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Stem Cell Therapy for COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary

Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (COPD) What to expect?

One of the main goals of stem cell therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is to decrease the patient’s symptoms to the minimum and help them improve their quality of life.

Clinical studies performed with Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown promising results for lung diseases like fibrosis, emphysema, acute respiratory diseases, etc. These cells help to reduce degeneration of tissue.

Stem cells, in these clinical studies, have shown a remarkably ability to modulate and decrease the inflammatory responses that the body goes through as a consequence to these diseases. In this manner, stem cells help the body improve in a shorter amount of time, than in the normal pathology process. Even participate in preventing a longer progression of the disease, helping stop any worsening of symptoms. Also, among the many qualities stem cells have, they are also recognized as a participant in the immunomodulatory effects. This means, that when the body experience an activation of the immune system to self- attack the body because of the disease, stem cells act by suppressing this activity and interrupting the pathways that are hurtful and were once activated. This, in order, to come back to a correct functioning of the immunomodulatory activity and a minor injury to the body. MSCs have been found to show profound suppressive effects on immune cells and pathways and recent researches have demonstrated that MSCs suppress lung injury, inflammation and immune-mediated lung diseases.

The ideal stem cell need not only be pluripotent, but the multipotent stem cells also maintain the extensive differentiation and proliferative capacity. Stem cells can be obtained from different sources. The first type of source is the bone marrow; these stem cells can be used in the same patient that was obtained. This ensures to have less risk of adverse reactions due to the fact that they are the same patient’s cells. They are known as autologous stem cells, they have noticeably improved the quality of life of the patients who go through this type of treatment, with a remarkable less risks and a positive changes in health. Another type of stem cells are from adipose tissue and umbilical cord, known as allogenic stem cells. Any type of source of stem cells can be effective and the results are showing a difference in the patient’s quality of life.

In regards to cell-based therapy in lung diseases, systemic delivery is usually through a vascular route, such as intravenous (IV) infusion. Intravenous infusion is used for transplant of mesenchymal cells as well as Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). By having one IV we avoid any additional stress and discomfort to the patient. No direct injection into the organ is needed. Stem cells are carried by blood everywhere, and lungs being one of the first organs to be after blood pumping by the heart; the stem cells engraft to different parts of the lung helping the regenerative process. Since blood carries stem cells everywhere in the body, this method helps cover other organs for an overall wellness.

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, better known as COPD, is a lung progressive disease, which gets worse gradually over time when left untreated. COPD is usually related to other lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Chronic bronchitis is when the normal structure of the airways in the lungs, transforms to an inflammatory status. Making the normal size of the airway to become smaller and with a lower capacity to allow the normal flow of air to go through. As this space in the lungs, continuous narrowing, another process occurs almost at the same time. A hypersecretion of mucus in this area starts to take place and with a very dense characteristic. Since it’s very hard to remove this altered mucus in the airways, it continuously and pathologically gets accumulated. All the mentioned previously, causes an obstruction in the airways and induces all the symptomatology patients refer to experience and, unfortunately, progresses in the day by day. Reason why patients feel the sensation of lack of air, the difficulty to breathe and in most of the patients, the continuous cough accompanied by secretions that occurs for even more than 4 months.

Emphysema slowly destroys the distal alveolar to the terminal bronchiole walls, without significant pulmonary fibrosis, which interferes with outward airflow. Inducing a lower oxygen level to get into the blood and organs, and a diminished capacity to expel carbon dioxide out of the body. That’s what makes it more difficult to exhale (breathe out), it’s a restrictive disease.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may be quite mild at first, sometimes almost not perceptive or not noticed by the patient, reason why sometimes they don’t look for medical assistance. And it’s when, unfortunately, in an advanced stage the diagnosis is done. You might even dismiss them as a cold, beginning with coughing and shortness of breath.

Patients may experience the following symptoms during different stages of the disease:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Mucus
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoxic spells
  • Dizziness

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is chronic and irreversible airway inflammation. Currently, there is no curative treatment for COPD, only palliative treatment and follow-up. Postponing a treatment for COPD can cause other health diseases to be added to the current lung illness, like heart conditions, irregular blood pressure and respiratory infections that can damage the patient’s lungs.

What are the causes for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD is caused by a damage to the lungs. It’s a disease that takes a long time to develop. Damage occurs from breathing in unhealthy substances constantly and over time. This includes air pollution, chemical fumes, gasses, vapors, or mists, tobacco smoke (including second-hand smoke), and dust.

One of the main causes for COPD is excessive smoking and irritant chemicals, patients with COPD are usually over 40 years and have a background of smoking. The more you smoke, the higher the risk of developing COPD is.

Some risk factors of developing COPD are asthma, workplaces where forced to be exposed to chemicals and fumes, as well as inhaling dust activities. Also, often poorly ventilated homes, induce families to breathe fumes from cooking and heating fuel.

Some, not the majority of the patients with COPD may have a genetic predisposition due to a deficiency in alpha1-antitrypsin which is a protein that can affect lungs and the liver when it decreases.

How can I be diagnosed?

In order to be diagnosed you would need to visit your primary care doctor to get your medical history and symptoms evaluated. Mainly you will be asked if you have a smoking history. Some tests can be performed in order to evaluate your lung condition depending of your present condition, you may be asked to have a spirometry, x-rays, oxygen levels, among others.

What can I do to reduce the risk of getting COPD?

One of the most important things is to AVOID smoking. Smoking causes not only COPD but it also leads to other various diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer among other diseases.

The best recommendation would be for you to stop smoking, not get exposed to secondhand smoke, hazardous chemicals, etc.

Although stem cells can be obtained from different sources, such as: bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue and even teeth, we prefer to use fresh, autologous bone marrow; as it contains many stimulating factors and growth factors. As research studies advance and more beneficial qualities for regenerating and repairing tissue are discovered, we are becoming more and more convinced of its potential for anti-aging, prevention and for treating a wide variety of degenerative conditions. That is why we want to bring the benefits of stem cells to all those patients with a medical condition, even when traditional treatments have had little or no results.

If you or a loved one is suffering from COPD or need a stem cell therapy for pulmonary fibrosis, please don’t hesitate to contact us at +1 888 443 6235 or info@progencell.com . Get your case evaluated today!

References:

Niewoehner D. Structure-function relationships: the pathophysiology of airflow obstruction. In Stockley R, Rennard S. Rabe K, Celli B, eds. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell, 2007: 3-19.

Fernando J Martinez, James F Donohue, Stephen I Rennard. The future of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment-difficulties of and barriers to drug development. Lancet 2011; 378: 1027-37

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