News broadcaster CNN will air the documentary 'Selling A Miracle?'
on 24 June at 3:30 pm.
documentary investigates the controversial stem cell therapy clinics.
Geeta Shroff began her career as an obstetrician, transitioned to
pediatrics, but says that her work treating infertility eventually
led her to develop embryonic stem cell therapies. She now treats
patients with diseases ranging from neurodegenerative disorders
such as ALS, to spinal cord injuries, to cerebral palsy and genetic
disorders at her clinic, the Nu Tech Mediworld Nursing Home in New
Delhi, which she describes as the worlds only medical facility
using embryonic stem cells to treat patients on a daily basis."
investigative correspondent Drew Griffin criss-crossed the US and
traveled to India to meet with Dr. Shroff, and some of her patients,
to report whether those patients are truly receiving treatments
are improving their quality of life or, if Dr. Shroffs
are giving patients false hope.
the one-hour documentary, Griffin speaks with a few of the over
Americans who have received Dr. Shroffs controversial and
treatments. Six-year-old Cash Burnaman of Greenville, SC., presents
symptoms similar to Downs Syndrome. He is developmentally challenged,
has difficulty walking, and is mute. Cashs mother, Stephanie
describes her willingness to have Cash and his father return to
for a second, five-week round of Dr. Shroffs injections, which
ultimately costs the family $50,000.00.
this particular case, with Cashs other conditions, we dont
many other options any, really, other options. Krolick
Griffin. For background on the science of human embryonic stem cell
therapy, Griffin interviews research neurosurgeon Dr. Nicholas Boulis
of Emory University and Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Boulis
leading one of only two U.S.-sanctioned clinical trials evaluating
safety of embryonic stem cell injections. Dr. Boulis and his team
demonstrate for Griffin the complicated refining and injection
procedures necessary to administer the treatments within the sterile
environment of a surgical hospital setting. Though still in early
stages, Dr. Boulis research has been published in rigorously
peer-reviewed medical journals.
challenges Dr. Shroff on her comparatively informal clinic settings,
where her injections are sometimes administered by nursing staff.
He also asks Dr. Shroff about her lack of any published work on
the safety of her treatments or the claims of her research.
chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta also voices skepticism
regarding Dr. Shroffs approach to her research and treatments.
it works, if youve proven that its safe, its a
pretty simple thing to have it published and have it looked at by
its concerning no matter how you look at
it, Gupta tells Griffin in an interview for the documentary.
Dr. Shroff says that her attempts to publish her research in medical
journals have been rejected.
although some patients even claim they experience improvements in
their conditions following Dr. Shroffs treatments, the parents
of Ben Byer, who received embryonic stem cell injections to treat
his ALS from a different doctor in China, are convinced that their
family and others like them are targeted with false
hopes for miracle cures by unscrupulous clinicians.
bigger the disease, the greater the predator
so they are preying
on people with terminal illness and their families,
says Steven Byer, echoing others. Ben Byer eventually passed away
from his disease at age 37.
Byers now feel that they were duped and discussed their story with
Griffin to warn other families. Six months following Cashs
return from India, his parents also voiced concerns that they may
have been given false hope.