The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Is it Time to Consider Stem Cell Therapy?

Is it time to consider stem cell therapy?

How does a person know when the time has come to take action on their own to arrest the progression of chronic lung disease? Specific telltale symptoms indicate that breathing-related discomfort could be something serious. Let’s discuss what these indicators are, and when it may be time to ask, Is it Time to Consider Stem Cell Therapy?

What are the Symptoms?

Shortness of breath is the principal symptom of COPD. It’s caused by blocked or clogged airways and damaged alveoli, the tiny pulmonary air sacs where oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is released. Other COPD symptoms may include wheezing, chest tightness and chronic cough. People with COPD may tire easily, have frequent colds and flu infections, and they produce excessive mucus or sputum. Symptoms gradually worsen over time, and people with advanced symptoms of COPD may gain weight, resulting from the increased difficulty of exercise. This results in a loss of endurance and muscle mass, frequent morning headaches and a bluish or greyish color under the fingernails due to the decreased level of oxygen in the blood. Conversely, some COPD patients may lose weight to the extent that they become extremely thin.

Many patients with COPD also develop chronic bronchitis, a daily cough that causes airway inflammation, mucus overproduction and frequent viral or bacterial infections. Since smoking is often the cause of chronic bronchitis, the “smoker’s cough” is a likely sign of COPD and chronic bronchitis. Treatment for chronic bronchitis can include bronchodilators, steroids and oxygen therapy.

In emphysema, the small air sacs in the lungs that exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen, known as alveoli, are damaged. When this happens, carbon dioxide and oxygen cannot be exchanged. Eventually, the alveoli die, leaving gaps in the lungs that result in lost lung tissue and increased COPD symptoms. Symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.

Diagnosis and Traditional Treatments

The physical exam is important in diagnosis of COPD and includes the patient’s breathing history, smoking history and family medical history. The first simple, non-invasive test usually involves the pulse oximeter, which measures the amount (percent saturation) of oxygen in the blood and tests the amount of oxygen being sent to body extremities farthest from the heart. The pulse oximeter is placed on a finger or ear lobe and measures oxygen levels using light.

Spirometry is a test that measures how much air you can move in and out of your lungs over a short period of time and is used to test for COPD. Spirometry involves breathing into a large hose connected to a machine, called a spirometer. The test can identify early COPD, and even help determine the stage of COPD in the patient. The test also shows how well certain medicines affect a person’s COPD symptoms.

A chest X-ray may be able to show enlarged lungs that can occur in some patients with COPD (due to hyperinflation). However, X-ray is more useful to help rule out or rule in other problems that may cause symptoms similar to COPD, such as pneumonia.

Standard treatment for COPD may include bronchio-dilating medications, steroids, antibiotics and oxygen. For any chronic lung disease, quitting smoking immediately and avoiding airborne irritants is essential.

The prognosis for people with mild COPD is good, but may worsen as the severity and stage of the disease increases. The average life expectancy of a COPD patient who opts for a lung transplant is about five years. People diagnosed with COPD have a much better outlook if they quit smoking. Prognosis is dependent on the stage of the illness and the overall health of the patient.

Is it time to consider stem cell therapy?

COPD Stages

There are four stages of COPD and each stage has different symptoms. Patients will usually participate in a pulmonary function test (PFT) when being diagnosed with their stage of COPD.

Stage I (Mild COPD) Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath when hurrying or walking on an incline
  • Lack of cough or mucus
  • PFT results of 80% or more

Stage II (Moderate COPD) Symptoms

  • Walking more slowly due to shortness of breath
  • Possible cough or mucus
  • PFT results of 50%-80%

Stage III (Severe COPD) Symptoms

  • Out of breath after a few minutes of walking
  • Possible cough and/or mucus
  • Increased fatigue
  • PFT results of 30%-50%

Stage IV (Very Severe COPD) Symptoms

  • Too breathless to leave home
  • Breathless during everyday tasks
  • Reduced quality of life
  • PFT results of less than 30%

Is it time to consider stem cell therapy?

If you are diagnosed with COPD, your doctor will discuss a treatment plan, which will most likely consist of traditional remedies that treat your symptoms, rather than the disease itself.  As these symptoms intensify, many people decide to take charge of their situation by seeking an alternative treatment—autologous stem cell therapy. So, is it time to consider stem cell therapy?

At the Lung Institute, we screen each patient thoroughly, focusing on medical history and current condition to encourage only the best-possible treatment results. Using the natural maintenance capabilities of stem cells, we first withdraw, isolate and concentrate the patient’s stem cells from their blood or bone marrow. We then reintroduce the stem cells into the body where they naturally come to rest inside the lungs, promoting healing and inflammation reduction.

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic lung condition and have been cancer-free for at least five years, perhaps stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute can improve your quality of life. To learn more, join us for one of our frequent online webinars and in-person seminars, or contact us by calling (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for treatment.


  1. Lung Institute

    2 months ago


    Thank you for your question. We would suggest you contact one of our patient coordinators with that question.

    Our team has a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment, candidacy and cost. We’re happy to answer your questions. Feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with our dedicated medical team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. charles wilson

    2 months ago

    I have Rheumatoid arthritis which is causing Fibrosis in the lungs. I’m certainly open to trying stem cell therapy, but would feel better if you had any physical evidence that the procedure reduces, slows, or stops the progression of Fibrosis. To your knowledge does S.C.T. have any known effect on reducing, slowing or halting Fibrosis where R.A. is the root cause?

  3. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Linda,

    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. 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

  4. Linda Dodaro

    2 years ago

    Is medicare covering stem cell therapy ?

  5. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Janine,

    These are all excellent questions. Like you, many people with chronic lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and COPD have trouble with recurrent bouts of pneumonia. While chronic lung diseases have many similar symptoms, chronic lung diseases affect everyone differently and at different rates. Many of our patients have seen positive results after stem cell therapy with us. Patients report an improved quality of life, better ability to exercise and breathing easier during daily tasks. You can watch their stories by clicking here.

    Treatment involves three days at our clinic, but it is considered a single treatment. Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type, so it’s best to call us to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator to learn about the stem cell treatment options. As with any medical procedure, there are some patients who see great success, some who see average success and some who don’t see much success. However, the Lung Institute recently released a study that indicated 82 percent of patients saw an increase in quality of life after treatment, and 60 percent of those who took a pulmonary function test reported an increase in lung function. Some patients choose to return to the Lung Institute for booster treatments to help continue the progress they have seen.

    We’re happy to answer your questions regarding stem cell therapy and discuss treatment options with you, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Janine Descartes

    2 years ago

    I have been diagnosed with (mostly) RBILD but have been told I have Pulmonary Fibrosis and (as of recently) Advanced COPD. In any case, I have had pneumonia 4x in my life and this last time, it has affected more so than any other. Would regenerative stem cell therapy be helpful? Is it a single treatment or several? What are the average costs involved in a single treatment? Once treatment is deemed successful, is a patient consider healed and will no longer require treatment/s?

    Sorry for the length of this post. Thank you in advance

  7. PB

    2 years ago

    Hello Marlene,

    We are happy to answer any questions you have about stem cell treatment options, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. Our patient coordinators have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment, candidacy and cost, and they are ready to answer your questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. marlene Wood

    2 years ago


  9. sh

    2 years ago

    Dear Rose,

    Treatment cost varies depending on treatment type. You can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators by contacting us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,
    The Lung Institute

  10. Rose

    2 years ago

    what is the cost of stem cell

  11. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Pauline,

    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 by clicking here, 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.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. Pauline

    2 years ago

    why can I not get any doctor to commit that stem cell is ok or safe or do me any good?

  13. PB

    2 years ago

    Hello Leona,

    We’re glad to hear that you’ll be joining us for one of our webinars. If you have any questions before or after our webinar regarding stem cell therapy, please feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We are happy to answer your questions one-on-one. We look forward to speaking with you soon, and we hope you enjoy the webinar you attend.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  14. Leona Zimmer

    2 years ago

    I will watch the online webinars.

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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. The Lung Institute is firmly in accordance with the conditions set by the FDA for exemption status and conducts itself in full accordance with current guidelines. 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.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and stem cell procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.