The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects everyone differently and at different rates of progression. Because there are a variety of COPD treatment options, it can be challenging to know which treatments are right for you. You and your doctor will work together to develop an individualized treatment plan that’s best for you. Traditional COPD treatments include medications, inhalers and oxygen therapy, and they work to manage disease symptoms. One alternative treatment option is cellular therapy for COPD, which works differently than traditional COPD treatments. Here’s what you need to know about cellular therapy for COPD.
What are cells?
With the ability to self-renew and replicate, cells are the building blocks of life and are essential to every organism. Adult cells are called undifferentiated cells, meaning that cells from one part of the body can transform their function to that of other types of tissue. This quality is known as plasticity, and plasticity is the key function of cells in regenerative medicine.
What is cellular therapy for COPD?
Cellular treatment for COPD works to promote healing from within the lungs. With the potential to address disease progression and improve lung function, many people turn to cellular therapy for COPD.
The cells are extracted from the patient’s blood. Next, the cells are separated in our on-site lab, and then they are returned to the patient intravenously. Once the cells are returned to the patient, they can begin to promote healing.
A common question about cellular therapy for COPD is “how do cells get to the lungs?” When a substance, such as medication, blood or cells, is introduced to the body through an IV, it is carried in the bloodstream directly to the right side of the heart. Within a heartbeat or two, it is pushed directly into the lungs. The circulatory system then distributes the substance throughout the body.
For cells, this process is a bit different. In studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers found that, while cells undergo the same process, they become trapped in the lungs rather than dispersing throughout the body in the bloodstream. This process, in which cells aggregate in the lungs, is known as the pulmonary trap.
What are my cellular therapy options?
At the Lung Institute, we offer cellular therapy for many major pulmonary conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease.
The Lung Institute uses cells derived from the patient’s body. These cells are also known as adult cells and can be extracted from blood.
The venous treatment is purely blood-derived and specializes in hematopoietic cells. All of the cellular therapys at the Lung Institute are outpatient and minimally invasive.
Many people report feeling better, breathing easier and living a more active lifestyle after receiving cellular therapy. If you or a loved one has COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about cellular therapy options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.