The official blog of the Lung Institute.

How Do Stem Cells Target Damaged Lung Tissue?

31 Jul 2015
| Under COPD, Lung Disease, Uncategorized | Posted by | 22 Comments
How Stem Cells Target the Lungs

Stem Cell Basics

Stem cells are the body’s natural healing mechanism. When you get a cut on your finger or suffer from a debilitating lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stem cells travel throughout the body to target the damaged tissue and promote healing. For a simple cut, that means a couple days of scabbing and maybe a little bleeding, but eventually your skin looks like new again. Unfortunately, the same is not the case for chronic progressive disease. The stem cells just don’t work as quickly to promote the healing of the tissue as the disease does in destroying it. Stem cell therapy is essentially the movement of stem cells from one part of your body to another, which focuses the healing ability of the cells in a much more concentrated and quick manner. The question on most people’s minds is how do stem cells target damaged lung tissue in the first place?

The Pulmonary Trap

When you introduce something into your body through an IV, whether it be a certain medication, blood or, in this case, stem cells, the item goes directly to the right side of the heart. From here, it is pushed within a beat or two straight to the lungs. Then your blood distributes the item throughout the body. However, this process is tweaked slightly when it comes to stem cells. During studies conducted for the National Institute of Health (NIH), researchers found that stem cells go through this process, but get trapped when they arrive in the lungs. This may not be good news for someone who wishes to see those cells move on throughout the body, but for those looking to arrest or slow down the progression of the disease, it’s a happy occurrence.

What Does This Mean for Lung Disease?

For suffers of chronic lung disease, the lungs slowly function less and less efficiently and eventually stop working all together. It’s the unfortunate truth that most lung diseases like COPD, interstitial lung disease and pneumoconiosis are not just chronic and progressive, but are likely terminal. With lung disease now established as the third leading cause of death in the United States, more people are looking for treatment options other than the traditional avenues of supplemental oxygen and bronchodilators.

Stem cell therapy, while not a cure for lung disease, is one of the only methods that seeks to treat the disease itself, not just the symptoms. When stem cells get trapped in the lungs, they go to work making healthy lung tissue. The results speak for themselves:

  • Many decrease their supplemental oxygen usage.
  • Some even report that their pulmonary function tests (PFT) indicate an increase in lung function.

While these results are not a guaranteed, most patients do report being able to do small things that before treatment were not just difficult, but in some cases not physically possible.

Learn More

If you or a loved one suffers from a lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell therapy, join us for one of our many online and in-person seminars, or contact us by calling (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for treatment.


  1. Phoebe

    2 weeks ago

    Hi Roberta,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing with lung disease and infectious disease. Like you, many people living with chronic lung disease are prescribed oxygen therapy to help them receive enough oxygen. In order to best answer your questions, we need more private, medical information from you. To gather this information, we need to speak with you one-on-one over our secure phone line. We’re happy to answer your questions, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Roberta

    3 weeks ago

    How does stem cell therapy work if you have had Lung volume reduction
    surgery in 1999? 80% of right lung and 40% of left removed, work great
    till 2011 and I got an infectious Disease so on and off of oxygen since
    then, want to get off completely. Would it work for me?

  3. Phoebe

    3 weeks ago

    Hi Jerome,

    At the Lung Institute, we treat people living with certain chronic lung diseases, including COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. However, we don’t treat people with cystic fibrosis. We recommend talking with your daughter’s doctor about other types of treatment for cystic fibrosis. We wish you and your daughter the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Jerome Mulay

    4 weeks ago

    My daughter is 41 and has Cystic fibrosis. Has your INSTITUTE worked with CF patients?

  5. Phoebe

    1 month ago

    Hi Carole,

    Yes, we do treat people with bronchiectasis. Our Lung Institute clinics are located in the United States in Tampa, FL; Dallas, TX; Nashville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA and Scottsdale, AZ. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with our dedicated medical team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Carole West

    1 month ago

    Do you treat bronchiectasis. I live in London, england

  7. PB

    8 months ago

    Dear Susan,

    Thanks for your comment and question. The cost of treatment varies depending on treatment type, so it’s best to contact us to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator to have your questions answered and to discuss your treatment options. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Susan Shapley

    8 months ago

    How do I find out the costs of these procedures? I am 79 with COPD from years of smoking.

  9. Pingback: Lung Institute | Is it Time to Consider Stem Cell Therapy?

  10. PB

    11 months ago

    Dear Judith,

    Thank you for your comment regarding your cousin, Pat. We have reached out to Pat’s patient coordinator, and she will be contacting Pat soon. Her patient coordinator will be able to discuss any questions or concerns Pat has. In the meantime, if Pat has any questions, she is free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  11. Judith A Harl

    11 months ago

    I have a cousin Pat Howerton who is trying to get stem cell therapy for Copd.She called me on July 2,2016.she said i need your help.
    She needs money for lung stem cell procedure.her insurance does not cover it.
    They set up a fund raising jar at First Harrison Bank Medical fund for Pat Howerton Greenville Indiana.
    My daughter Amanda Grimsley set up a Gofund me account hooked with facebook.
    We are not getting much response.
    Her doctor wants to set up procedure around first part of August 2016 but have to have the money before it can be done.
    I am a widow my husband Mitch had heart and pulmonary problems through Post Polio Syndrome.he died February 11,2013 age 64.he had copd also.he had not smoked in 20 yrs.thank you
    Judith Ann Harl

  12. PB

    1 year ago

    Hello Al,

    Thanks for your comment. Recently, the Lung Institute published its findings in a white paper. To read our findings, click here.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. Al Wakil

    1 year ago

    This line on your webpage caught my attention:
    “The stem cells are separated and returned to the patient intravenously or through the use of a nebulizer.”
    I wonder if there is any published work on the use of nebulizer for stem cell delivery.

  14. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Neil,

    First and foremost we’d like to thank you for your feedback; engagement is always appreciated. In response to your questions, we are currently collecting primary data in an ongoing basis but have not published at this point in time. Regarding FDA approval, our operational and treatment protocols fall under the practice of medicine due to the exceptions given in FDA Regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15.

    If you have any further questions, we’d love to extend an opportunity to speak directly with our Medical Director, Dr. Jack Coleman MD.

    Thanks again Neil and we look forward to hearing from you,

    -The Lung Institute

  15. Neil Neumann

    1 year ago

    Where is your primary data? Any published studies of your work in reputable medical journals? Is this an FDA approved treatment that has gone through clinical trials?

  16. PB

    1 year ago

    Dear Kathy,

    We’re glad to hear that you enjoy our articles. We just tried to email the article to you, but the email was, for some reason, un-deliverable. We’re sorry that we were unable to send the article to you via email. However, we hope that you still enjoy reading the article “Living with COPD” by clicking here.

    For more information about stem cell treatment options, it’s best to speak with one of our patient coordinators by calling us at (855) 313-1149.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  17. Kathy

    1 year ago

    I have enjoyed reading your articles, you are more informative than my pulmonologist
    Do you ever offer clinical trials? Could you email me the article, “Living with COPD”, please. Thank you.


  18. Pingback: Lung Institute | Advancements in Regenerative Medicine

  19. David Ebner

    2 years ago


    We’re so glad that you’ve enjoyed reading our articles and that you have such a supportive family. If you’d like to know more about our treatment options, please call our office at (855) 313-1149 and speak with one of our patient coordinators. If you keep reading, we’ll keep writing!

    Thanks for the comment,


  20. Cindy Chism

    2 years ago

    I really enjoy receiving mail from you all. I’m only 59, and have so much to live for, my family most important. My oldest grandson just graduated, and I have 5 more behind him that I would love to see do the same. There mother is a teacher, so I know she’ll be behind them all the way. I’m so interested in this Stem Cell Therapy. I hope I get the chance to try it. I’m reading about it all the time, and my family is behind me all the way. I just hope I get the chance. I don’t know what I need to do, get on a list or what,etc. Thank you all so much and keep the mail coming this way please. Sincerely, Cindy Chism

  21. David Ebner

    2 years ago


    We’re very happy that you have enjoyed reading our articles, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our seminars. If you ever want to attend a seminar remotely, we do offer a web option as well. Keep checking back as new articles are posted nearly everyday! If you ever want to chat with us on the phone, feel free to call (855) 313-1149.



  22. Thank you so much for e-mailing these articles to me. I have read them from top to bottom and am more educated now then ever with living with COPD. I have traveled mostly in the United States with my husband when he was alive – mostly Florida and Texas, and have great memories. I do hope to join you for one of your seminars, and look forward to any future articles on “living with COPD” Thanks again – keep me informed.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.