Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common medical conditions in the world today: research shows that nearly 5% of the population suffers from this disease.
According to 2016 World Health Organization estimates, COPD was the third leading cause of mortality worldwide.
A feature of the course of COPD is complications exacerbating the progression of the disease. This sooner or later leads to the development of respiratory dysfunction and further to a disability, significantly violating the quality of life of the patient, especially in case of frequent acute exacerbations.
There are a number of chemical-biological mechanisms that can influence the typical progressive nature of COPD. These mechanisms can be partially controlled by the methods of regenerative medicine which are being actively studied in connection with the therapy of pulmonary diseases.
This article will discuss COPD and stem cells, the improvements they can bring about, and will also discuss the procedure in more detail.
What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?
Before we talk about stem cell transplant for COPD, let’s talk about the condition itself. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition that affects the respiratory system. It obstructs airflow through the lungs, which makes breathing hard, and it gets worse as time goes on.
COPD can refer to separate diseases called emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and either or both of these can be present when someone has the condition.
Patients with COPD will usually have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing especially after activity;
- Long-standing cough that produces sputum;
- Chest tightness;
How COPD is diagnosed
While your doctor can tell whether you have COPD based on your symptoms, medical history, and examination, they will usually rely on a specific test known as spirometry to be sure of the diagnosis.
This test involves you breathing into a device that measures the volume and rate at which you are able to exhale. You may be tested again after taking medication to dilate your airways, and then the results are compared to evaluate the treatment result or the progression of the disease.
How do stem cells work for COPD treatment?
Stem cells are immature cells that can proliferate and turn into adult cells in order to, for example, repair injuries. These cells have the ability to launch and maintain regenerative processes in damaged lung tissue, contributing to its recovery. This is the basis of using stem cell for COPD treatment.
During stem cells COPD treatment, these cells differentiate into various kinds of lung cells, including alveolar epithelial cells, and then migrate to “cover up” the wounded area. From there, they release a variety of pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors to attract proteins and cells needed for the restoration of the extracellular matrix, which is crucial for normal wound repair. Once this occurs, re-epithelialization of the lung can proceed.
When the normal structure of the lungs is established after using stem cell for COPD, the normal function is able to follow through. Besides stem cells, there’s no medical treatment currently that can help repair damage to this extent.
In addition, the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrosis properties of stem cells make them particularly attractive as potential lung disease treatment.
Get a free online consultation to find out if stem cell treatment may work for you.
Clinical results: what improvements do patients get?
In clinical practice, it was shown that stem cell therapy for COPD has good results. Multiple stem cell administration pathways (intravenous + inhalation) provide the optimum therapeutic effect. In particular, patients noted improvements such as:
- Respiratory and forced volume capacity increase.
- Rales and sputum production reduction.
- Reduction in frequency, strength, and duration of coughing episodes.
- Return of normal breathing & less frequent shortness of breath.
- Lung scar tissue reversal.
- Improved sleep quality.
- Increase in energy levels.
- Improved appetite.
- Cessation of chronic fatigue.
Watch our patient’s results of COPD stem cell treatment:
As someone who may consider receiving a stem cell transplant for COPD, it is important to be sure that this treatment has a documented history of working in real patients with the same condition. Below are testimonials from patients who have had their conditions improved with this therapy.
Patient from the USA (in English):
Patient from Italy (in Italian):
Improvements occur over a period of several weeks. For patients undergoing treatment with stem cell for COPD, it is important to understand that more pronounced improvements can be achieved if a patient follows good respiratory practices in order to help injected stem cells do their best work. This includes potential changes in the patient’s lifestyle along with a healthy and nutritious diet combined with vitamin and mineral supplements.
Get a free online consultation to learn what results you can expect from stem cell treatment.
COPD treatment with stem cells: the procedure
At Swiss Medica Clinic, for stem cells COPD treatment, we employ cell products with a high number of viable stem cells and use several application methods, including IV drip and inhalations for lung diseases. When using autologous (patient’s own) cells, the procedure includes separating the stem cells extracted from fat tissue or bone marrow. They are then activated and delivered intravenously, directly back into the patient’s body over several hours.
Along with the adult autologous stem cells, we also use cell products created from donated tissues such as those harvested from the placenta or umbilical cord.
The quantity of restored cells is a therapeutic dose that not only covers daily losses of healthy cells in the patient but exceeds them by a thousand times. Thus, the personal reserve of stem cells lost over the last 10–15 years is restored. It is because of this that cell therapy has a positive effect on overall health.
The procedure of stem cell therapy for COPD is very quick and simple. It does not require general anesthesia. Treatment is painless, does not bring discomfort, and is completely safe even for elderly patients. All clinic treatments take place with round-the-clock doctor supervision.
Indications and contraindications for cell therapy
Due to its benefits, chronic bronchitis or emphysema stem cell treatment can be promising in the absence or insufficiency of the effect of the main therapy, and also in the presence of side effects from the medical drugs. However, some of the contraindications include:
- previous bad experience with cell products;
- any type of cancer or a precancerous condition;
- any life-threatening or terminal health conditions;
- infectious disease in the acute stage;
- stroke or transient ischemic attack in the last 3 months;
- deviations of some indicators in blood tests;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- mental disorders and addictions;
- contraindications to anesthesia and/or high risk of bleeding and/or pathological processes in the area of the proposed biopsy (does not exclude the possibility of using donor cell products),
and some others.
Safety issues & side effects
Multiple instances of COPD and stem cell research have shown that in most cases, there are no side effects. Sometimes there may be a short-term increase in temperature as an individual reaction of the body but in not more than 2% of cases. And it passes independently and does not entail negative consequences for the patient’s health.
Stem cell therapy does not cause any allergic or immune reactions, and it is due to the immune privilege status of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) used for the therapy at the Clinic. It is also rejection free.
What the treatment includes
At Swiss Medica, we have developed treatment programs that are selected individually for each patient depending on their personal medical needs. We provide lung stem cell treatment via inhalations and intravenous administration of your own or donated mesenchymal stem cells. At the Clinic, this therapy is supported with optional additional treatment methods, such as:
- Ozone-laser injection therapy;
- Xenon gas rehabilitation therapy;
- IMR therapy,
These therapies help to activate the regeneration process, restore mobility, and improve symptoms. This complex yet beneficial impact on the entire body. We also provide expert consultations with specialists in neurology, neurorehabilitation, psychology, and nutrition.
Cost of stem cell therapy for COPD
With all the benefits that treatment with stem cell for COPD can provide to patients who have been battling with the condition for a long time, many wonder about the cost of this treatment.
There are many factors that can influence how much you should expect to pay. For instance, what is the experience of the clinic, how severe is your case, will you need any separate treatments or are there any comorbidities?
For COPD and lung stem cell treatment, the best way to be sure of how much you will pay is to reach out directly to the clinic. We offer a free consultation that serves as a perfect opportunity to get an idea of the cost involved.
Get a free online consultation to learn what results you can expect from stem cell treatment, what the treatment program may include, what the cost is, and how to enter the treatment programme.
List of References
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Prognosis of COPD depends on severity of exacerbation history: A population-based analysis. Çolak Y., Afzal S., Marott J.L., Nordestgaard B.G., Vestbo J., Ingebrigtsen T.S., Lange P. Respiratory Medicine. 2019 Aug;155:141-147.
Stem Cells in Lung Injury and Repair. Felicia Chen and Alan Fine. The American Journal of Pathology. 2016 Oct; 186(10): 2544–2550.
Potential role of stem cells in management of COPD. Tillie L. Hackett, Darryl A. Knight, and Don D. Sin. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2010; 5: 81–88.
Stem cell therapy for lung fibrosis conditions. University of North Carolina Health Care. August 3, 2017.
Cell therapy for lung disease. Geiger S., Hirsch D., Hermann F.G. European Respiratory Review. 2017 Jun 28;26(144).
Stem Cell Therapy for COPD: Where are we? Balkissoon R. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation. 2018; 5(2): 148-153.
Stem cell therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chen Y., Miao K., Zhou L., Xiong W. Chinese Medical Journal. 2021 Jul 5; 134(13): 1535-1545.