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Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy? A Breakdown of Treatment

12 Apr 2017
| Under Lung Disease, Medical, Treatments | Posted by | 18 Comments
Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy? A Breakdown of Treatment

Is it ever too late?

In recent years the use of stem cells for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and emphysema has shown significant progress in addressing disease symptoms and has shown potential to address progression as well. Utilizing the body’s natural healing mechanisms (pericyte and stem cells) to reduce inflammation within the lungs, stem cell therapy has demonstrated the potential to improve quality of life to those who may have otherwise given up hope.

Although these stem cells are naturally found within the body—in a patient’s blood or bone marrow—for many, the question of whether or not to receive treatment becomes a question of “am I too old for stem cell therapy?”

As stem cell therapy uses the naturally occurring stem cells found within the body, the amount of these cells available as we age is a pertinent question.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to breakdown the science behind stem cell therapy, how it works and whether the treatment will remain effective as we age.

What Are Stem Cells?

As we mentioned above, stem cells are naturally occurring cells that are produced when the body is damaged from within. As their name implies, stem cells are the base level of any cell—similar to that of a Lego block—meaning they can grow to turn into nearly any available cell the body needs. In the case of stem cell therapy for the treatment of lung disease, in which a patient’s stem cells are extracted and reintroduced into damaged areas of the lungs, these base stem cells develop into the specialized cells necessary to promote internal healing in the lungs. As these stem cells may transform into new alveolar and bronchiole cells, they have the potential to reduce inflammation and smooth airway passages, ultimately allowing for the potential for better breathing and an improvement quality of life.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

The process of a stem cell treatment is simpler than many may initially picture. As stem cells are naturally occurring cells found latent within the blood or bone marrow, these cells can be extracted and separated before being reintroduced into the body. While ordinarily, fluids reintroduced into the body will circulate throughout, as the heart pumps, these stem cells will become lodged in an area of the lungs called the “pulmonary trap.” As these cells become stuck within this area, they settle and may quickly begin to promote healing from within the lungs. They have the potential to start reducing inflammation and ultimately improving breathing within the lungs airways.

Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy?

Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy? A Breakdown of Treatment

For many seeking stem cell therapy, a primary question that can come up is whether the individual is too old for stem cell therapy. The reasoning behind this question is generally whether their age has an effect on the amount of stem cells that can be extracted from their body.

In short, the answer is NO, age does not have a significant effect on the efficacy of stem cell treatment. However, the younger you are, the better.

In a recent 2010 medical paper published in Disease Models & Mechanisms:

“Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are able to repopulate secondary recipients, however they do so at a lower frequency than their younger counterparts.”

Although the amount of latent stem cells within the body may be slightly reduced in someone of advanced age (80s and 90s), there are a variety of methods to increase the population and effectiveness of these stem cells through natural factors.

Through this process of increasing the body’s natural stem cells after removal, the age of a patient is largely irrelevant when considering treatment. Furthermore, given the fact that the application of stem cell therapy contains virtually no risk of rejection by the body or any serious adverse side effects, stem cell therapy continues to stand as a promising treatment option for those living with chronic lung disease.

Taking the Next Steps

Although age is an important consideration when determining whether treatment is right for you, an external repopulation process has overcome the issue of a reduced stem cell population in older patients. In essence, this process will boost the natural population of stem cells within the body when extracted to normal levels, before reintroduction back into the body.

When looking to improves one’s quality of life with lung disease, the first steps should be always be to quit smoking. After that, personal routine and behavior should be addressed with a specific focus on diet and exercise. If these general lifestyle changes are undertaken purposefully, it’s possible to greatly affect the pronouncement of symptoms within your daily life. However, when lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell treatment. Rather than addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve your quality of life.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic lung disease like emphysema, COPD, PF or ILD, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.

Interested in our article questioning Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy? Share your thoughts and comments below.

18 Comments

  1. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Nicole,

    Many people develop emphysema and COPD after smoking. If you’re a current smoker, we strongly encourage you to stop smoking. Current smokers may not qualify for stem cell treatment. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and more, so feel free to contact us to speak one-on-one with our dedicated medical team. Give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi S Horn,

    Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies, Medicare and the VA don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. 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 medical team on our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. S HORN

    3 months ago

    I am on medicare and usually go to the va. do you accept payment thru these federal agencies?

  4. Nicole Shafto

    3 months ago

    Hi do u gUys do steam cell for people with emPhesyn from smoking

  5. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Teshara,

    No, we don’t treat children at the Lung Institute. We recommend talking with your child’s doctor about what pediatric specialists your child’s doctor recommends that your child see.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Teshara

    3 months ago

    Do you treat children with ILD?

  7. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Liz,

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy. In order to best answer your questions, we need more medical information from you. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Liz

    3 months ago

    DO YOU TREAT ALPHA I?

  9. Phoebe

    3 months ago

    Hi Mamie,

    At the Lung Institute, we treat a variety of chronic lung conditions, including COPD, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. We don’t treat PAH. We recommend talking with your doctor about PAH treatment options.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  10. Mamie Mudgett

    3 months ago

    Is this used for PAH?

  11. Phoebe

    4 months ago

    Hi Joyce,

    The Lung Institute has clinics located nationwide in Dallas, TX; Tampa, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Scottsdale, AZ and Nashville, TN. Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type. To best answer your question, more medical information will be needed. Feel free to contact us to speak with our medical staff over our secure line by calling (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. Phoebe

    4 months ago

    Hi Lloyd,

    It’s always a good plan to talk with your doctor about any medications, procedures and treatments. Remember to discuss any changes you have noticed in your overall health, lung health or symptoms. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. lloyd

    4 months ago

    I am Lloyd Gorsuch and am 77 years old. I sleep with a c-pack at night. I am getting worse and worse. I am going to see the lung dr in the next few weeks and will talk to him about this. I have been cleared by the heart dr and it is my lungs. i am a retired coal miner and also have done a lot of welding. i can hardly walk anywhere at all without running out of breath. I as going to talk to the dr about this treatment.

  14. Joyce Harbolt

    4 months ago

    What is the cost and where are you located? I am 68 years old living in Tulsa Okl. Thank you!

  15. Phoebe

    4 months ago

    Dear Sharon,

    Thanks for your comment and question. There isn’t an age limit to stem cell therapy. However, to determine if your friend is a candidate for treatment, more medical information is needed. In order to gather this information, your friend will need to contact us to speak one-on-one with our medical team over our secure phone line. Feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149, and we would be happy to answer your friend’s questions about stem cell therapy. We look forward to hearing from you and your friend soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. SHARON

    4 months ago

    I have a friend who has had this lung problem for many years. in july, 2015, she was sent home under hospice with “maybe” 30 days to live. well, she’s still alive…
    could this be a possible help for her.? she will be 75 in july…and is in great health…..other than lungs…

  17. Phoebe

    4 months ago

    Hello,

    Thanks for your comment and question. At the Lung Institute, we focus solely on the lungs and treating people with certain chronic lung diseases, such as COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. The cost of our treatments vary depending on treatment type. The Lung Institute is not familiar with or associated with any other clinics, so we don’t know of anyone in the UK. We recommend that you and your uncle talk to your uncle’s doctor about your questions and to gain your uncle’s doctor’s advice. We wish you and your uncle the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  18. Name

    4 months ago

    Good morning, I am a True believer in stem cell therapy. The option explained here sounds like a wonderful therapeutic way to treat patients with lung disease. My uncle in the U.K. has angina and i am wondering if there are any centers in the U.K. WHO UNDERTAKE THIS PROCEDURE. What is the cost of this treatment here in the Us and would Medical insuranCe assist and/or cover any part Of this procedure.

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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.

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