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Stem Cell Treatment for COPD: What You Need to Know

14 Nov 2016
| Under Chronic Bronchitis, COPD, Emphysema, Lung Disease, Treatments | Posted by | 10 Comments
Stem Cell Treatment for COPD: What You Need to Know

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects everyone differently and at different rates of progression. Because there are a variety of COPD treatment options, it can be challenging to know which treatments are right for you. You and your doctor will work together to develop an individualized treatment plan that’s best for you. Traditional COPD treatments include medications, inhalers and oxygen therapy, and they work to manage disease symptoms. One alternative treatment option is stem cell treatment for COPD, which works differently than traditional COPD treatments. Here’s what you need to know about stem cell treatment for COPD.

What are stem cells?

With the ability to self-renew and replicate, stem cells are the building blocks of life and are essential to every organism. Adult stem cells are called undifferentiated cells, meaning that cells from one part of the body can transform their function to that of other types of tissue. This quality is known as plasticity, and plasticity is the key function of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

What is stem cell treatment for COPD?

Stem cell treatment for COPD works to promote healing from within the lungs. With the potential to address disease progression and improve lung function, many people turn to stem cell treatment for COPD.

The stem cells are extracted from the patient’s blood or bone marrow. Next, the stem cells are separated in our on-site lab, and then they are returned to the patient intravenously. Once the cells are returned to the patient, they can begin to promote healing.

A common question about stem cell treatment for COPD is “how do stem cells get to the lungs?” When a substance, such as medication, blood or stem cells, is introduced to the body through an IV, it is carried in the bloodstream directly to the right side of the heart. Within a heartbeat or two, it is pushed directly into the lungs. The circulatory system then distributes the substance throughout the body.

For stem cells, this process is a bit different. In studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers found that, while stem cells undergo the same process, they become trapped in the lungs rather than dispersing throughout the body in the bloodstream. This process, in which stem cells aggregate in the lungs, is known as the pulmonary trap.

What are my stem cell treatment options?

Stem Cell Treatment for COPD: What You Need to Know

At the Lung Institute, we offer stem cell treatment for many major pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.

The Lung Institute uses autologous stem cells, which are cells derived from the patient’s body. These cells are also known as adult stem cells and can be extracted from blood and bone marrow.

For people looking for an alternative to the bone marrow procedure, the venous treatment is purely blood-derived and specializes in hematopoietic stem cells. The bone marrow procedure is a two-part procedure, combining both the bone marrow and venous treatments. Bone marrow has both hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells. All of the stem cell treatments at the Lung Institute are outpatient and minimally invasive.

Many people report feeling better, breathing easier and living a more active lifestyle after receiving stem cell treatment. If you or a loved one has COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.

10 Comments

  1. PB

    7 days ago

    Dear Alice,

    Thanks for your comment and question. Stem cell treatment happens over the course of three days at our Lung Institute clinic. While some people decide to have booster treatments to continue the progress they have seen, others decide not to. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment, 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.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. PB

    7 days ago

    Dear Wanda,

    Thanks for your comment and questions. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies and Medicare don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies and Medicare 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. Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type. Like any medication or medical procedure, there are some people who see many improvements and some people who don’t. While many people see improvements after receiving stem cell treatment, there are some who don’t see the results they had hoped for. Currently, there isn’t a cure for COPD. COPD is a progressive form of lung disease, meaning that even with treatment, it will worsen over time. However, treatment options are available to help people live a more full life and breathe easier. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment, 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.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  3. PB

    7 days ago

    Dear Marie,

    Thanks for your comment and question. Our Lung Institute stem cell procedures are only performed at Lung Institute clinics. Currently, we have Lung Institute clinics nationwide in Dallas, TX; Tampa, FL; Scottsdale, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; and Nashville, TN. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment for COPD, 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.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. PB

    7 days ago

    Dear Virginia,

    Thanks for you comment. To learn more about what foods to try, click here. To learn more about what foods to avoid, click here. Remember, it’s important to discuss changes to your diet with your doctor before trying a new diet. We hope this information is helpful.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Marie Bates

    2 weeks ago

    I am in a healthcare center, nothing is being done to me to improve my situation (COPD). I learned so much from your article on stem cell treatment…does that have to be done in a “specialized” hospital or can my pulmanologist take care of this for me? Woul love to know your answer. I will be looking forward to your response, thank you.

  6. Wanda VanDeman

    2 weeks ago

    How much does this therapy cost? Is it covered by Medicare? I have been diagnosed with severe COPD. I am 71 years old, almost 72. Is this treatment always or at least almost always successful? How much improvement can one expect? What is required to be qualified for this treatment?

  7. virginia

    2 weeks ago

    I like to get a booklet what to eat and what not to get with copdthanks

  8. Alice

    2 weeks ago

    Is stem cell treatment a one time process or does it need to be continuous? I am currently on oxygen and use inhaled medication.
    Thank you.

  9. PB

    3 weeks ago

    Dear Patty,

    Thanks for your comment. We’re glad that you found this information helpful and informative. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 if you have other questions about stem cell treatment for COPD, and we would be happy to answer them. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  10. patty

    3 weeks ago

    Thank you for being one of the FIRST to actually explain your program. Too often, this site gives you a nibble and leaves you scratching your head anticipating answers and there aren’t any.

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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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