Evaluating Stem Cell Therapies
Hospitals, clinics, and even private doctor’s offices and laboratories now offer stem cell treatments, making claims about what stem cells can do. Our understanding of the science and the discoveries so far does not support some of these claims. Currently, the only stem cell therapy that has strong support for its effectiveness is the therapy referred to as bone marrow transplant, which is commonly done for lymphoma, leukemia, and other blood cancers. The material studied in this activity should clarify some of the misinformation that is widely circulated. You will apply what you have learned so far and be a critical consumer of information.
Completing this activity will assist you in mastering Module Level Outcome 3.
Review these assigned readings; they will serve as your scientific sources of accurate information:
·Understanding Stem Cells [PDF, file size 974 KB] from the National Academies.
·Goldman, B. (2016) White coat, black art: Stem cell hype and risk (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. CBC Radio
·Kamenova, K., & Caulfield, T. (2015) Stem cell hype: Media portrayal of therapy translation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Science Translational Medicine, V7, Issue 278, pp. 278 [Note: Just read abstract]
·Use a standard Google search for this phrase: “stem cell therapy.” Do not go to Google Scholar. Select one of the websites, blogs, or other locations that offer stem cell therapies.
·Save the link for your selected site.
·Read the materials provided on your selected site and find out who the authors and sponsors of the site are by going to their “home” or “about us” pages.
Finally, submit your responses to the following in an essay of 500-750 words (2-3 pages of text—use a separate page for a title and for your references):
You are going to prepare a critique of the site you located and compare it to the scientific information available on this therapy.
·Give the full title of the website, web blog, or other site that you selected, along with the link.
·Describe the therapy that is being offered and what conditions it is designed to treat.
·Who are the authors and sponsors of the site you selected?
·Compare the claims about the therapy offered to what is said in the assigned readings about this type of therapy. You may have to use our library, as well, to determine what scientists and researchers have to say about the use of stem cells to treat this condition.
·Would you say that the therapy you found is a well-established, proven technique for humans, or more of an experimental, unproven approach?
·What about the type of language discussed in the Goldman article? Is the therapy you found using sensationalist claims and terminology that are not supported by the scientific research?
·Would you recommend that a patient with this condition go ahead and participate in this treatment? Why or why not?
You are also encouraged to do your own research through our library on the topic. Do not forget to include in-text citations and complete APA style references for all sources. The Excelsior Library Citation Tip Sheets and Resources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. will be a helpful guide. You may also wish to use a citation generator – you just insert the information, and it creates the citation in the format you indicate (MLA or APA, for example). Here are 3 citation generators to choose from:
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer. For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided by your instructor.
Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Upload Submission.” Enter the submission title and then click on “Select a file to upload.” Browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct file name has appeared next to Submission File. Click on “Continue.” Confirm submission is correct and then click on “Accept Submission & Save.”