“Seduced By False Promise”

In a commentary in the Feb. 5 Vancouver Sun, Faculty of Medicine Professors Judy Illes and Fabio Rossi express concerns about hockey legend Gordie Howe receiving stem cell treatment in Mexico in the hope of improving his recovery from a stroke.

Opinion: No miracle therapy for stroke

Gordie Howe’s pursuit of stem cell treatment abroad is an awakening for continued education and informed choice

BY JUDY ILLES AND FABIO ROSSI, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN FEBRUARY 12, 2015 http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Opinion+miracle+therapy+stroke/10787468/story.html#__federated=1

“If Canadians have the erroneous impression these therapies are easily accessible abroad, they will be unlikely to advocate for and support legitimate development and implementation in Canada.

We urge Canadians to speak with their physicians, to use reliable sources of information about stem cells such as those published by professional societies (www.ISSCR.org offers excellent resources for patients and families, for example; see also http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca for current news and progress about stem cell research), and reach out to researchers and scholars at medical centres across Canada for advice and consultation.

We reach out to the Howe family to support us in supporting other Canadians affected by neurologic disorders to pursue the excellent care our health system can provide. Help us continue to make discoveries and advance the knowledge we gain every day, and help us promote informed and educated choices by all Canadians that bring real brain health and well-being through prevention and science-based intervention.

Judy Illes Is Canada research chair in neuroethics, professor of neurology and director of the National Core for Neuroethics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Fabio Rossi is Canada research chair in regenerative medicine and professor of Medical Genetics Biomedical Research Centre, UBC. Both are investigators with the Stem Cell Network.”