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How Stem Cell Therapy May Help Treat COPD

feb2016_001Most of us have heard of stem cells, but not as many know how helpful they can be for chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Between the story below and the results of recent treatments using stem cell therapy, you can determine for yourself if this type of treatment is right for you or someone you know.

Our story begins with a woman namedMarilyn Calick. Marilyn had suffered from asthma for her entire life, but over the past decade she had also developed COPD, forcing her to use steroids and a rescue inhaler daily. This type of condition and treatment is all too familiar for many Americans.

While the medications helped manage her symptoms, they weren’t anything close to a permanent solution. If she were to stop taking the medication, her symptoms would come back, sometimes worse than before. Marilyn felt like she was running out of options. That’s when she reached out to Dr. David Borenstein, an integrative medicine physician in New York City.

Dr. Borenstein is just one of many physicians in the US using stem cells to treat certain diseases, including COPD. The stem cells, “which can self-renew and replace damaged areas of the body”, are drawn from the “patient’s buttocks or midsection during liposuction, and then separates the stem cells in a centrifuge. Next, stem cells are mixed in a solution, which is administered through an IV and put into a nebulizer, from which the patient inhales them.”

Dr. Borenstein says that about “two-thirds of his patients see COPD relief within several weeks to about five months, and that those results last for about a year.” These results sound much more promising than daily medication and a decreased quality of life. The procedure costs about $8,000, which is usually less than the more invasive lung reduction surgery that is more common.

After having the procedure even Marilyn can attest to an improved quality of life, saying she can now “go out with different friends, stand for long periods of time and walk places”.

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