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Stem Cell Therapy for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Limited breathing capacity can reduce quality of life and slow down activities that can be performed on a daily basis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that attacks the lungs by making them stiff, causing difficulty breathing and significantly decreased respiratory function. Stem cell regenerative therapy has been used to treat this disease, helping patients to improve their quality of life and respiratory function with greater success when it is applied in the early stages of the disease.

At ProgenCell we are specialists in regenerative treatment with stem cells, which provides very successful results in patients with pulmonary fibrosis

Where do the stem cells that are applied come from?

To treat pulmonary fibrosis, autologous stem cells are used (from the patient himself) from his own bone marrow to become another type of cell where it is required in the body. There is also a second option from allogeneic stem cells derived of adipose tissue, meaning, from the donor patient´s fat deposits or from the umbilical cord.

Stem cells derived from bone marrow have a lower risk of rejection and high cell viability, which remain well stored for a long time inside the bones where the bone marrow is located, because they are constantly self-renewing and repairing damage that they could have presented.

Since bone marrow stem cells are properly stored, their extraction is minimally invasive. Among the advantages of their use we find that they have the ability to become any other mesenchymal cell in the body. That means, they can differentiate into a specific cell in the body in order to regenerate and repair a tissue or organ. That way, they stimulate the natural repair process in the body to combat chronic and degenerative diseases that have no cure, such as pulmonary fibrosis.

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.

What to expect from the treatment?

Stem cell therapy is a hope for patients with recent-onset muscular fibrosis, since it gradually helps to stop the progress of the disease and extend their life expectancy, since these cells help regenerate the lungs.

Stem cells help to reduce inflammation in the lungs, stop the fibrosis progression, slow down the symptoms, delay scarring in lung tissue, and help the patient have better lung function by reducing their supplemental oxygen intake.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, don’t wait any longer and schedule your appointment at ProgenCell to receive the stem cell treatment that will help improve your symptoms and your quality of life.

Cost

At ProgenCell every patients matters, that’s why a proper evaluation needs to be done in order to determine a treatment plan. Schedule your evaluation appointment for more information.

What is pulmonary fibrosis?

Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious disease that attacks the respiratory system. It affects the lungs, the alveoli (which are air sacs within the lungs) and connective tissue, causing scarring and thickening of the lung tissue. This disease is progressive, which means that it worsens over time, making the lung tissues stiff so they don’t expand as they should, which makes it difficult for the patient to breathe when doing any activity that didn’t seem difficult before, such as walking or performing routine tasks.

Unfortunately, there is no effective conventional treatment for this disease, since medications only delay healing and help preserve lung function.

What are the symptoms?

Unfortunately, pulmonary fibrosis is often diagnosed late because its symptoms are similar to those of other lung diseases. Contact your doctor if you have persistent symptoms without improvement:

  • Breath Shortness with little physical activity, such as climbing stairs or walking
  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Rapid and labored breathing
  • Gradual and involuntary weight loss
  • Fatigue that does not resolve no matter how much the patient sleeps
  • Suffocation feeling or not being able to catch your breath
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cyanosis due to lack of oxygen, causing bluish skin in light-skinned people, or gray or white skin around the mouth or eyes in dark-skinned people, mainly on the outer part of the fingers in the region around the nails.

Pulmonary fibrosis causes

According to the United States National Institutes of Health, pulmonary fibrosis affects between 13 and 20 of every 100 thousand people worldwide. There are more than 200 types of pulmonary fibrosis, the most common being idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, the cause of which is unknown. Every year around 50 thousand new cases of IPF are diagnosed, being the most frequent in people between 50 and 70 years of age.

Although the causes of IPF are unknown, some of the common factors are:

  • Smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and their vapors
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the throat and then enters the lungs
  • Family history of lung disease
  • Diseases such as: dermatomyositis, polymyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis or pneumonia can cause lung damage as well.

How is it diagnosed?

In consultation with a pulmonary health specialist (pulmonologist), the patient will have a physical evaluation to assess symptoms, listen to breathing, and detect abnormal sounds in the lungs. They will also ask about your medical and family history.

To confirm or rule out fibrosis, the specialist will recommend the following diagnostic tests:

  • Blood test. The doctor must rule out all the causes for which the patient experiences the symptoms mentioned through cabinet tests, which will serve to monitor the disease´s progress in case the pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis is confirmed.
  • Imaging. Chest x-ray and computed tomography are the most commonly used to detect scarring of the lung tissue, or other diseases that affect these organs.
  • Pulmonary function tests. These are tests that measure a patient’s breathing: their lung function and capacity, or how well the lungs are working.
  • Blood oxygen desaturation analysis. These are tests that measure oxygen levels in the blood while the patient walks for a few minutes with a probe placed on the finger or forehead.
  • Biopsy. It consists of the extraction of a small sample of lung tissue through an incision in the ribs.

Risk factor’s

Some factors make it more likely that you’ll develop pulmonary fibrosis, but they don’t mean you’ll ever get the disease:

  • Advanced age. Most patients with pulmonary fibrosis are people between the ages of 50 and 70.
  • Male biological sex. There is a larger population of male pulmonary fibrosis patients, however, female cases have increased in recent years.
  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Some occupations. Farmers, ranchers, hairdressers, stone polishers, chemists, and metal workers are at risk from frequently inhaling hazardous products.
  • Patients with other diseases. Some people exposed to radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancer, as well as heart disease patients, suffer lung damage. Some antibiotics (such as nitrofurantoin or ethambutol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as rituximab or sulfasalazine) can also cause lung damage.

Complications

Scar tissue in the lungs compresses the smaller arteries and capillaries, causing resistance to blood flow in the lungs, as well as difficulty getting oxygen throughout the body, causing pulmonary hypertension. High blood pressure in the lungs raises the pressure in the lower right heart chamber (right ventricle), causing heart failure.

Other complications are lung cancer, blood clots in the lungs, collapsed lung or lung infections, and respiratory failure.Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious disease, which progressively worsens and can cause the patient´s death when the oxygen levels in the blood are too low.

Possible prevention

Unfortunately, pulmonary fibrosis cannot be prevented. However, these recommendations are of great help in order to maintain healthy lungs:

  • No Smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Use protective equipment in case of working with dangerous substances.
  • Seek consultation on time in case you experience the symptoms mentioned above to detect any disease in the early stages.

Unfortunately, lung damage due to pulmonary fibrosis is permanent and not reversible, so prompt diagnosis and stem cell treatment are key to helping stop lung damage.

Remember, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis or need a stem cell therapy for COPD, at ProgenCell you will find specialists in stem cell treatment who will help you improve symptoms and quality of life. Schedule your appointment through our contact form where we will gladly assist you.

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