What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are responsible for acting as the foundation for every living being. They are capable of forming any tissue or organ in the body in conjunction with their ability to continuously replicate and self-renew. What differentiates stem cells from other types of cells is their plasticity—their ability to create tissue for an organ different than their originating organ, thus the benefit of stem cells in regenerative medicine.
Why Stem Cells?
Stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute is used to improve the function of the lungs after damage has occurred from chronic lung disease, but stem cells are versatile and are capable of forming any differentiated cell, so they can actually develop into any organ or tissue in the body. Since stem cells self-renew repetitively, they divide indefinitely, which means they are ideal to promote the healing of organs, such as lungs. This can significantly improve organ function by creating new tissue and undermining the effects of organ damage.
What Stem Cells Are Used?
The Lung Institute, available in Florida and Tennessee, offers treatments that utilize adult autologous stem cells. Since the cells are coming from an adult patient’s body, they will only be administered to the same patient. This decreases the potential of rejection and undermines any possible controversy about stem cells.
The Lung Institute provides two stem cell therapies: bone marrow and venous (blood-derived). The recommended stem cell therapy will be determined based on the patient’s medical history and current condition. The bone marrow therapy is always performed in conjunction with the venous therapy, but the venous treatment can be performed independently. The recommended treatment type will be determined during a physician consultation. During stem cell therapy, the adult stem cells go through a specific process in order to target the damaged tissue or organ.
How Does It Work?
The cells are extracted from the patient’s body either through bone marrow or blood depending on the therapy recommended. The adult stem cells are isolated by a clinical professional. Almost immediately, the stem cells are returned to the individual either intravenously or with the use of a nebulizer, which allows patients to breathe in the stem cells. Finally, the stem cells begin to promote the healing of lung tissue. With their ability to continually replicate, the lungs grow stronger, and patients are able to breathe easier and live better.