PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some women call it the curse, that time of the month. Now some say it’s a miracle, with the potential to someday cure diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer. 3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl explains.
Stem cells are the future of medicine, with the potential to cure just about everything. But it’s a little more complicated than donating a vile of blood. The best kind of stem cells come from embryos, or after a baby is born stem cells are collected from blood in the umbilical cord.
And now wait until you hear this, one company says the future of stem cells is in menstrual blood. They’re doing research and selling the ability to collect and store what they call your “monthly miracle”.
“There didn’t seem to be any down side, any risks associated with doing it. And there was a lot of upside potential,” said Dawn McFadden, a busy mom in Bucks County. She decided to try it, buying in to the company’s claim that menstrual blood is a rich source of stem cells that could someday be used for her or her family to treat or cure everything from heart disease to sports injuries.
It’s called Celle, an at-home kit for collecting menstrual blood, which is then sent to a lab for processing and cryofreezing.
The maker says it’s early research shows the menstrual stem cells can regenerate brain tissue in mice.
“These are to me fairly preliminary reports that we’re looking at,” said Dr. John Gearhart, an internationally renowned Stem Cell Expert at the University of Pennsylvania. He says there’s not enough research on stem cells for menstrual blood.
“It’s clearly a source of stem cells. The issue is how effective they’re going to be,” said Dr. Gearhart.
“We’re really excited by the results,” said Dr. Julie Allickson, a spokesperson for Celle.
Stephanie Stahl asked her during an interview over SKYPE, “So is it fair then to be selling this product, to be taking money from women on something that’s basically experimental?”
Dr. Allickson said, “They know it’s for the hope of the research that we’re doing. We feel that these cells potentially, that there’s a lot of applications that we can use these cells in.”
For Dawn, who has a family history of several diseases including Parkinson’s and breast cancer, she likes investing in the future of science.
“For the chance to have something that could really cure some of these really serious diseases is just phenomenal to me,” said Dawn.
Dawn paid for a special introductory offer, now the fee is $500, plus $100 a year for storage.
Celle Information- http://www.celle.com/