Scope, Symptoms & Current Treatment
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is anticipated to become the third leading cause of death by 2020. Today, COPD affects 600 million people worldwide and is a major consequence of environmental exposures to toxins, particularly tobacco smoking.
The American Lung Association identifies the following symptoms of COPD:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
- Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum)
Treatment can include medications, rehabilitation or surgery that may improve the patient’s quality of life.
We have found that in rodents exposed to daily tobacco smoke, the deterioration of lung structure and function due to COPD can be markedly decreased by repetitive intravenous therapy with adipose stem cells. We also have early data that suggests that the degree of COPD can be lessened by these cells. We are working to arrange for an initial clinical trial to evaluate this possibility in patients with COPD.