Stem cell doctor hits out at critics

A doctor at the centre of Australia's controversial stem cell industry has defended the experimental therapies, saying criticism by the NHMRC is primarily "money driven".

Dr Ralph Bright, a cosmetic physician who performs autologous stem cell procedures at Macquarie Stem Cells clinic in Sydney, insisted patients were taken through a comprehensive consent process and advised the treatment was experimental.

Dr Bright said the clinic, which charges up to $10,000 per treatment and offers $60,000 payment plans, only uses stem cell therapy to treat osteoarthritis and its co­morbidities.

The clinic's website last week claimed the therapy could also treat cancer, but Dr Bright said this was "a big mistake". The claim had been removed at the time of going to press.

The NHMRC has recently warned about the proliferation of stem cell therapies for unproven indications, including