STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
What is the latest science on lung diseases and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, IPF, there’s clear animal evidence of and growing clinical data that suggests that the treatment with either autologous or allogeneic adult stem cells offers some level of benefit.
What we know is when we infuse stem cells into the body, they reside in the lungs for a period of time before they’re distributed. The thought is that while the stem cells are in the lung, they’re remodeling the fibrosis that’s present in both diseases, they’re activating the endogenous stem cells to try and repair the tissue, and they’re preventing any progression of the disease.
How can stem cell therapy actually improve symptoms?
>>DR. PENN: In patients who come to Okyanos with either COPD or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the goal is to try to minimize their shortness of breath. Whether that’s improving the ventilation or the oxygenation of the lungs, and we try to measure both, is unclear. But ultimately, the goal is to improve symptoms.
What is the treatment for lung conditions?
>> DR. PENN: For patients who come to Okyanos for treatment of their lung disease, we treat them with their autologous stromal vascular fraction, or SVF, that is derived from their adipose tissue or fat. The patient undergoes a liposuction. We take the lipoaspirate from the liposuction and put it in the Tissue Genesis Icellator system. One hour later we have a suspension of the cells that were present in the lipoaspirate, the stem cells, and we give those to the patient intravenously over 30 to 45 minutes.
What about retreatment for chronic lung disease?
>> DR. PENN: So, for patients who feel like adult stem cells have either stabilized their symptoms or improved them and who either want to get better or notice they’re losing their benefit, we’re happy to discuss the potential for retreatment.