Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and North Carolina State University have created a method of obtaining and culturing stem cells to treat chronic and potentially fatal lung inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the lungs causes the formation of scar tissue that inhibits proper oxygenation of vital organs, like the heart and brain. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are some of the most common results of chronic inflammation. With many IPF patients not surviving past 5 years following diagnosis, this treatment could significantly prolong their lives. The treatment is done by isolating a patient’s own lung stem cells through biopsy, then culturing and expanding them to clinically relevant numbers. In an animal model, the subjects were induced to have scarring and inflammation in the lungs to mimic IPF in humans. Those that were injected with their own stem cells showed significant improvement in lung function compared to those that received a placebo.
"This is the first time anyone has generated potentially therapeutic lung stem cells from minimally invasive biopsy specimens," commented Dr. Jason Lobo, medical director of lung transplant and interstitial lung disease and assistant professor at UNC.
With clinical trials expected soon, this advancement in bioengineering will accelerate this trend and broaden applications to treat a wider variety of chronic lung disease and fibrosis. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure that they will have access to these emerging therapies soon. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783- 6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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