By Maren Auxier – Staff Writer
Stem cell therapy is gaining worldwide support from international policymakers, including the U.S. Congress and the Roman Catholic Church, helping progress the field of regenerative medicine. Congress passed the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act on Dec. 16, 2015, securing stem cell industry funding for at least 5 more years. The Vatican also showed their support for stem cell therapy earlier this year, announcing The Third International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and its Cultural Impact to be held within the Vatican April 28-30, 2016.
“It remains one of the best kept secrets in America that umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult stem cells in general are curing people of a myriad of terrible conditions and diseases in adults as well as children,” said U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-
The Vatican released a similar statement regarding the benefits of regenerative medicine. “The new field of regenerative medicine holds great promise to alleviate the pain and suffering for hundreds of millions of people around the world. We must unite to discover and advance such new therapies, and find ways to bring them to all those in need,” said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.2
This may come as surprising news to people whose familiarity with stem cell therapy extends only to the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells. It is a common misunderstanding that all stem cells are derived from human embryos. In fact, stem cells can be derived from umbilical cords, blood, fat and bone tissue. The Catholic Church’s position is to support ethical stem cell research, which, under their interpretation, excludes the use of embryonic stem cells.
Regenerative medicine provides patients with alternatives to traditional invasive or chemical treatments. Regenerative medicine is helping people with multiple sclerosis, blindness, rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease.
Lung disease is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and traditional treatment options have not changed in 30 years. The advent of stem cell therapy represents the greatest advancement in decades for people suffering from a degenerative lung disease.
The Lung Institute (www.lunginstitute.com) helps fight lung diseases by harvesting stem cells from a patient’s own blood, fat tissue or bone marrow in a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. Stem cells act as your body’s natural healing system, working to promote healing and reduce inflammation. While current stem cell treatments are not considered to be a cure for lung disease, they have shown the ability to improve patients’ quality of life.
Lung Institute patient Becky D. explains how stem cell therapy improved her quality of life.
I wanted to be able to do all my activities of daily living without being short of breath, which is showering and all that stuff…and I do. I wanted to be able to walk across a soccer field to see my grandson play soccer, and I can. I wanted to be able to dance a little again, and I did.
According to a white paper recently released by the Lung Institute, 84 percent3 of patients who received stem cell therapy for COPD experienced an improvement in their quality of life. Several patients also saw an improvement in pulmonary function. COPD is a degenerative disease, making any improvement in lung function in such a case truly remarkable.
While the field of regenerative medicine is relatively new, it has made great strides in a short period of time and shows great potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
If you or a loved one suffer from a chronic lung disease, the specialists at the Lung Institute may be able to help. You can contact the Lung Institute at 800-921-4631 or visit lunginstitute.com/health to find out if you qualify for these new treatments.