The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall under the category of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These chronic lung diseases are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time. However, when it comes to emphysema treatment, advancements or new emphysema treatment, options can seem lacking. While there are traditional emphysema treatment options available such as inhalers, medications and supplemental oxygen, there are doctors and researchers searching for better emphysema treatments for their patients every day. With your health in mind, the Lung Institute has done some research to see what’s new in emphysema treatment options.
3. Lung Coils for Emphysema Treatment
It may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but scientists have seen promising results in a new study on lung coils for emphysema treatment. While the lung coils procedure is not yet approved by the FDA, doctors are hopeful that it will be approved in the near future.
Here’s how the study worked. The researchers assigned 100 study participants with severe emphysema to either a standard treatment group or the lung coils group. The standard treatment group involved medication, rehabilitation and oxygen. The lung coils group only received the lungs coils emphysema treatment, which is when metal coils are placed into the lungs using a minimally invasive scope. The researchers believe that the metal coils could bring elasticity back to the lungs as well as help keep airways open to provide better airflow.
The results showed that patients who received the lung coils reported an improved quality of life and had greater improvement in a walking test than those in the standard group who didn’t receive the lung coils.
2. Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Biomarker Detection for Emphysema Treatment
A study on neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) biomarker detection could help pinpoint emphysema and COPD patients who won’t respond well to standard emphysema treatment. Because this discovery could tell researchers more about how COPD progresses, it may also shed light on ways to improve treatment.
This new discovery demonstrates how neutrophil airway inflammation is associated with COPD. Neutrophils are white blood cells that are important in fighting infections in the body. The scientists found that a type of neutrophil behavior called neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation in the lungs of patients with COPD and emphysema appears to reduce the neutrophils’ ability to fight bacteria.
For this study, researchers collected blood and sputum samples from 141 patients at the end of a flare-up. The researchers found that amount of NET formations in the patients’ lungs directly related to the severity of their lung disease as well as their risk of flare-ups that didn’t respond to treatment with corticosteroids, a traditional emphysema treatment.
The researchers concluded that NET formations resulted in more infections, and worsened lung function and quality of life. The good news is that having this new information about NET formations and being able to identify patients with NET formations will help doctors tailor emphysema treatments to their patients’ needs. While researchers continue to study why NET formations occur and ways to prevent or treat them, there is new hope to improve emphysema treatment options for patients.
1. Stem Cell Therapy for Emphysema Treatment
Because stem cells are the body’s building blocks, they have the unique ability to self-renew and replicate. Autologous adult stem cells are derived from the patient’s body through blood or bone marrow. Unlike traditional emphysema treatment options that only manage symptoms, stem cell therapy instead directly addresses the disease at its source. Because these remarkable cells can promote healing from within, stem cell therapy is an effective option for emphysema treatment.
At the Lung Institute, stem cells are extracted from a patient’s blood or bone marrow. Next, the stem cells are separated from other cells in the sample in an on-site lab and returned to the patient intravenously. Once returned to the patient, the stem cells can work to promote healing within the lungs, potentially improving lung function.
A recent study produced by the clinic indicated that 82 percent of patients saw an increase in quality of life after stem cell treatment, and 60 percent of those who took a pulmonary function test reported an increase in lung function.
With advancements like stem cell therapy, addressing the disease at its source offers people an option that could help them regain their quality of life. If you or a loved one has emphysema, chronic bronchitis, COPD or another form of lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.