Pulmonary Fibrosis, Emphysema, COPD Stem Cell Treatment

Stem Cell Therapy Pulmonary Fibrosis


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

Stem Cell Therapy Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD

Possible Causes

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.
  • Infections
  • 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:

Therapeutic effects of adipose-derived stem cells pretreated with pioglitazone in an emphysema mouse model. Exp Mol Med. 2016 Oct 21;48(10):e266 Authors: Hong Y, Kim YS, Hong SH, Oh YM Abstract There is no therapy currently available that influences the natural history of disease progression in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although stem cell therapy is considered a potential therapeutic option in COPD, there are no clinical trials proving definitive therapeutic effects in patients with COPD. Recently, it was reported that pioglitazone might potentiate the therapeutic effects of stem cells in patients with heart or liver disease. To test the capacity of pioglitazone pretreatment of stem cells for emphysema repair, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of pioglitazone-pretreated human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) on elastase-induced or cigarette smoke-induced emphysema in mice. We also investigated the mechanisms of action of pioglitazone-pretreated ASCs. Pioglitazone-pretreated ASCs had a more potent therapeutic effect than non-pretreated ASCs in the repair of both elastase-induced and smoke-induced emphysema models (mean linear intercept, 78.1±2.5 μm vs 83.2±2.6 μm in elastase models and 75.6±1.4 μm vs 80.5±3.2 μm in smoke models, P<0.05). Furthermore, we showed that pioglitazone-pretreated ASCs increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production both in vitro and in mouse lungs in the smoke-induced emphysema model. Pioglitazone-pretreated ASCs may have more potent therapeutic effects than non-pretreated ASCs in emphysema mouse models. PMID: 27765950 [PubMed - in process]

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