Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Could Cellular Treatment Be The Next Penicillin?

25 Jan 2015
| Under COPD, Lung Disease, Treatments | Posted by
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Could Stem Cells be the Next Penicillin? Lung Institute

Chances are that you have heard about cells—they have been in the news for years. But did you know that cells are being used right now in the United States to treat debilitating lung diseases? Sufferers of diseases like COPD and pulmonary fibrosis are receiving life changing cellular therapys that just a few short years ago had not yet been thought of as possible.

With further advancements in the study of cells, the question is posed: are cells the next penicillin? Cells and penicillin both come from humble beginnings, they are both used to treat life-threatening conditions, and just like penicillin, cell biologists have won Nobel Prizes due to the practical uses of their discoveries.

Consider the history of penicillin. Originally discovered in 1928 by the Scottish biologist, Sir Alexander Fleming, the full potential of the medication was not seen until its wide use in WWII. It wasn’t until 1945, 17 years after its discovery, that Sir Fleming received the Nobel Prize. By that time, the medication had saved millions of lives.

Cells have also been studied extensively over time and have crept into the national dialogue as a buzzword, particularly the cells found in fetuses. However, the actual cells that are now being used to treat diseases in the United States, and the same cells that warranted the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine, are adult cells. This type of cell is found in fully developed individuals and flourish in all people—regardless of age or health.

Most cells found in the body have developed into a specific type of cell, like a skin cell or a brain cell. At the turn of the 20th century, biologist discovered that some cells that reside in the body have not yet been assigned as a certain type of cell. Cells are simply blank cells standing by to meet your body’s needs. The use of these cells to treat diseases traces back to 1968 when the first bone marrow transplant was performed. The result of placing healthy cells into a sick individual’s body is the creation of healthy blood cells that are not infected with the disease. In turn, these cells replace the diseased ones and start to heal the patient.

Today, a clinic called the Lung Institute is using adult cells harvested from the patient’s own blood to provide similar healing results for people with lung diseases. Their website, www.lunginstitute.com, states that they have treated over 500 patients to date. They separate the cells and reintroduce them into the patient’s body. The result is that the healthy cells replace the damaged ones found in the lungs.

Just as penicillin was recognized by the scientists that award the Nobel Prize in Medicine, so have cell developments. If the number of people who have already been successfully treated with cells is any indication of the future, then it will undoubtedly be heralded as one of the ground-breaking medical technologies of its time.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.