One woman died and three were critically ill after paying HK$50,000 in October 2012 for "anti-cancer" blood transfusion therapy at a beauty centre. In the procedure, blood is drawn from the patient, then processed to harvest the "cytokine-induced killer cells", or CIK, found in the white blood cells. The CIK cells are multiplied in a culture solution and injected into the patient along with their own blood after two weeks. The founder of the DR beauty company that carried out the treatment, Dr Stephen Chow Heung-wing, has admitted there was no evidence the treatment worked.
Blood transfusion therapy might help prevent cancer, says doctor
The head of a beauty centre in Causeway Bay using a controversial blood transfusion therapy said on Saturday the treatment might help prevent people getting cancer.
Dr Stephen Chow Heung-wing, who founded the DR beauty clinic, made the comments after four women suffered septic shocks as a result of severe infections following the therapy. Three women admitted to hospital on Wednesday and Thursday remain critically ill. Another woman, admitted on Friday, is Chow’s elder sister. She is in a stable condition.
Chow said the therapy was supposed to be a preventive measure against cancer. He said it might kill cancer cells in the very early stages. But Chow added: “There is no evidence for that. Theoretically it should work, but it is not proven.”
He said his staff had promoted the blood transfusion therapy among clients and referred them to doctors.
DR beauty clinic has referred some 40 people to several doctors for the same DC-CIK treatment, marketed as a “health therapy”, from early this year. One transfusion costs from HK$50,000 to HK$70,000, Chow revealed.
All four women who fell ill went to the same doctor. Three had transfusions the same day.