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 A phase I study for intravenous autologous mesenchymal stromal cell administration to patients with severe emphysema. QJM. 2016 May;109(5):331-6 Authors: Stolk J, Broekman W, Mauad T, Zwaginga JJ, Roelofs H, Fibbe WE, Oostendorp J, Bajema I, Versteegh MI, Taube C, Hiemstra PS Abstract BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) may reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair in pulmonary emphysema. AIM: To study the safety and feasibility of bone marrow-derived autologous (BM-) MSC intravenous administration to patients with severe emphysema. DESIGN: A phase I, prospective open-label study registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01306513 Eligible patients had lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) on two separate occasions. During the first LVRS bone marrow was collected, from which MSCs were isolated and expanded ex vivo After 8 weeks, patients received two autologous MSC infusions 1 week apart, followed by the second LVRS procedure at 3 weeks after the second BM-MSC infusion. METHODS: Up to 3 weeks after the last MSC infusion adverse events were recorded. Using immunohistochemistry and qPCR for analysis of cell and proliferation markers, emphysematous lung tissue obtained during the first surgery was compared with lung tissue obtained after the second surgical session to assess BM-MSC effects. RESULTS: From 10 included patients three were excluded: two did not receive MSCs due to insufficient MSC culture expansion, and one had no second surgery. No adverse events related to MSC infusions occurred and lung tissue showed no fibrotic responses. After LVRS and MSC infusions alveolar septa showed a 3-fold increased expression of the endothelial marker CD31 (P  =  0.016). CONCLUSIONS: Autologous MSC treatment in severe emphysema is feasible and safe. The increase in CD31 expression after LVRS and MSC treatment suggests responsiveness of microvascular endothelial cells in the most severely affected parts of the lung. PMID: 26819296 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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