The official blog of the Lung Institute.
The Difference Between a Research Study and a Treatment
The Lung Institute is poised to open its fourth clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in July of 2015. However, stem cell research, and even pulmonary care, is not new to the Pittsburgh region. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been ranked among the best facilities for pulmonary disease treatment and research in the nation, and the University of Pittsburgh McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine has been conducting stem cell research since 1992. This has opened the floor for a lot of questions as to why someone may elect to choose a stem cell research study versus stem cell treatment for lung disease.
Pros and Cons of a Research Study vs. Treatment
There are many benefits to both research studies and direct treatments. Studies offer cutting-edge information while collecting and providing data that will eventually help the medical community create more innovative treatments. Direct treatments help patients breathe easier today by applying lessons learned through years of medical practice. Inevitably, it comes down to the patient. Do you feel like a study, which will provide you with a 50 percent chance of receiving the tested medication, is acceptable for the state of your condition? Some may say yes, but those with a chronic, debilitating lung disease that is terminal and incurable, would likely say no.
The Bridge to a Cure for COPD
There is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease. Due to the nature of the diseases, they will continue to progress, worsen and eventually attribute to the death of the patient. The question lies in when a cure will be available. With advances in some medications like Ofev and Pirfenidone, and the ability for stem cell therapy to help improve lung function, many people feel that a cure is on the horizon. Even if it is five, ten or twenty years away, patients that are suffering today need to be able to survive until that day comes.
In the end, a research study may include the next big advancement in the treatment of COPD, but test subjects only have a 50 percent chance of getting that drug (with the other half only receiving a placebo); in addition to the likelihood of the drug working, the chance for a test subject’s lung function to improve is often slim. If a study is researching a drug that actually performed and, by some miracle, had a 100 percent success rate among the patients that got the drug, only 50 percent of the test subjects would see that relief. This number reflects a 20 percent drop from those that see relief from stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute.
Of course, there is an overwhelming need for continued clinical studies dealing with stem cell therapy, but for those who need an option today, the Lung institute is here to help. If you or a loved one suffers from a lung disease, contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify.