The Wild West of Stem Cells in the U.S. With Roberta Shapiro, DO, FAAPMR

Roberta Shapiro, DO, FAAPMR, specializes in musculoskeletal pain disorders and regenerative medicine. She is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the prestigious Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Shapiro joined our founder, Neil Riordan, PA, Ph.D., in 2019 to discuss the state of stem cell therapy in the United States.


Dr. Shapiro believes in the power of stem cells and regenerative medicine. However, there are many issues with how the process is done in the United States. This has led patients to undergo procedures that have little to no effect or even experience damaging side effects. Stem Cell Institute in Panama provides a much safer option for patients.



Dr. Roberta Shapiro’s Frustration with Stem Cell Therapy in the U.S.

As a clinician, Dr. Shapiro is no stranger to the confusion and desperation patients experience seeking treatment for their conditions. While she sees hope in the future of stem cell therapy, the lack of accurate information has led to large numbers of patients being taken advantage of both financially and medically.


This problem has presented itself in two different ways: 

  • So-called “miracle cures”
  • Fear caused by ill-informed physicians


The promise of a miracle cure and “fountain of youth” is largely driven by the companies making stem cell products and doctors performing the procedures at clinics that don’t prioritize safety and quality. Skeptical or misinformed physicians may also spread misinformation by not having the time or training to vet the possibilities of stem cell therapy. Trapped in the middle are the patients seeking treatment in the United States.


Discover our process and history of working with stem cells!


Autologous Treatments

Some patients undergo autologous IV procedures using stem cells derived from their own body’s tissue. Unfortunately, there have been some high-profile cases where this procedure has gone terribly wrong. In one case, a clinic in Florida had to be shut down due to side effects from unproven treatments for macular degeneration. 


These side-effects included:

  • Detached retinas
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Major vision loss


Dr. Shapiro believes these kinds of issues occur when the cells haven’t been adequately cleansed before being reintroduced to the body. It should also be noted that the clinic in question was injecting stem cells directly into patients eyes rather than using IV methods. The end result can be the types of side effects listed above that can be detrimental to patients’ lives.


Allogeneic Treatments

Allogeneic treatments involve using stem cells gathered from a different person. This includes:

  • Umbilical cord tissue
  • Umbilical cord blood
  • Placental tissue
  • Amniotic tissue and fluid


Stem Cell Therapy in Panama

At Stem Cell Institute in Panama, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of our patients. This all starts with how we collect stem cells. We only use specially selected human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCT-MSCs) called Golden Cells™. All umbilical cords are donated after normal, healthy c-section births.


Every donor:

  • Signs a consent form
  • Fills out a thorough questionnaire
  • Gives a blood sample


The cords are then screened for sterility and infectious diseases in order to meet international blood bank standards. Once they have been deemed safe, the cords are processed to isolate the stem cells. Our team has complete control of the cells from screening to isolation and cryopreservation to preparation and injection. This helps to ensure your safety as well as maximize cell viability, proliferation, and function. 


Our staff is equally as thorough when planning your treatment. Every patient must apply and be approved for treatment. Once approved by our medical team, we create a custom treatment protocol based on your health condition and needs. We also contact you at regular intervals via email surveys and phone calls to monitor your progress, provide you with support, and answer any questions that you may have.


Curious about what to expect when you come to Panama for stem cell therapy?


Medistem Panama

Medistem Panama is what truly helps us stand apart from other stem cell clinics. Founded by Dr. Riordan over 15 years ago, it’s our in-house lab and research center. 


Medistem Panama is the only stem cell laboratory in the Western hemisphere that’s fully licensed for:

  • Isolation
  • Manufacturing
  • Storage
  • Treatment


Encompassing 11,000 sq. ft., our production lab is fully equipped to handle stem cells at every stage of processing. From collection to treatment, it provides us with full control of our stem cells to ensure the highest possible quality.


Are you ready to learn what stem cells may be able to do for you? Apply for treatment today!


Roberta Shapiro, DO, FAAPMR, knows that stem cells can make patients’ lives better. Unfortunately, the stem cell therapy process in the United States leaves a lot to be desired. Patients need to know how to avoid ineffective procedures and serious medical side effects. This can be done by coming to Stem Cell Institute in Panama for your treatment. 


Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama is at the forefront of applied stem cell research. Since our inception in 2006, we have performed over 25,000 procedures, helping thousands of families across the United States and around the world embrace the opportunity for a better life. Our medical team prioritizes the health and well-being of all our patients through top-notch stem cell treatment and care. Apply for stem cell therapy today!

Take the first step towards the healthier life you deserve.