Health care professionals offer insight to stem cell injection claims

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Imagine the pain from nerve damage so severe you can hardly move, but hope for relief is being offered by a company pitching stem cell injections that don’t come cheap

Ron Elliott may be willing to endure financial pain.

Elliott, a Neuropathy sufferer said, “It could be $5,000 or so and whether insurance would cover any of it or not.”

That’s the low-end cost of stem cell injections pitched by Vitality Nebraska in advertised seminars at metro area hotel conference rooms.

Vitality Nebraska presentation said, “The reason this works so well is because of the source of the stem cells we’re using, very young vital capable cells from Dr. Riordan’s lab.”

Neil Riordan’s resume lists a leading stem cell laboratory in Panama.

Many pain sufferers, mostly senior citizens attend the seminars and our request to record was denied, so Dr. James Billups wore a hidden camera.

“The next day after the needle went in there it made me feel better,” read the presentation.

Dr. James Billups said, “They make broad claims on the ability to do this. Everything they presented was anecdotal and anecdotal is not science.”

In a statement to Six on Your Side Vitality, Nebraska states, each patient is evaluated by a licensed practitioner to see if regenerative medicine is a viable option. We do not make any promises or guarantees.

Some of the world’s leading research in the use of stem cells for treatment is being done here at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We brought the seminar video here to get a second and third opinion.

Dr. James Armtage an Oncologist said, “You need to know for example with stem cells how are the cells being made, there are standards for the use of these things.”

Dr. Lynell Klassen an Immunologist said, “It’s hard for me to understand how those cells would actually stay around long enough to repurpose itself and transform and reprogram in order to be a functioning cell.”