Stem Cell Treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD are now available at SIRM
Pulmonary fibrosis is the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue (fibrosis) in the lungs. It is also described as "scarring of the lung."
Pulmonary fibrosis is suggested by a history of progressive shortness of breath (dyspnea) with exertion. Sometimes fine inspiratory crackles can be heard at the lung bases on auscultation. A chest x-ray may or may not be abnormal, but high Resolution CT will frequently demonstrate abnormalities.
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are mainly:
- Shortness of breath, particularly with exertion
- Chronic dry, hacking coughing
- Fatigue and weakness
- Chest discomfort
- Loss of appetite and rapid weight loss
Pulmonary fibrosis may be a secondary effect of other diseases. Most of these are classified as interstitial lung diseases. Examples include autoimmune disorders, viral infections or other microscopic injuries to the lung. However, pulmonary fibrosis can also appear without any known cause. In this case, it is termed "idiopathic". Most idiopathic cases are diagnosed as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This is a diagnosis of exclusion of a characteristic set of histologic/pathologic features known as usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). In either case, there is a growing body of evidence which points to a genetic predisposition in a subset of patients. For example, a mutation in Surfactant protein C (SP-C) has been found to exist in some families with a history of pulmonary fibrosis.
Diseases and conditions that may cause pulmonary fibrosis as a secondary effect include:
- Inhalation of environmental and occupational pollutants, such as in asbestosis, silicosis and exposure to certain gases. Coal miners, ship workers and sand blasters among others are at higher risk. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, most often resulting from inhaling dust contaminated with bacterial, fungal, or animal products.
- Cigarette smoking can increase the risk or make the illness worse.
- Some typical connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Scleroderma. Other diseases that involve connective tissue, such as sarcoidosis and Wegener's granulomatosis.
- Certain medications, e.g. amiodarone, bleomycin, busulfan, methotrexate, and nitrofurantoin
- Radiation therapy to the chest.
Stem Cell Treatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD. Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD and Stem Cell studies and protocols from the NIH:
From Here to There, Progenitor Cells and Stem Cells Are Everywhere in Lung Vascular Remodeling. Front Pediatr. 2016;4:80 Authors: Heise RL, Link PA, Farkas L Abstract The field of stem cell biology, cell therapy, and regenerative medicine has expanded almost exponentially, in the last decade. Clinical trials are evaluating the potential therapeutic use of stem cells in many adult and pediatric lung diseases with vascular component, such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Extensive research activity is exploring the lung resident and circulating progenitor cells and their contribution to vascular complications of chronic lung diseases, and researchers hope to use resident or circulating stem/progenitor cells to treat chronic lung diseases and their vascular complications. It is becoming more and more clear that progress in mechanobiology will help to understand the various influences of physical forces and extracellular matrix composition on the phenotype and features of the progenitor cells and stem cells. The current review provides an overview of current concepts in the field. PMID: 27583245 [PubMed]Read more...