according to stem cell scientist Paul Knoepfler.
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