Stem Cell Research for COPD
What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe. It is characterized by a restriction of airflow into and out of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. COPD is the umbrella term for sufferers who have been diagnosed with or show signs of emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. While there currently isn’t a cure for COPD, much has been done in regard to stem cell research for COPD.
The Role of Stem Cells
A stem cell is an essential building block for survival. Stem cells are responsible for being the foundation for every living being. They are capable of forming any tissue or organ in the body, which is unique from other cells, while they can still self-renew and replicate constantly. Their plasticity acts as another differentiator from other cells as their ability to create tissue for an organ different than their originating organ is essential to their benefit in regenerative medicine.
How Stem Cells Can Be Used as a COPD Treatment
Stem cell treatment at the Lung Institute has proven to improve the function of the lungs affected by chronic lung disease, but stem cells are capable of forming any differentiated cell, so they can actually develop into any organ or tissue in the body, which proves their versatility in the medical field. Since stem cells self-renew, they divide indefinitely, which means they are ideal to promote the healing of organs. As new tissue is created by the stem cells, organs are strengthened and the effects of organ damage are minimized.
Types of Treatments for COPD with Stem Cells
The Lung Institute, located in Tennessee and Florida, offers COPD treatments with adult autologous stem cells. The cells come directly from an adult patient’s body only to be administered to the same patient. This decreases the potential of rejection and undermines any possible controversy about stem cell therapy.
The Lung Institute provides two unique stem cell treatments: venous (blood-derived) and bone marrow derived. The recommended stem cell treatment will be determined based on the patient’s health history and their current condition. The recommended treatment type will be determined during a physician consultation. During stem cell treatment, the stem cells target the damaged tissue or organ in order to reinforce function and improve lives.
The Treatment Process
Depending on the therapy recommended, the cells are then extracted from the patient’s body either through fat tissue or blood. The stem cells are isolated by a professional, and almost immediately, the stem cells are given back to the individual either intravenously or with the use of a nebulizer allowing patients to breathe in the stem cells. Now, the stem cells can begin to promote the healing of lung tissue, so patients can breathe easier and bring their life within reach.