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Stem Cell Therapy: How Does It Work?

1 Sep 2016
| Under FAQs, Lung Disease, Medical, Treatments | Posted by | 20 Comments
Stem Cell Therapy: How Does It Work?

We receive many different types of questions at the Lung Institute. A common and important frequently asked question is “how does stem cell therapy work?” For people living with chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, the search for effective treatment options can be challenging as well as rewarding. Traditional treatment options, such as medications, inhalers, pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy only work to manage lung disease symptoms. In contrast, stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs, addressing the disease at its source.

What are stem cells?

Your body is filled with a variety of cells, and different cells perform different tasks in the body. For example, your red blood cells contain a special protein called hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body, and then returns carbon dioxide from your body to your lungs to be exhaled. Another example of a cell is a white blood cell, which helps protect your body from infections.

Because every cell in your body has its own special tasks, stem cells also have their own specialties. Stem cells are the building blocks of life, and they are your body’s foundation. Stem cells can self-renew and self-replicate. Naturally occurring in your body, they can even transform and diversify into other cell types, and they can be found in blood and bone marrow. Because stem cells are drawn to areas of damage, they serve as a natural method of promoting healing from within.

How do stem cells work?

Stem Cell Therapy: How Does It Work?

Simply put, stem cells are your body’s natural healing system. For example, when you get a cut, stem cells are alerted to go to that area to help it heal. When something, such as medication, blood or stem cells, is introduced to your body through an IV, it goes directly to the right side of your heart. Within only a beat or two, it is pushed through your heart and straight to your lungs. Then, your blood distributes it throughout the rest of your body. However, stem cells are a little different when put through an IV.

After your stem cells are extracted and then separated, they are reintroduced to your body through an IV. When they are reintroduced to your body, they become trapped in the lungs in a location called the pulmonary trap. Once in the pulmonary trap, the stem cells aggregate in the areas of the lungs that need them, working to promote healing from within the lungs.

What can stem cell therapy do for me?

Unlike traditional treatment options which only manage symptoms, stem cell therapy works to directly address disease progression, potentially improving lung function. For people who are living with a chronic lung disease, regaining their quality of life is important. Many patients have seen improvements in their abilities to walk with more ease, exercise, go to the store, perform daily tasks and carry a conversation. In fact, some patients reduce or even come off of their oxygen therapy after stem cell therapy. If you or a loved one has COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.

20 Comments

  1. PB

    1 month ago

    Dear Cheryl,

    Thanks for your questions. At the Lung Institute, stem cell treatment occurs over 3 days. All of our procedures are minimally invasive and outpatient as well. 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.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Cheryl

    1 month ago

    Does it take one visit or two?
    Price range?

  3. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Roger,

    At the Lung Institute, we treat people with certain chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. We only use autologous stem cells, or stem cells derived from the patient’s body. During treatment, we extract the stem cells through blood or bone marrow, separate them in our on-site lab and then return them to the patient. Once returned, the stem cells can begin to promote healing from within the lungs.

    We’re not familiar with the practices or procedures of other clinics, so it’s best to discuss any questions or concerns you have with the clinic and with your doctors. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. roger

    2 months ago

    My wife’s Dr. has told her that Dr. can’t get E.C.B. stem sell’s for therapy in the US. is this true?. and if false what is the shelf life of stem sell’s? I am trying to find out so I know if I well be wasting my money to try to help my wife.

  5. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Dan,

    Thanks for your comment. Our stem cell therapy procedures comply with FDA regulation. When it comes to FDA regulation of Human Cells, Tissues and Cellular and Tissue-based products (HCT/Ps), the primary distinction between treatments and drugs are whether they have been minimally manipulated or significantly manipulated. To be considered a treatment, they must meet the minimally manipulated criteria. You can read more about the FDA and stem cells by clicking here or by clicking here. Also, feel free to read our recent findings on stem cell treatment by clicking here, and you can also read the findings of other researchers and doctors on the clinical uses of regenerative therapy in COPD by clicking here. While it’s true that, at this time, insurance companies don’t cover treatment, 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.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Dan Cupp

    2 months ago

    How can you honestly take peoples money offering them hope when there isnt a FDA approval on stem cell,, matter of fact it has been proven it doesnt help

  7. PB

    2 months ago

    Dear Daisy,

    While Medicare and Medicaid may cover most traditional treatments, such as medications and inhalers, they don’t generally cover stem cell treatment. We’re going to look into this further though, and we appreciate your comment. We’re hopeful that one day in the future, stem cell treatment will be covered by insurance companies and Medicare. Thanks again for your comment, and we wish you and your husband the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. PB

    2 months ago

    Hello,

    Thanks for your question. Because COPD and other chronic lung diseases are complex, to best answer your question we need to speak with you one-on-one. For many people, stem cell therapy helps them regain their quality of life, helps many people reduce their need for supplemental oxygen and helps them lead a more active lifestyle again. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  9. Daisy

    2 months ago

    Barbara is not right if your doctor says this doesn’t work with out try, you never know my husband has he 2 treatment and his doctor says he needs about 3 months to start seen the improvement, he has Medicaid and Medicare they covered completely.

  10. Name

    2 months ago

    I have cold with 30 percent lung capacity and on continuous oxygen. Would I benefit with having stem cell. Thank you.

  11. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Asosi,

    Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies, Medicare and the VA don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by them 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. It’s also important to keep in mind that most doctors aren’t going to recommend anything that is not considered traditional medicine, especially when the treatment is not yet covered by insurance. Generally, doctors practice traditional medicine and are very statistical. Even though there are many advancements in the field of regenerative medicine, many doctors are still skeptical. However, we are hopeful that in the future stem cell treatment will be covered by insurance. In the meantime, you can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Terri,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. We have treated patients at a variety of stages of disease progression and at a variety of ages, so age isn’t a factor. Many patients have seen improvements after their stem cell treatment, and some choose to come back for booster treatments to help continue their improvements. COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases are progressive, meaning they will worsen over time even with treatment–both with traditional medicine and alternative medicine. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for COPD and chronic lung diseases at this time. However, treatment is meant to help people manage symptoms, have an improved quality of life and breathe easier. COPD and chronic lung diseases progress at different rates in different people, so it’s important to see your doctor regularly. Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type, so it’s best to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We’re happy to answer any questions you have regarding stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. Terri

    3 months ago

    What is the cost of this treatment type? Your blog suggests that one session is all the treatment that would be necessary for any patient. Does the treatment vary by stage of the disorder, requiring additional treatments and/or volume of treatment due to severity and response to said treatment? Is this stem cell treatment suggested or available for milder cases of copd and/or pulmonary fibrosis? If so, can patients with early onset or in early stages expect full recovery if no longer practicing the behaviors which led to their diagnosis (assuming onset is not genetically related)? And… is age a factor relative to results? Is 55 too old to regain full lung function without shortness of breath during normal cardiovascular such as jogging?

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. ☺

  14. Asosi AhPing

    3 months ago

    I am a VA patient taking mycophenolate mofetil 1500 mg tab in the morning and 1500 mg tab
    before bed and also 6mg predisone daily to stop the spread of a scar detected on lower part of my lung causing pulmonary fibrosis and lung disease. I love to be treated with stem cell as I
    read other patients testimonies recovering from lung disease. I believe VA can pick up the cost
    as long as my VA doctor approves it. Please let me know how to convince VA physician to
    approve my treatment.

  15. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Barbara,

    Unfortunately, at this time, most doctors aren’t going to recommend anything that is not considered traditional medicine, especially when the treatment is not yet covered by insurance. Generally, doctors practice traditional medicine and are very statistical. Even though there are many advancements in the field of regenerative medicine, many doctors are still skeptical. However, we are hopeful that in the future stem cell treatment will be covered by insurance. Keep in mind that this process can take time though. Also, feel free to share our most recent findings with your doctors, and remember that we are happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators today. We hope this helps you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. Barbara

    3 months ago

    My pulmanalogist said this doesn’t work. If I had the money I would sure give it a try. I pray you get FDA approval soon so Medicare will help with the cost. Please let me know when this happens.

  17. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Sharon,

    Many of patients have found fundraising helpful for them in raising funds for treatment. You can read more about treatment fundraising tips by clicking here. You can also keep checking-in with our blog to read articles on a variety of subjects to help people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases breathe easier. We’re also happy to discuss your options or answer any questions you have about stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with a patient coordinator. We wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  18. PB

    3 months ago

    Dear Doyal,

    Thanks for your question. At the Lung Institute, we’ve treated patients in various stages of COPD and other chronic lung diseases, including people in stage 4. We’re happy to answer your questions regarding stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  19. doyal bryan

    3 months ago

    dooDOES THIS HELP IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN STAGE 4?oooo

  20. Sharon Watson

    3 months ago

    I am so sorry I sure wish I could have the.stem cell treatent but I have no money ,being disable now it.is so.hard.to pay my Dr and meds now. God Bless you for what.ya are.doing for.the ones that.can aforrd it..

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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.