The question: I am interested in getting stem cell therapy to improve and prevent mental decline. I also hear it can help reduce joint pain.
I see there are many clinics and physicians offering it in Mexico. What is your opinion about getting stem cell treatment in Mexico?
Stem cell therapy is still in research phases in the United States and much of Europe. There is not yet a body of evidence that establishes it effectiveness or safety in treating more than a handful of disease processes.
It shows great promise but it is associated with real risks and safety measures by necessity are elaborate and expensive. Risks include infection, immune rejection and unlike plasma or other blood products there is a real risk of stem cells initiating cancer.
The industry acknowledges that preparation and handling of cells requires high levels of vigilance and oversight at each level.
So to your question about getting stem cell treatment in Mexico, I would strongly advise against it at this time. Any clinic or physician offering and charging for such services is breaking Mexican law.
Despite legislation that would closely regulate stem cell treatments, Mexico has not been able to fund any meaningful policies or agencies to carry out oversight mechanisms.
Add to this the fact that the patient has little legal recourse if there is a bad outcome, I would strongly advise against any treatment outside of a well- controlled clinical trial abiding by international standards for safety.
If you would like to read more about stem cell therapies in Mexico please see The Rise of Stem Cell Therapies in Mexico by Medina Arellano.
Do you have a question related to obtaining health care in Mexico? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and Deborah will do her best to answer it for you.
Deborah Bickel lives in San Miguel de Allende and is the founder and principal of Be Well San Miguel patient advocacy services. She is an international health worker with a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of the Stanford University Primary Care Associate program. She has practiced medicine in the San Francisco Bay Area, Latin America and Africa.