Stem Cell Therapy for Lung Diseases

Stem Cell Therapy for Lung Diseases

The capability of stem cells to locally repair damaged tissue offers the possibility for cell-based treatment of most irreversible diseases, including chronic lung diseases. Lung transplantation is considered a viable treatment option for progressive and irreversible lung diseases. Unfortunately, the number of donors is insufficient to meet demand. Transplantation is hindered by a shortage of organ donors and severe surgical, technical and immunological complications, which urge innovative therapeutic approaches.(1)

It is important to note that, on a daily basis, regardless of where we live and our age, the respiratory system is continuously exposed to various irritants such as inhaled toxins, carbon granules, pathogens, and their products. Pulmonary homeostasis (natural self-regulating process by which our organism maintains balance adjusting to external and internal conditions) is maintained by interaction between alveolar epithelial cells and lung-resident immune cells that continually monitor the pulmonary microenvironment, induce tolerance to innocuous inhaled particles, or provide efficient immune reactions against invading microbes.(2)

Why is this relevant?

Respiratory diseases impose a remarkable global healthcare burden. Current  data  show  that  235  million people have asthma, at least 200 million suffer from  chronic  obstructive  pulmonary  disease  (COPD),  65 million struggle with moderate-to-severe COPD, and more  than  50  million  people  endure  occupational  lung  diseases. Four million people die annually from chronic respiratory disease before reaching mature ages. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.(3)

How does stem cell therapy help treat pulmonary and respiratory diseases?

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are favored in our personalized protocols for each of our patients in Giostar Mexico, are multipotent adult stem cells, followed with significant interest by the medical and scientific community since their initial discovery.(4) MSCs have potential application in regenerative medicine, in which they are thought to aid in the repair and regeneration of otherwise physiological damage and incurable diseases, including neurological disorders, immunological diseases, articular cartilage damage and the development of irreversible lung fibrosis.(5)

It has been demonstrated that intratracheal administration of MSCs positively regulated  airway  remodeling, attenuated inflammation and improved function, suggesting their ability to maintain and promote tissue homeostasis  in  experiments  in  the  course  of  allergic  asthma.(6)

In addition to their regenerative and immunosuppressive effects responsible for the attenuation of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), MSCs are also able to promote resolution of ongoing inflammation, which reduces pulmonary edema.

The therapeutic potential of MSCs in the treatment of ARDS has been evaluated in several, already completed, clinical trials.(7) A cited study demonstrated that single intravenous infusion of allogeneic BM-MSCs (1, 5, or 10 million cells/kg of body weight (bw)) was well tolerated in nine patients with moderate to severe ARDS (FDA approved clinical trial: NCT01775774). Side events, clinical instability, or dose-limiting toxicity was not observed in any of the nine patients that received allogeneic BM-MSCs. Results obtained in this study were used as an optimistic starting point for a larger randomized, multicenter, phase 2 clinical trial that was conducted from 2014 to 2018 in the United States (FDA approved clinical trial: NCT02097641).(8)

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  1. Nejad-Moghaddam A, Panahi Y, Alitappeh MA, Borna H, Sho-krgozar MA, Ghanei M. Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of airway remodeling in pulmonary diseases. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2015; 14:552.
  2. C. Randall Harrel, Ruxana Sadikot, José Pascual, Crissy Fellabaum, Marina Gazdic Jankovic, Nemanja Jovicic, Valentin Djonov, Nebojsa Arsenijevic, Vladislav Volarevic, “Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy of Inflammatory Lung Diseases: Current Understanding and Future Perspectives”, Stem Cells International, vol. 2019, Article ID 4236973, 14 pages, 2019.
  3. Hosseinirad H, Rashidi M, Modhaddam M, Tebyanian H, Nouraei S, Mirhosseini S, Rasouli M, Habibian S, Stem cell therapy for lung diseases: from fundamental aspects to clinical applications. Cellular and Molecular Biology, E-ISSN: 1165-158X/ P-ISSN: 0145-5680, p. 92 – 102
  4. +Friedenstein  AJ,  Chailakhjan  RK,  Lalykina  KS.  The  develop-ment of fibroblast colonies in monolayer cultures of guinea-pig bone marrow and spleen cells. Cell Prolif 1970; 3:393–403.
  5. Akram  KM,  Samad  S,  Spiteri  M,  Forsyth  NR.  Mesenchymal  Stem Cell Therapy and Lung Diseases. In: Weyand B, Dominici M, Hass  R,  Jacobs  R,  Kasper  C,  editors.  Mesenchymal  Stem  Cells  -  Basics Clin. Appl. II, vol. 130, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg; 2012, p. 105–29.
  6. Urbanek  K,  De  Angelis  A,  Spaziano  G,  Piegari  E,  Matteis  M,  Cappetta D, et al. Intratracheal administration of mesenchymal stem cells modulates tachykinin system, suppresses airway remodeling and reduces airway hyperresponsiveness in an animal model. PloS One 2016; 11:e0158746.
  7. G. Zheng, L. Huang, H. Tong et al., “Treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome with allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells: a randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study,” Respiratory Research, vol. 15, no. 1, p. 39, 2014.
  8. J. G. Wilson, K. D. Liu, H. Zhuo et al., “Mesenchymal stem (stromal) cells for treatment of ARDS: a phase 1 clinical trial,” The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 24–32, 2015.

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