The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Dispelling Myths about Stem Cell Treatments
There’s no denying that stem cells have been a topic surrounded by ambiguity in recent years. Many people have a misguided understanding of stem cells treatments and their potential, often recalling the controversy surrounding usage in clinical settings mandated by the United States government and even the Catholic Church. Let’s take a moment to separate fact from fiction and dispel the myths surrounding this scientific breakthrough.
Two Primary Categories of Stem Cells
There are two primary and distinct categories when it comes to stem cells. They are:
- Embryonic stem cells – These stem cells are derived from a 4 or 5-day-old embryo that is in the blastocyst phase of development. It is this type of stem cell that has been the subject of extensive controversy.
- Adult stem cells – Also referred to as somatic stem cells, adult stem cells are found throughout the body in different types of tissues such as brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin and liver.
Drawing many parallels to the public debate on the topic of abortion’s legalization, the harvesting of embryonic stem cells for medical use has been a hotly debated issue, with one side citing ethical concerns with destroying a conceived (or cloned) embryo for the sole purpose of utilizing its stem cells. However, this controversy does not apply to adult stem cells which are safely derived from adult tissue. As a result, the potential qualities of adult stem cells used in clinical settings to promote healing is inarguable, and people with a variety of diseases, including lung disease, are reaping the benefits of adult stem cell treatments for various diseases worldwide.
How are Adult Stem Cells being Used to Treat Lung Disease?
Once viewed as an alternative treatment for lung disease, adult stem cells have emerged in the last 10 years as a viable treatment option for conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. The Lung Institute, a stem cell facility located in Tampa, Florida, has harnessed the potential of adult autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient’s own body, for the treatment of lung disease. Since the stem cells come from the patient, there is very little chance of rejection and these procedures are considered quite safe.
What are the Results?
Patients who have undergone stem cell treatments for lung disease at the Lung Institute are depending on the use of supplemental oxygen less, walking further and breathing easier.
The Lung Institute has gained national and worldwide attention for their innovative stem cell treatments, and patients have visited from places as far away as South Africa, Canada and the Philippines. Remember, there is no cure for lung disease, but stem cell treatments is offering people a chance to get back to the things they used to do and enjoy life again.