In some cases, after a successful recovery from severe coronavirus infection, patients can experience complications known as pulmonary fibrosis. This complication may occur as a consequence of long-lasting inflammation triggering a fibrotic process in the connective tissues of the lung and lead to a reduction of its functional reserve that negatively affect the life quality of the patients.
Specialists of Infinity Clinic offer a unique stem cell treatment program that was designed to improve the health condition of people suffering from such problems after recovery from coronavirus infection. The efficiency of our approach was confirmed by positive results acquired in patients with another severe type of fibrosing lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
IPF is an ageing-associated chronic progressive lung disease that causes breathlessness and respiratory failure. While it is extremely rare among young patients, the incidence of IPF rises dramatically with age. Lungs are constantly exposed to environmental stress factors, however, due to considerable regenerative potential lungs show remarkable ability to recover. But in case of ageing when the number and functional activity of innate stem cells declines, repetitive low-grade injury (exposure to environmental pollutions, smoking, etc.) or acute severe stress (infections) in genetically susceptible patients can lead to alveolar epithelial cell dysfunctions and dysregulation of immune cells.
Alveolar epithelial cells acquire fibrosis-promoting properties that are not typical for these cells This leads to chronic stimulation of fibroblasts producing excessive amounts of the extracellular matrix. Mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix of the lungs affected by IPF showed considerable stiffening in comparison with normal lungs. Such pathologic remodelling of the extracellular matrix of the lungs results in lung fibrosis. Tests of pulmonary functions performed in patients with IPF usually reveal a reduction of the total capacity of the lungs and abnormal gas exchange (the vital function of this organ).
Immunologic studies have shown alterations in the number and activity of immune cells. In the case of excessive activation, some of these cells can promote disease progression. However, certain subpopulations of immune cells, such as Treg cells, contrary, can be protective for the lungs.
To establish the diagnosis of IPF with a high confidence combination of clinical features, high-resolution chest imaging and, in some cases, surgical lung biopsy with further histological analysis is used. Histology of the lungs in IPF show a characteristic pattern of fibrosis called gross honeycombing.
IPF has raised the most concerns among other forms of interstitial lung diseases because of the poor prognosis and limited efficiency of the traditional treatment method. Thus, innovative treatment approaches are highly needed and stem cell therapy represents a promising treatment strategy aiming to improve the health condition of patients suffering from IPF.
Being administered intravenously, a considerable amount of stem cells will settle inside of the lungs. Preclinical studies with animal models showed that stem cell therapy can ameliorate inflammation and reduce fibrosis. Phase I clinical trial comprised of 8 patients confirmed the safety of fetal stem cell administration. Specialists of our Clinic have developed a complex stem cell treatment approach for IPF that includes the administration of several types of fetal stem cells. In the view of successful initial treatment results, we have got approval for phase IIB clinical trial for stem cell treatment approach that was developed in the joint effort of the scientists and doctors of our clinic.
Our patients showed pronounced improvement of blood oxygenation at rest, blood oxygenation after 6 min walk and the Borg dyspnea scale. Thus, stem cell therapy can be considered a promising treatment approach for patients suffering from fibrosing lung disorders.