Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious condition involving the lungs that gradually reduces the person’s ability to breathe. Early in the disease, patients may have few, if any, symptoms; but as it progresses, COPD can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and other problems.
There is a lot of research being done on how stem cell therapy may be able to help repair lung tissue and reverse the damage caused by COPD. Many patients hope to benefit from advances being discovered through science and through clinical trials of COPD patients.
What Causes COPD?
Smokers are more likely to develop COPD than nonsmokers, but exposure to toxins in the air over a long period of time also increases the risk of developing COPD. For some people, sensitivity to certain environmental factors makes them more likely to develop the disease, and genetics may also play a role.
Treatment of COPD
Currently, there is no known cure for COPD, but there are a number of treatments available. Traditional treatments focus on reducing the severity of COPD symptoms and preventing progression of the disease.
Medications that help to reduce inflammation and increase airflow help many patients. Patients who have advanced COPD may need supplemental oxygen to help them continue with their daily routine.
Although treatment cannot yet restore normal lung function in patients, there is great hope that stem cell therapy as a regenerative treatment may be able to repair and replace damaged and dead lung tissues.
Cellular Studies of COPD
According to the Journal of Thoracic Disease, there have been COPD studies done on animals and on humans. Results have been mixed.
Researchers have used lung stem cells from donors hoping to stimulate lung tissue growth in patients. Also, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) taken from donors have been shown to stimulate healthy lung tissue growth in test tubes.
COPD and Stem Cell Therapy Studies
Human lung stem cells transplanted into mice reportedly caused the mice’s lungs to develop human-like lung cell structures. This created much excitement in the scientific community.
However, humans with advanced COPD who were treated with MSCs showed no improvement in lung tissue or function.
Scientists think that human studies failed in part because the treatment did not sufficiently suppress immune system response, so their bodies rejected the therapy. This reaction led to increased inflammation and therefore decreased any benefit.
COPD researchers also believe that using fresh stem cells (versus frozen stem cells), and stem cells taken from young, healthy donors, may help chances of success. Although the treatments did not harm COPD patients, they did not help them, either.
Stem Cell Laboratory in New York
At Systemic Laboratories, we are an FDA-registered lab that is widely trusted by physicians and clinics throughout the New York region. FDA-registered labs like ours make a commitment to follow FDA regulations on stem cell preparation and storage.
That means no alterations or enzymes are allowed, only concentration of existing cells done in the safest manner possible. We only process cells that are directly taken from the patient for re-injection into the same patient – never from outside donors or embryos.
If you would like to learn more about how our laboratory can serve your medical practice or clinic, please call us today at (718) 268-6060 to schedule a complimentary consultation. You can also fill out our simple information request form online so we can get started. We look forward to hearing from you.