Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Stem cell doctor Trossel denies charges at GMC hearing

Stem cell research
Dr Trossel's case surrounds his offering of stem cell treatments to patients

A doctor offering controversial stem cell treatment to multiple sclerosis sufferers has denied charges at the General Medical Council (GMC) today.

Nine men and women consulted Dutch-trained Dr Robert Trossel in the 'desperate' hope they could get help, the GMC was told.

The prosecution said there was 'no evidence' that the substance injected into them contained stem cells.

Dr Trossel has denied charges relating to all nine of the patients.

The GMC was told that in the majority of cases, the treatment administered by Dr Trossel had 'no effect' on their condition.

'Wholly unscientific'

Tom Kark, counsel for the GMC said the patients were 'vulnerable' and facing a future "likely to be characterised by further deterioration and cumulative disability".

His methods and treatment, while very costly, appear to have been wholly unscientific
Tom Kark, GMC lawyer

"The GMC case against Dr Trossel is that his purported use of the therapy and the way that he went about it with these patients was wholly illegitimate, misleading and dishonest and there is considerable doubt that he was in fact using the appropriate stem cells at all.

"His methods and treatment, whilst very costly, appear to have been wholly unscientific."

The GMC heard that the nine patients involved - James McCorrisken, Malcolm Fear, Stephen Murphy, Anita Knowles, Rebecca Parker, Catherine Neal, Tracy Wagstaff, Karen Galley and Deborah Sandford - are all willing to be identified.

It is alleged that Dr Trossel injected a substance said to contain stem cells into all but two of them.

Mr Kark said: "Large sums of money, in many cases raised from donations and sponsored events, were forwarded to Dr Trossel or his associates by these individuals in the desperate hope that this treatment would lead to some marked improvement in their health."

Dr Trossel denies a series of charges relating to all nine of the patients including acting in a way that is inappropriate and exploitative of vulnerable patients.

The GMC was also told Dr Trossel had received a five-month prison sentence suspended for three years and a fine of 4,000 euros after being convicted in a Belgian court of two offences relating to stem cell treatment between October 2006 and January 2007.

The GMC suspended Dr Trossel in 2007. Although he was not struck off at that stage, he was not allowed to practise as a doctor.

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