Stem cells are a type of cell the human body produces and form the basic building blocks of life. They are undifferentiated meaning that a stem cell can become almost any other cell in your body. When a cell is injured or harmed by disease, a certain set of signals go out and stem cells respond. At the site of the injury, the stem cells help repair or replace the damaged cells.
In the case of a lung disease like emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the lung’s air sac are destroyed making it harder and harder to breathe. Emphysema can be the result of cigarette smoking. It can also be caused by a rare genetic disorder and by certain types of pollution. As the disease progresses, it causes holes to form in the alveolar membranes causing them to collapse. This prevents the membranes from exchanging oxygen and the person struggles to breathe.
The stem cells used in treatment from The Lung Institute are called autologous. This means they come from the patient’s own body. Aside from any ethical concerns, this also means that there is no danger of the body rejecting the cells.
To harvest the stem cells, doctors will draw some blood. In some cases, it may be necessary to harvest the stem cells from bone marrow. The stem cells are then separated from the other parts of the blood. The harvested stem cells are then injected back into the patient usually through an IV. After passing through the heart, the stem cells enter the lungs where they can begin to respond to the damage signals from the diseased alveolar. Their job then to is to rejuvenate, repair, or even replace those damaged cells.
The Lung Institute is at the forefront in delivering stem cell therapies to their patients. They operate clinics in Dallas, Scottsdale, Nashville, Tampa, and Pittsburgh. The Institute also offers several other treatment options. Each patient is evaluated to determine the treatment options with the best possible outcome.
The Lung Institute is led by Dr. Jack Coleman, Jr., MD. After graduating with his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati he completed his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Hospital. Dr. Coleman also obtained the rank of Commander in the US Navy reserve. He holds many professional certifications and has published several medical textbooks and authored many peer-reviewed papers. For more info, visit the lunginstitute.com website and Facebook page.