A patient named Gary V. at the Lung Institute in Tampa, Florida, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), shared how his life improved since receiving stem cell therapy. When discussing the improvements that therapy brought to his life, Gary said in a press release, “I don’t get sick as much anymore. I don’t have inflammation. It’s been working. It’s been very good.”
In a pilot study titled “Autologous Stem Cell Therapy and its Effects on COPD,” Lung Institute researchers reported that 82 percent of patients treated with stem cell therapy exhibited improvements in their quality of life. The level of improvement, however, varied from patient to patient.
“In the practice of medicine, we use standardized treatments on unique individuals, and as a result, responses to treatments do vary,” said Jack Coleman Jr., MD, medical director of the Lung Institute clinic in Nashville. “When the responses of a large population of patients are presented as a graph, we see the bell-shaped curve where one extreme represents those patients with a very-good-to-excellent response to treatment, and the other extreme represents those with little or no response to treatment. The majority of patients are somewhere in the middle.”
So, while stem cell therapy is associated with positive changes, it is not a miracle cure.
“There are times when you still get a flare-up, where you have to take a break,” Gary said. “It’s not a miracle cure. It’s not something that you are going to take, and the next day you’re cured. It’s just not happening.”
But stem cell therapy is still, for many patients, the best option currently available.
“As practitioners, we constantly strive to shift the bell curve in the direction of the excellent responders and reduce the poor or non-responders. We do this through constant surveillance of the latest research and literature reports, and modify our protocols based on this information,” Coleman said.
“We also examine those who do not respond well to determine factors that may allow us to offer more effective treatments to those individuals in the future. In doing so, we have improved our response rate from just over 70 percent 16 months ago to 85 percent now. But we can never allow ourselves to be satisfied with our results. Improvement is a constant process in medicine,” he concluded.