Can Step Cells Help ILD?

What is Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) is an umbrella term identifying a group of roughly 100 diverse types of pulmonary diseases that prevent the normal absorption of oxygen in the lungs. All of these diseases affect the interstitium, which is the tissue and space surrounding the alveoli—the cluster-like air sacs—of the lungs. Typically the interstitium is relatively invisible, but when an individual has ILD, the interstitium is progressively scarred. This scarring is characteristic of the family of diseases encompassed by ILD. The scar tissue impedes the ability for oxygen to readily pass from the lungs into the bloodstream. Before today, the effects of interstitial lung disease were completely irreversible; now stem cell therapies for ILD are offering a potential option for people affected by the disease.

Therapies for ILD

Sadly, ILD is incurable, but that does not mean that it is cannot be treated. In fact, there are many therapies for ILD. As an incurable disorder, the therapies are not meant to make the disease disappear completely, but rather therapies can be used to strengthen a patient’s quality of life, to treat symptoms or to prevent the progression of the disease. Upon diagnosis, many physicians prescribe a combination of medications to suppress the immune system, but these have not proven successful. In order to help patients struggling to breathe, compressed oxygen can help manage shortness of breath and make life more comfortable. Sometimes, pulmonary rehabilitation and nutritional counseling are recommended as a method of improving endurance. In severe cases, pulmonologists may recommend a lung transplant, but this invasive procedure often has limited availability and extensive requirements for eligibility. Today, a new treatment is available as a result of the hard work of a visionary group of doctors dedicated to improving the lives of patients with interstitial lung disease.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are the building blocks of every single living organism on the planet. They have the ability for self-renewal and replication, and are capable of forming any type of tissue or organ in the body. Uniquely, adult stem cells from one organ are able to create tissue for another organ; this is called plasticity. It has been discovered that adult stem cells are able to be transferred into any single organ in the body.

Stem Cell Therapies for ILD

In the case of ILD, autologous stem cells are used; this means the cells come from the patient’s body. These stem cells are found in blood (venous). Bone marrow or venous stem cells have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells. During the procedure, stem cell therapies involve isolating adult stem cells from bone marrow, which require special laboratory techniques to collect. After extraction, the cells are isolated. At this point, they are returned to the patient intravenously. The therapies are minimally invasive and performed as an outpatient procedure. It should be performed in a clinical setting under the supervision of a professional. It takes a physician that has sought specific training to perform stem cell therapy adequately, safely and successfully. If you would like to find out more about our available stem cell therapies for ILD and other lung diseases, please contact one of our patient care coordinators today at (800) 729-3065 to schedule a free consultation.


* 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.