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:

Related Articles Combined Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy and One-Way Endobronchial Valve Placement in Patients with Pulmonary Emphysema: A Phase I Clinical Trial. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2016 Dec 09;: Authors: de Oliveira HG, Cruz FF, Antunes MA, de Macedo Neto AV, Oliveira GA, Svartman FM, Borgonovo T, Rebelatto CL, Weiss DJ, Brofman PR, Morales MM, Lapa E Silva JR, Rocco PR Abstract One-way endobronchial valves (EBV) insertion to reduce pulmonary air trapping has been used as therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. However, local inflammation may result and can contribute to worsening of clinical status in these patients. We hypothesized that combined EBV insertion and intrabronchial administration of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) would decrease the inflammatory process, thus mitigating EBV complications in severe COPD patients. This initial study sought to investigate the safety of this approach. For this purpose, a phase I, prospective, patient-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled design was used. Heterogeneous advanced emphysema (Global Initiative for Chronic Lung Disease [GOLD] III or IV) patients randomly received either allogeneic bone marrow-derived MSCs (10(8) cells, EBV+MSC) or 0.9% saline solution (EBV) (n = 5 per group), bronchoscopically, just before insertion of one-way EBVs. Patients were evaluated 1, 7, 30, and 90 days after therapy. All patients completed the study protocol and 90-day follow-up. MSC delivery did not result in acute administration-related toxicity, serious adverse events, or death. No significant between-group differences were observed in overall number of adverse events, frequency of COPD exacerbations, or worsening of disease. Additionally, there were no significant differences in blood tests, lung function, or radiological outcomes. However, quality-of-life indicators were higher in EBV + MSC compared with EBV. EBV + MSC patients presented decreased levels of circulating C-reactive protein at 30 and 90 days, as well as BODE (Body mass index, airway Obstruction, Dyspnea, and Exercise index) and MMRC (Modified Medical Research Council) scores. Thus, combined use of EBV and MSCs appears to be safe in patients with severe COPD, providing a basis for subsequent investigations using MSCs as concomitant therapy. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2016. PMID: 28186686 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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