Stem Cell Therapy for COPD
Stem cell therapy may reduce lung inflammation in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as well as Cystic Fibrosis. Lung damage caused by chronic inflammation in these conditions leads to reduced lung function and eventually respiratory failure.
This new research of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Therapy compared a treatment group and a control group 8 weeks after intravenous delivery of stem cells into mice.
The results showed that inflammation was significantly reduced in the group receiving MSC therapy but not the control group, which did not receive the stem cell treatment . Cells counts for both the monocytic cells and the neutrophils, both signs of inflammation, were significantly reduced after MSC therapy. Their analysis of lung tissue showed a reduction in accepted measurements of lung deterioration in the MSC treated mice. Along with reducing inflammation in the lung, the stem cell therapy therapy also resulted in significant improvements in the lung structure. This indicate that Stem Cell Therapy has the potential to repair the damaged lungs of COPD patients.
Researcher Declan Doherty, from Queens University Belfast, UK, commented: “These preliminary findings demonstrate the potential effectiveness of MSC treatment as a means of repairing the damage caused by chronic lung diseases such as COPD. The ability to counteract inflammation in the lungs by utilising the combined anti-inflammatory and repairative properties of MSCs could potentially reduce the inflammatory response in individuals with chronic lung disease whilst also restoring lung function in these patients. ”
Another comment by Professor Rachel Chambers, ERS Conferences and Research Seminars Director, “This paper offers novel results in a pre-clinical model which demonstrates the potential of MSC stem cell therapy for the treatment of long-term lung conditions with exciting potential implications for the future treatment of patients with COPD and cystic fibrosis… this paper is one of many cutting-edge abstracts from the Lung Science Conference, which aims to provide an international platform to highlight novel experimental lung research with therapeutic potential… for the millions of patients suffering from devastating and often fatal respiratory conditions.”
It is important to note that this study evaluated the delivery of the stem cells intravenously but did not utilize a well known method of delivery of the stem cells to the lungs via a nebulized respiratory therapy which is also being used for patients when they are also given an intravenous treatment. Logic dictates that this combination should be even more effective than just the intravenous treatment alone. Further studies are needed to evaluate this combination of the delivery of the stem cells .