Though there is no known cure for this progressive lung disease, patients can find hope in the advancements that regenerative medicine are now bringing to damaged lung tissue.
The first step is storing fat.
In November 2012, the University of Vermont released the results of a clinical trial that evaluated the potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a breakthrough treatment for COPD sufferers. With about 12 million Americans1 suffering from this condition (it is currently ranked as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.)1, many people may soon be able to breathe easier, thanks to stem cells.
Dr. Daniel Weiss, who headed this first-ever study, sought to use MSCs to lessen the persistent inflammation in the lungs and cardiopulmonary systems of patients who participated in this landmark COPD trial.
The most astounding aspect of the way this clinical trial was conducted is that the MSCs were taken from a variety patients’ bodies including bone marrow and adipose tissue, to name a few. The greatest advantage to this type of stem cell therapy, as Dr. Weiss explains, is that, “Isolated MSCs are not associated with immune system rejection, which allows for safe administration of MSCs obtained from unrelated donors.”1
The study done at the University of Vermont did not include enough patients in the clinical trial to be able to accurately assess whether quality of life could be improved or if lung function could potentially be restored. However, the study was the first of its kind to establish the safety of MSCs in human-subject clinical trials for diseases and conditions, all without the risk of rejection by the recipient.
In recent news from May 1, 2013, a toddler was the youngest patient to receive a tracheal transplant after doctors fashioned plastic fibers and bone marrow-derived stem cells into a functioning trachea2. Previous to her surgery, in January of 2012, a Baltimore man with tracheal cancer successfully received the same type of synthetic tracheal transplant.3
In addition to these advancements in stem cell research and development, scientists continue to build off of one another’s research so that the body’s regenerative abilities can be harnessed with the help of stem cells such as those harvested from adipose tissue. Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, who performed the tracheal transplant surgeries on both the toddler and the Baltimore cancer patient, stated in an interview with The New York Times that the “body’s regenerative capabilities may help such bioengineered organs to integrate with existing tissues.”2
Regardless of whether or not you must one day face a chronic condition such as COPD or tracheal cancer, adipose tissue and stem cell storage is one of the best investments that you can make in your health.
We call it “bio-insurance” through our ATGRAFT tissue and stem cell storage program. ATGRAFT helps ensure that you are ready to take advantage of the very best that the future of regenerative medicine has to offer.
With a simple liposuction procedure done in your plastic surgeon’s office, your brown and white adipose tissue can safely be extracted so that the adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) can be isolated today and used in the “made just for you” treatments of tomorrow.
Today, your ADSCs are the youngest they will ever be so don’t wait until later to make this potentially life-saving decision for yourself. Call us today to find a provider near you and to learn more about this innovative procedure. You can also find out about stem cell storage costs by clicking here.
Blog post written by John DiFolco.