Stem Cell Therapy for COPD and Lung Disease


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a medical condition that affects around 4% of the general population. Bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and asthma all can contribute to COPD. The main contributing factor to COPD is cigarette and tobacco smoking. More than 3 million people die from COPD each year, and 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the fifth leading cause of death.

Several chemical mechanisms influence the typical progressive nature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The latest innovative treatment for COPD is stem cell therapy, where the patient’s own cells are infused or transplanted back into the body. Procedures include obtaining the stem cells from fat tissue (adipose) during liposuction, processing them in the lab, and delivered back into the patient. The patient receives around 250 million stem cells per one autologous stem cell therapy session.

Stem cell treatment for COPD and lung disease is now a reality and being offered for patient benefit. The results have been stellar, which is great because there really is no surgical option available!

  • The Proof is in the Research

    Stem cell therapy has been proven to work in several studies. A few examples include:

    • In a study out of Portugal, conducted in 2017, researchers treated mouse models with chronic lung disease with stem cells. The stem cells were given intravenously (IV) to b-ENaC over-expressing mice. At 8 weeks, tissue lung samples were obtained and compared to a control group that did not receive stem cell therapy. The researchers found that inflammation was significantly reduced in the stem cell therapy group. Both monocytic cells and neutrophils (signs of inflammation) were reduced in the samples. The animal study findings prove the potential effectiveness of stem cell treatment in repairing lung damage due to COPD.
    • A 2011 clinical study involved COPD patients with advanced pulmonary emphysema. The stem cells were given by infusion method. The results involved use of a hematopoietic growth factor to stimulate the cells and mobilize them in the bloodstream. Outcomes at the 12-month evaluation showed significant improved quality of life, as well as improved arterial blood gas values, vital lung capacity, and forced expiratory volume per pulmonary function tests. In a 2013 clinical study with a 3-year follow-up timeframe, researchers evaluated the use of stem cells to treat lung disease. In this study, two of four patients had improved lung function, with a significant increase in function study values. In addition, patients reported improvements of physical abilities and emotional state.
    • An innovative phase 1 clinical study involved autologous bone marrow stem cells, which were given to patients with late-stage COPD. The patients were evaluated 20 months later. Outcomes showed increased forced expiratory volume, forced vital capacity, and improvement in oxygen saturation after exertion. Three years after the stem cell therapy, researchers noted an improvement in spirometry parameters and lung x-ray pathology. Another research study involved 62 participants with COPD. They all received four intravenous monthly infusions of stem cells and were evaluated two years later. Investigators noted a decrease in c-reactive protein at 1-month post-therapy, and improvement in quality of life indicators.
    • A recent study in the Netherlands was conducted to assess the feasibility and safety of intravenous administration of stem cells. The phase 1 prospective study involve seven people with severe emphysema. In this study, patients received two infusions spaced seven days apart. At the 2-month follow-up, no adverse effects were noted. When evaluated after a year, the patients all had significant increases in forced expiratory volume and decreased residual volume on pulmonary studies.
  • Resources

    • European Respiratory Society (ERS). (2017). Potential of stem cell therapy to repair lung damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170327083722.ht
    • Kotton DN, Ma BY, Cardoso WV, et al. Bone marrow-derived cells as progenitors of lung alveolar epithelium. Development. 2001;128(24):5181–5188.
    • Ribeiro-Paes J. T., Bilaqui A., Greco O. T., et al. Unicentric study of cell therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/pulmonary emphysema. International Journal of COPD. 2011;6(1):63–71. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S15292.
    • Stessuk T., Ruiz M. A., Greco O. T., Bilaqui A., Ribeiro-Paes M. J. D. O., Ribeiro-Paes J. T. Phase I clinical trial of cell therapy in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: follow-up of up to 3 years. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia. 2013;35(5):352–357. doi: 10.5581/1516-8484.20130113.
    • Stolk J, Broekman W, Mauad T, et al. A phase I study for intravenous autologous mesenchymal stromal cell administration to patients with severe emphysema. QJM. 2016;109(5):331–336.
    • Weiss DJ, Casaburi R, Flannery R, LeRoux-Williams M, Tashkin DP. A placebo-controlled, randomized trial of mesenchymal stem cells in COPD. Chest. 2013;143(6):1590–1598.


R3 Stem Cell offers stem cell treatment for COPD with regenerative medicine experts in various cities. Contact us today HERE to see if you are a candidate!


Amniotic and Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Treatments

The most revolutionary regenerative medicine treatments now being offered include amniotic and umbilical stem cell treatments. These are FDA regulated and contain growth factors, hyaluronic acid, cytokines and stem cells.

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